The newest addition to Takapuna eating precinct Fortieth & Hurstmere is Otto's Mediterranean Kitchen. As the name suggests, Otto's main inspiration comes from the wider Mediterranean basin with a hybrid of Cypriot and Turkish dishes and a touch of Kiwi flair.
Open from 8am until late, the eatery offers a range of healthy options across breakfast, lunch and dinner. Wellness is a key for owner Anya Salman, with the mantra 'May what you eat bring you wellbeing' displayed across the restaurant wall. She also has most dietary requirements covered (vegan, gluten, dairy) and goes as far as hand crushing all spices and seasonings.
Upon arrival, we received a warm welcome and were offered some assistance with the menu. Though we found it a bit confusing at first, the menu is compact and authentic. After some deliberation and a lot of questions, we ordered a chicken souvlaki with two salads and two dips ($16) and a beef souvlaki in the traditional pita wrap ($13.50). The kofta and souvlaki both come with either beef, chicken or falafel, all of which are gluten-free.
The restaurant itself is small but shared seating options are available on either side of the space. As it was a warm day we opted to sit in the sun soaked courtyard directly opposite Otto's. The meat was tender, juicy and beautifully seasoned, the salads were crisp, fresh and flavoursome and the dips were outstanding. Though the pita was thoroughly enjoyed, the meat, salad and dip combo was deemed the superior meal and definitely worth the extra couple dollars.
As much as we were tempted by the flaky baklava and other sweets we didn't indulge this time around. For those looking to refuel after one of the hefty portions, the potent Turkish coffee is boiled with sugar. It's the perfect finish with a slice of Turkish delight.