We sniff out the posh burb’s best nosh with foodie Lauraine Jacobs
“Is 4&20’s sourdough country loaf, made with organic spelt flour, Auckland’s best bread?” muses Jacobs. Decide for yourself. This organic bakery is run by Deborah Chait and Andy Tse – founders of Zarbo deli in Newmarket – whose artfully displayed cabinet is as hard to resist as the free samples. We love that they make the mayonnaise for their tuna mayo sandwiches in-house. And the Portuguese custard tarts – each fragile pastry case filled with just-set custard and topped with caramelised sugar – are heavenly.
3A Clonbern Rd, Remuera
Jack Lum and Co
There isn’t an apple out of place in this old-school greengrocers. Jack Lum gets up between 1.30–3am every day to go to the Mount Wellington Turners and Growers market before meticulously packing fruit and veges to sell for his shop’s 8am opening. His wife Carrie Lum says Jacobs has been coming to their store for years, which they opened in 1970. But the shop has become part of what Jacobs calls “the golden triangle” of Remuera shopping, alongside 4&20 and “the best little New World supermarket”.
3 Clonbern Rd, Remuera
Browns Eatery & Store
A Remuera icon, now under new ownership, Browns is white-tiled and offers a mix of communal and individual tables. “They have mastered the art of small delicious food,” says Jacobs, who is particularly fond of the club sandwiches. Filled rolls are tied with gingham paper bows, and towards the back of the room is a vintage-feel ice cream bar where you pay per scoop. Be sure to pick up a lamington as you head out the door.
409 Remuera Rd, Remuera
This 100-plus-year-old fish shop is another slice of Remuera’s culinary history and has “beautifully filleted fresh fish daily”, says Jacobs. Her favourites are the “delicate boned fillets of sweet flounder” and potato-topped fish pies. Out of character for a local chippy, the range of salads is actually good. Jacobs also buys figs here when they’re in season. But really, who can go past a couple of scoops of piping hot chips and battered fish eaten right out of the paper?
388 Remuera Rd, Remuera
One of Auckland’s only Napoli ristoranti, Spacca is best for a date night. Owner Gino Buonocore – a real character – will expertly coerce you into ordering antipasto to start, and you’re unlikely to regret doing so when the crunchy pickled vegetables, soft breads and pungent cheeses arrive. Rich, moreish pastas are a marvellous staple here, and the pizza is every bit as chewy and cheesy as it ought to be. 547 Remuera Rd, Remuera
Sibling restaurant to Mount Eden’s Zool Zool, Soi is a small storefront Japanese restaurant in the Upland Road precinct and, according to Jacobs, “happens to be the best-kept secret in the area” with the fish fresh, flavours balanced and service snappy.
596 Remuera Rd, Remuera
Among Tree’s delicious entrées are smashed cucumber, pickled cabbage, marinated eggs and pork ears. And interesting soups, too – choose from dumplings in beef soup, squid in thick soup, or noodles and pork in thick soup with barbecue sauce, to name a few. The beef tendon noodles – melt-in-the-mouth tendons in a dark rich broth – are fabulous. Non-meat dishes include vegetarian ‘chicken’ and ‘fish’, as well as the simmered tofu and pan-fried bean curd.
21/319 Remuera Rd, Remuera
Coming soon – Jess’ Underground Kitchen
It started over cooking dinner for a friend, and before she knew it Jess Daniell was making weeknight meals “for 2000 instead of 1”. She offers a range of fresh dinners which you pre-select to be delivered on nights when you know there’ll be no time to cook ($15 per person), and frozen options (pies and pastas et al) to have ready in the freezer for last-minute panics.
158 Remuera Rd, Remuera
A short but well-honed menu manages to cover a range of Italian favourites; spaghetti vongole, lamb tagliata and panna cotta. Between the solid wine list and inventive kid’s menu, Artusi makes for an easy – if slightly elegant – family night out.
1/415 Remuera Rd, Village Green, Remuera
For a drink
By day the room is subdued, with only a low hum and the sound of porcelain cups on saucers. But by night this intimate, cozy space comes alive with chart-topping tunes, cocktails, and bar snacks.
371 Remuera Rd, Remuera
A “modern pub”, but you can still get a house sav and a non-craft beer. The bloody Mary, topped with crisp bacon and an asparagus stirrer, might only be available in the morning, but that shouldn’t stop you from ordering one. Or two…
602–604 Remuera Rd, Remuera