Celebrate locally

Kaiseki

With just 10 more weeks till Christmas, it’s time to think about the perfect venue for hosting end of year celebrations. To this end, we’ve rounded up a selection of local restaurants, bars, cafes and eateries that will make the decision (hopefully) a lot easier. From budget-friendly to luxury dining, there’s something for everyone. The list is as follows:

Te Tuhi Cafe
Housed in Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, this Pakuranga stalwart has a sunny courtyard which is ideal for big groups. Also known to be kid-friendly with oodles of space for the littlies to romp, it’s easy to keep the youngsters and adults in a jovial mood. When it comes to dietary requirements, this family-favourite is known for its gluten-free baking and meals.

Howick RSA
The Howick RSA has long been known for its generous portions, genuine atmosphere and live entertainment. A well-loved and supported institution, this is a feel-good venue with traditional Christmas flavours.

Catering by Debbie
This one’s a little bit of a secret in Howick. Nestled in Moore Street, this newly zhushed up space by an experienced caterer is sweet and a little bit quirky. An affordable, suburban location providing a fresh, delightful menu prepared on-site, Catering by Debbie has lots going for it. With an inspiring high tea menu featuring dainty morsels such as lamingtons, lemon meringue tarts  and pinwheel sandwiches, the hosts have set the table for a successful event.

Barrel Inn
Located on the corner of Cook Street, this unassuming tavern has long been the destination of choice for Irish folk and all who crave good English pub grub. Specialising in simple, good ol’ fashioned items such as steak and chips, burgers, classic Sunday roast and pies, its menu is easy reading for even the fussiest of diners. There’s always something going on at this lively hub too, including the weekly pub quiz, dining specials and live entertainment.

Pepperjacks
Cruising on towards the Pohutukawa Coast, there’s no missing Pepperjacks by Pine Harbour Marina. This well-run operation is especially geared for summer celebrations thanks to its gorgeous waterfront location. A few surprises can be found in the menu too, with the famed ‘onion mumm’ a feature.

Five Stags
This newly refurbished dining establishment is modelled on a hunter’s cabin. Matching the rural, idyllic setting of Whitford, patrons are sure to be well fed and watered with a classic hearty menu.

Grangers
The contemporary, hip crowd will be well taken care of at Grangers and its stylish surrounds at Half Moon Bay Marina. Offering unfettered views of the sea, this good-time local is also next door to its Italian sister Mezza Luna which caters for small parties and celebrations. The chic ambience is matched by innovative dishes and all the latest food trends.

Kaiseki
Boasting two popular locations in Chapel Road, Flat Bush and Pine Harbour Marina, this purveyor of fine Japanese cuisine is a hit with those who love Asian food. Always accommodating, the chefs cook up some fabulous-sounding creations including Japanese all-time favourites such as yakitori, gyoza, karaage, sushi and katsu.

Spices Thai
Ah, there’s no Thai like Spices Thai. Just like Kaiseki, its popularity has garnered two followings in Lunn Ave and Botany Junction. Thai hospitality shines together with a tried and tested menu with yellow, green, red, panang and massaman curries, pad thai, pineapple fried rice, tom yum soup as well as moreish nibbles such as fish cakes, curry puffs, satay, money bags and more.