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DineOut Discussion Forums

General Discussion | Metro Top 50 Restaurants


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DineOut VIP
3rd Apr 2012
Good points Lin Nah, I have rethought my grumpy suspicions smile :-)
3rd Apr 2012
Suebee: I was merely pointing out that Ima has been there before.

However I feel it is perhaps too early to include Botswana Butchery in the top 50 after all it only opened on 21 or 22 March. Someone actually asked Metro how it got into the list. their reply:
"Hi Jason and David. From editor Simon Wilson: “We know you had a disappointing experience at Botswana Butchery, but we can assure you the decision to include it in our list was not taken lightly. We judged it with a full anonymous dinner visit as late as we could (ie, just the other day), and it came through extremely well. Not marginally, but extremely well. Other judges also visited for a drink and a snack in order to have a look at how service was working throughout the place. These visits don’t have the same status as a full dining visit, but they help broaden our experience of a place. On top of this, the restaurant has been set up by people with a proven track record (it’s not one of those “I think I’ll give restauranting a go now” places that keep popping up), in a brilliant location, it looks terrific, it serves an identifiable market and in our direct experience it has been doing the business.
We understand the inclusion of Botswana Butchery in our Top 50 will be controversial in some quarters, but we’re okay with that. And we stand by our decision.”

Which further explains MooChowChow last year. It was set up by same lot as Rocco.

So are there any on the top 50 list that you (anyone reading this) feel doesn't deserve to be there?
Mr Lu
DineOut VIP
3rd Apr 2012
I have just posted a review of the Botswana Butchery. Dined there a few days ago...
Mike J H
DineOut VIP
4th Apr 2012
I am aware that I live far away from most of these restaurants but still feel that the judging group don't travel far enough to eat at the 'Greater Auckland' restaurants. Obviously a gourmet I'm not.
4th Apr 2012
To me the problem is that there aren't fifty really excellent restaurants in Auckland, so there are quite a few second rate ones included in the list. I suppose it wouldn't be nearly as profitable for Metro to run a "top twenty" list.

I also imagine that most of the excellent suburban restaurants (e.g. Bunga Raya) are not interested in paying to be on the list as they are more than busy enough as it is.

[Edited 4th Apr 2012 02:29 PM]
4th Apr 2012
Fairly happy with most of the list, I think most deserve to be on it and I look forward to trying the few I haven't dined at. I disagree with the inclusion of Botswana particularly because it is so new and putting it on the list based on their Queenstown/Sth Isl history doesn't make sense - this list is, after all Auckland's top 50 - I dont feel that 10 days of trade can earn this placing.
On another note, I could never understand Satya being in the Top 50 - sure they have some good dishes but a restaurant with one toilet for all diners which also hosts the laundry and cleaning equipment surely should not be in a 'Top 50'. I think any restaurant in this list should tick all the boxes - ambience, service, food, decor, glassware, crockery etc
5th Apr 2012
The Grove is on at the moment. A bit of a surprise that they would be into vouchers, but there you go.
7th Apr 2012
Ella is on groupon (until midnight). 49 Elegant Dining Experience for Two or $95 for Four People with Any Entree and Main each, Plus Shared Side at Ella Cafe & Lounge, Ponsonby (Up to $201.40 Value)
9th Apr 2012
An interesting article
24th Apr 2012
2012 Metro awards ceremony was at St Matthew in the city, Auckland tonight. There were a few ppl tweeting from the ceremony.

Supreme Restaurant of the Year Award 2012, Best New Restaurant, Best Casual Bistro: Depot Eatery & Oyster Bar
Best Service, Best Drinks List: The French Cafe
Best Asian Restaurant, Best Short Drinks List: Cocoro
Best Rural Restaurant: Poderi Crisci
Best Italian Restaurant: Toto
Restaurant Personality Of the Year: The Tasting Shed's Ganesh Raj
Best Dish: Roxy's incredible "fish soup"
Best Upmarket Bistro: The Engine Room
Best Smart Dining Restaurant: Cibo
Best Fine Dining Restaurant: Clooney
Progressive Restaurateur of the Year: Al Brown. Runner up: Sid Sahrawat
Best Chef: Michael Meredith

From tweets:
Q: what does 'smart dining' mean?
A: not casual, like Depot, but not "fine dining" like the Grove. So a big category. Other nominees incl Euro, O'Connell St Bistro

Best Fine Dining, Best Casual Bistro, Best New Restaurant, Best Dish to Wellingtonians

Source: Also on Metro's facebook page
24th Apr 2012
interesting list this year but totally agree with best chef and 100% love seeing sid as progressive restaurateur of the year but he deserves first not runner up !!
As for the depot.. When I compare it with others on the list I am a bit lost giving less clout to their selections now but michael meredith is amazing as is sid, as is hamish at tribeca and funny thing is they all worked together at some point poke tongue :P

26th Apr 2012
Now a 3rd Metro top 50 offering discount vouchers. Today District Dining
19th May 2012
2012 Best Dish: Roxy's incredible "fish soup"
There's a pic and paragraph on this dish in this NZ Herald review by Carroll du Chateau (posted online on Tuesday Jan 31, 2012)

[Edited 19th May 2012 03:28 AM]
20th May 2012
Had a look at a few articles after reading mvenom's remark about Depot.

Press release about this year's awards
As well as the Supreme Award, Depot has also taken out Best New Restaurant and Best Casual Bistro. Brown – who hails from the capital city – has been awarded Audi Progressive Restaurateur of the Year.

Awards judge and Metro magazine editor Simon Wilson says Depot has changed the dining scene.

“We’re getting more casual and Depot leads the charge here, providing a great dining experience in a relaxed atmosphere and some of the fine dining restaurants are getting more casual in response.

“Al has taken Kiwi cuisine and shown just how well it can work in a restaurant. The New Zealand-ness of his menu contrasts sharply with many other restaurants and that’s a great thing. He’s shown us that the food we all love to eat on the beach or around the barbecue can be cooked so well that it’s great to eat in a restaurant too,” Wilson says.

“Lots of chefs say they do this kind of thing, but no one understands it or does it as well as Depot. The simplicity of it is often the best part.”"

NZ Herald article w quote from Al Brown
He admits he was a bit intimidated relocating from Wellington to Auckland eight months ago, but stuck to his vision of creating a casual, Kiwi dining experience, and it paid off.

"We were taking a little bit of risk with what we wanted to do - I am from a fine dining background but I wanted attack the casual market," he said.

"What I guess Depot has done is reinforce that we are more casual [in NZ] than anything else, but we still like to do things well.

"The Depot offering is very Kiwi, it's shellfish, it's fresh, its cooked over charcoal and wood. As Kiwis, that's what we do.

"[At Depot we want to] celebrate and recognise who we are and what we do and for people to come and have a NZ experience without experience a white white table cloth.

"It's a huge accolade."
21st May 2012
For me.. depot is just another euro; next year it will be forgotten. It is well done, clever kiwi food. It is not progressive or overly brilliant.
That is my opinion though I just think with the amount of money one can spend there, it is far better spent elsewhere if the food you seek is of a high calibre and creativity. However happy to dine there if someone invites me.
21st May 2012
I enjoy Depot, *but* I haven't been back in a while (even though it's literally a mere walk from work) because they pack as many people as possible into it.

The first time was great, felt a real buzz, loved the food - but subsequent visits I've just felt squashed. This is going in with the mindset that it's more of a casual hangout and chinwag, but even then it's just still so packed. I guess most people don't seem to mind though, considering it *is* so packed on a daily basis. I do have a hankering for their skirt steak though hehe.

Euro - no comment (if you haven't got something nice to say, don't say it at all big grin :D)

/edit: On the topic at hand, I'm finding myself to be less and less swayed by Metro as the years go by, I can't accept Clooney above The Grove and Sidart (or TriBeCa for that matter). They gambled on MooChowChow last year and won, but pushed their luck with Botswana Butchery, in my opinion.

[Edited 21st May 2012 08:52 PM]
22nd May 2012
Totally agree about metro and also no comment on euro lol
I feel depot is fun, good food but its not bloody progressive.
And no way clooneys should have won
I am with you on Tribeca mark there is awesome and he knows his wines so well.. and well you know how I feel about sidart i am going there tonight perhaps I might see you if not I am booked in next Tuesday too lol

as for botswana butchery i was told the metro judges never even went in...
23rd May 2012
Check out which recently discussed restaurant is being discussed wrt tipping.

There's a section on tipping. Then look at the comments below especially by Anonymous on May 21, 2012 10:19 PM
23rd May 2012
I'll stick by my previous comment of, "no comment" but those stories do not surprise me in the least and are very familiar to experiences I shan't mention.

If they wan't us to tip like the States, then they'll have to drop the prices and also their staff to below minimum wage so you actually have *something* to tip for.

When I dined the first time at the French Cafe I was so smitten that I tipped them what I thought was generous, but they didn't ask for it and it was only on EFTPOS. I felt they deserved it because they made my night. Having it shoved in your face, though, like that company did, is just in bad taste.
24th May 2012
I seem to recall going to a restaurant (in Auckland) a few years ago where there was a line at the bottom of the menu that implied a tip is expected. Can't remember actual text of the line - just remember being very surprised at its presence.
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