Auckland's best eateries revealed

20:24, Apr 23 2012
Al Brown
HOTSPOT: Al Brown's Federal St eatery Depot has been named the winner of the supreme award in this year's Metro Restaurant of the Year awards.

Wellingtonian Al Brown has taken the Auckland dining scene by storm, taking top spot in the Metro Restaurant of the Year awards with his new and acclaimed Depot oyster bar.

The Federal St eatery has been named the winner of the supreme award, as well as best new restaurant and best casual bistro at the annual awards. Brown also won the Audi restaurateur of the year award.

Old favourite Clooney overcame a disappointing showing in 2011 and has been named the best fine-dining restaurant, while the best dish award went to the fish soup at local newcomer Roxy.

Acclaimed chef Michael Meredith won the best chef gong, while newcomer Ganesh Raj of Kumeu's The Tasting Shed took out restaurant personality of the year - the only award decided by public vote.

Depot, which opened last year, is part of what has been called the changing face of dining, both geographically and atmospherically.

As well as a live oyster bar, charcoal cooking and local produce, Depot also has wine on tap served by the tumbler.

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The restaurant also refuses to take reservations, a stance that isn't relaxed, even for the world famous celebrities - even UK boy band One Direction were turned away on Friday after trying to secure a table.

Depot and its inner-city eatery neighbours have sparked a move away from the traditional restaurant hotspots and have turned areas like Federal St into new dining destinations.

Judges said the new dining precincts had created a "geographic and atmospheric shift in dining" and the more established eating areas like Ponsonby and Parnell had to work hard to compete.

METRO RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR WINNERS

SUPREME WINNER          
Depot Eatery & Oyster Bar

FINE DINING: Clooney
Runner-up:
The French Café

SMART DINING: Cibo
Runner-up: O'Connell St Bistro

UPMARKET BISTRO: The Engine Room
Runners-up:
Ponsonby Rd Bistro, Pure     

CASUAL BISTRO: Depot Eatery & Oyster Bar
Runner-up:
Coco's Cantina

ASIAN: Cocoro
Runner-up: 
Ebisu

ITALIAN: Toto
Runner-up:
Poderi Crisci

RURAL: Poderi Crisci
Runner-up:
Casita Miro

AUDI PROGRESSIVE RESTAURANTEUR OF THE YEAR:
Al Brown - Depot Eatery & Oyster Bar
Runner-up:
Sid Sahrawat - Sidart

BEST CHEF: Michael Meredith - Merediths

BEST SERVICE:  The French Cafe
Runner-up:
Coco's Cantina

BEST DISH: Fish soup at Roxy

BEST DRINKS LIST: The French Cafe
Runner-up:
O'Connell St Bistro

BEST SHORT DRINKS LIST: Cocoro
Runner-up:
Molten

BEST NEW RESTAURANT: Depot Eatery & Oyster Bar

RESTAURANT PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR:           
Ganesh Raj - The Tasting Shed.

Auckland Now