Restaurant review: Baduzzi, Auckland

Baduzzi, Auckland
Jason Creaghan

Baduzzi, Auckland

Cuisine rating: 16/20 (two chef's hats)

It's Italian, but not as your nonna knows it. This constantly humming spot takes the fundamentals of the canon – kick-ass pasta, respectfully treated veg, beautiful antipasti – and throws in a bit of New York sass, courtesy of US-born owner Michael Dearth. Executive chef Ben Bayly (winner of the title of Vittoria Coffee Chef of the Year) creates meatballs that are a specialty, though they're given the silk purse treatment – perhaps orbs of crayfish and savoy cabbage; or minced wagyu with onion gravy and salsa verde. Baduzzi's take on vitello tonnato is another highlight: beautifully tender rosy-hued slices of veal rib, scattered with dabs of tuna mayo and rocket. The decor's a quirky mix of Italianate tiling, copper-fronted bar and olive-green banquettes, while the staff are happy to provide counsel on everything from how much to order to what to select from Dearth's Euro-centric wine list. 

Address: Corner Jellicoe St & Fish Lane, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland City (Map)
Phone: 09-309 9339
Website: baduzzi.co.nz
Operating hours: Lunch & dinner 7 days
Price: Larger plates $22-$38

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