If you’re planning a get-together for Christmas, a birthday or another special event, these eateries have everything you need and more.
The success of a group dinner depends on a trio of key ingredients – great food, great ambience and great service – and all of those are in abundance at Britomart. But there are a few extra elements that can elevate a group celebration or get-together to the next level, and they aren’t found everywhere.
1. Set menus for groups
A set menu can streamline the agonising ordering (and payment) processes into a simple pleasure. If you’re keen to minimise the procedural elements of your evening, Ebisu, Cafe Hanoi, and Ostro offer tempting set menus that keep the fuss to a minimum. At Amano, parties larger than 10 are offered a 3-course set menu for $85 per person (or $100 with canapés) and Ortolana has a similar set menu – three courses for $75 for 11 guests or more.
2. Big communal tables
Sure, the long-and-narrow table set-up is a classic for group dining, but it can get pretty crowded along the centre line, especially when you’re sharing dishes. At Amano, Mexico, The Brit, The Store and Ortolana, there are options to sit at a large communal table that gives you a bit more elbow space.
3. Private rooms
If your party might get raucous enough to raise the eyebrows of fellow diners, a private room can be in everyone’s best interests. The Quay St Deck at Ostro seats up to 24 people, the subterranean Parlour at Cafe Hanoi can host 8-20 people, Mexico's private upstairs room can host up to 46 people seated and 60 people standing, and Amano’s private upstairs event space can cater to the most substantial dining events.
4. Something for everyone
Part of the beauty of dining out is that you can leave the task of catering to everyone’s tastes and dietary requirements to the chef. But even then, some guests can find themselves staring down a pretty minimal offering. If you’ve got vegetarian or vegans in your party, you can’t go wrong at Mexico or Cafe Hanoi, both of whom have an extensive range of vegetarian and vegan dishes on the menu. Gluten-free eaters will be spoilt for choice at Brew on Quay, Ostro, The Chamberlain, or Ebisu, and people who care deeply about provenance will be delighted with the locally-sourced produce at Amano, Ortolana and The Store.
5. The great outdoors
On a balmy Auckland evening, there’s little better than dining al fresco. At Britomart, you can take your group outdoors into Ortolana’s flower-filled patio in the Pavilions, The Store’s umbrella-scattered courtyard, Brew on Quay’s covered rooftop space or streetside tables, Seven’s breezy rooftop, Ostro’s outdoor deck, or The Brit’s outdoor tables that catch the afternoon sun.