Interview and photograph by Florence Noble
A true global citizen, Christian Parlascino hails from Italy via central America and Guatemala, and now manages a bit of everything at Japanese restaurant Ebisu.
Are you from Auckland?
I’m Italian, from central Italy – a town called Terni.
Do they have good wine there?
In the region, yes. Good wine, good food. The tallest waterfall in Europe. I have to sell it!
How do you get to Britomart?
I live in Gore Street. Above Giapo. So I’m a real Britomart guy!
Do you go to Giapo?
It’s very hard to avoid. So dangerously near, and it’s always open.
What do you do here?
I look after the wine list and before I was also the bar manager. But now I’m mainly looking after the floor service, a bit of everything.
How did you get into it?
I studied hospitality in Italy from 2005-2009. And I always worked in clubs, cocktail bars, hotel, restaurants. I owned a club in Italy for a while and then I left it to my family and then left for Australia. I’ve been traveling since 2012. I’ve spent some time in central America and Guatemala. I moved to New Zealand in 2015 and got an interview for a job here as a waiter, and on my fourth day in New Zealand, I was working in Ebisu.
What’s the most popular thing on the menu?
Probably the miso-glazed tooth fish. But one of the things I personally like the most is the seared duck breast.
What’s your favourite hidden Auckland City gem?
La Fuente in Snickel Lane, it’s a mezcal and wine bar and some Mexican-inspired food. Or I love Apero on Karangahape Road. A small, French-style bistro and wine bar. They always have crazy wines and random things that you can’t find anywhere else in New Zealand, probably.
What’s your idea of fun?
Fly fishing? That’s in-between fun and relaxing. I’ve only started that in New Zealand so it’s something still new that I’m getting to grips with. And long sessions of Dungeons and Dragons. I’m a big nerd!
Yes. Two of the guys I play with are chefs at Ortolana. And my partner works there. One day we were talking and Dungeons and Dragons came up and I was like “Wait a minute- You’re not alone!”
Whats’ your favourite thing to spend money on?
Wine, shirts and pants. My closet is bigger than my girlfriend’s. Actually, you know what? Waistcoats! I own more than 30. All different colours, shapes. If I walk past a shop and they have one I like in the window, I have to go in and buy it.
Has it become obsessive?
It was for a while. Now I’m more relaxed because I don’t live alone any more, and I have the pressure of my girlfriend stopping me. I was at a point living alone, single, I was buying a crazy amount of shirts and waistcoats. I mean, I have these same pants in four different colours.