Hot Stuff: Cool-weather comfort lunches

When the mercury starts dropping, here are five sure-fire ways to put a little warmth back in your belly.

L’Assiette’s French Onion Soup is an authentic bowl of rustic, buttery slow-cooked onions in a beef broth, topped with toast croutons, grilled gruyere and parsley chiffonade.

The Store’s Soup of the Day. Changing by the week, this takeaway cup of feel-goodness is usually based on a seasonal root vegetable, with the option to add a protein (like chicken or bacon) on top.

Miann’s Hot Chocolate enjoys a reputation well beyond the streets of the Britomart precinct. Made from luxurious molten Valrhona chocolate, there are eight different flavours (including orange-chocolate and salted caramel-chocolate) to choose from, each topped with pretty powdered chocolate designs.

Smart Sushi’s Tempura Udon is a steaming bowl of fat, slurpable udon noodles in a delicate umami broth, topped with crispy veggie or vegetable-and-prawn tempura and scattered with spring onions. Once you get the thought of it into your head, you’re not going to get it out until you have one.

Orleans’ Mac n Cheese. On any Top 10 list of comfort foods, mac ’n’ cheese is sure to come in somewhere at the high end. The soul-food version at Orleans is ultra-cheesy in a good way (not the David Brent kind of way) and even comes in a burger version if the kid in you really wants to max out on carbs.