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Where to eat (and drink) in Auckland on Valentine's Day

NOTED logo NOTED 7/02/2019 Alex Blackwood
a group of people in a room: Ampersand. © Bauer Media Ampersand.

Where to eat (and drink) in Auckland on Valentine's Day

Though Saint Valentine is also the saint of beekeepers, plague, epilepsy and not fainting, he is best known for love, happy marriages and betrothed couples. So we guess you’d better have a list of romantic events rather than a plague mask and a bee smoker for old Val’s feast day. And whether you’re treating the love of your life to a perfect night out or just trying not to spend the night becoming the patron saint of Netflix, there are plenty of special menus to try.

Ampersand Eatery

Our Valentine’s menu is a combination of some of our most popular dishes and creative new ideas,” says Ampersand’s chef Mikey Newlands. The result is a five-course menu featuring yellowfin tuna, crayfish, organic beef, and black doris plums as well as a glass of Charles Cazanove Rosé Champagne. Though if we were you (especially if you’ll be dining alone this Valentine’s), we’d take Ampersand up on their four-glass beverage pairing by sommelier Amanda Rogers. There’s free parking nearby but since you’re treating yourself already, why not get an Uber? Ampersand, Orakei Bay Village, 4/228 Orakei Rd

Burger Burger Blind Dates

13 February

Ever wished to be on The Bachelor but with just one person? Then blind dates are for you. For the fourth year in a row, the burger joint is signing up people who are looking for love for their 300-person Blind Dates party. There’s an application form and a selection process so sign your single mate up and send them along with luck and a single rose. Hosted by the Glasshouse, 18 McDonald St, Morningside

Coley & Punch

The classic decor with gold accents and carafe-chandeliers will not only impress your date, it also sets the scene for your solo drinking to feel a little more James Bond-like. If shaken-not-stirred martinis aren’t your thing, Coley & Punch have created a special cocktail for the day of love and beekeepers; the Rubus of the Rose combines Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin, apricot, basil, raspberry jam, lemon, and egg whites. Coley & Punch

139 Quay St, central Auckland

a plate of food on a table: Left, Culpeper's banoffee pie. Right, Euro. Photos/Nourish Group © Bauer Media Left, Culpeper's banoffee pie. Right, Euro. Photos/Nourish Group


Seaside dinners in the sun are a sure-fire hit with the Mrs or Mr or simply to toast to the infinite possibilities of your own singledom. The four-course set menu offers plenty of choice, with mussels, duck on toast, Cloudy Bay clams, beef eye fillet and strawberry cheesecake being a few of the dishes that caught our eye. There are two sittings, both of which require booking in advance. Euro, Shed 22 Princes Wharf, central Auckland

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The Culpeper

A spot by the waterfront with the bonus of a low-key, breezy atmosphere that works well with a first, second, or 150th date that you’d rather keep a bit chilled-out. The two or three-course Valentine’s Day menu includes prawn and okra hush puppies, smoked brisket tacos and a choice of banoffee or key lime pies, so you can save room for the gin and citrus cocktail they’ve concocted for the occasion: the My Funny Clementine. 143-147 Princes Wharf, central Auckland

Fitzroy Lounge

This brand spanking new Melbourne-themed bar is keeping it casual with a $40 platter and two drinks deal which, we note, can be shared or eaten solo – or you could even push the boat out and go for one each. We would. Fitzroy Lounge, 61 Mackelvie St, Grey Lynn

Auckland Fish MarketThere is much debate over whether oysters are an aphrodisiac or not and this Valentine’s Day, the AFM has set up an evening cooking class event. So we suggest you and your partner use this night to put that theory to the test and learn while you eat. You’ll be making Salmon sashimi, pan fried market fish and of course, there’ll be oysters and wine followed by Rush Munro icecream and fruit kebabs. Happy learning!

Auckland Fish Markets, 22 - 32 Jellicoe St, Freemans Bay

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