The definition of “Quirky”, according to Google is “having or characterized by peculiar or unexpected traits or aspects.” Urban dictionary says: “weird in a good way” or “something that is strange/not normal but cool”. Here we have some restaurants that are pretty cool, a bit weird… in a good way, and may even be a bit unexpected. These are the Phoebe from Friends restaurants in Auckland.
Wu & You
First up is cult classic, Wu & You. Are you looking for a great dining out experience? This place has delicious cocktails you need to take a swipe at, especially since they’re named after Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. They’ve even got their own quirky take on the classic Bloody Mary, with their Bloody Dragon, made from vodka, tomato juice, their own house spice mix, sesame oil, and seaweed. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any of their brunch dishes, such as their five spiced hawker roll with hoisin and star anise glaze. It’ll be sure to blow your head off and get you back to yourself if you’ve got a particularly nasty hangover. If you’re feeling spendy, try one of their desserts. #ResDiaryRecommends the Strawberry Bao-nut, a bao shaped doughnut with strawberry ice cream, fairy floss, and meringue. Dreamy.
We love Kazuya. Everyone loves Kazuya. They make brussel sprouts look like art, soup is served in a sphere, and you can even buy stollen here at Christmas time. Kazuya is a mixture of two types of cuisines, European and Japanese. You can go for the five or seven course menus, or the degustation. It’s fine dining at its quirkiest. When you’re there you feel like you’re on a magical night out, in a dream, where you can get anything you wish since the service is beyond exceptional, so much so that before you even realise it you’re on your final course. The interior is chic, minimal, and allows for privacy if you’re so inclined. Savour your time here, enjoy the flavours bursting in your mouth, and try the onion ice cream. Go on.
Nestled away in an old chocolate factory is one of Auckland’s best kept secrets. Legendary chef Kate Fay, mentor to many of Auckland’s best chefs, has spearheaded this quirky restaurant for over 6 years. She’s an artist and a brilliant chef. It’s the place where people “in the know” go and where “outrageous rumours are initiated over champagne, and business deals sealed with a cleansing ale”. One of the great dishes on the menu is the confit of Murrellen pork loin with satay noodles and cucumber dipping sauce, with Murrellen being the farm where the animal is from. You also haven’t been to Cibo if you haven’t tried Cibo’s famous pavlova, which comes in three different flavours, each too good to not include on the menu. You can choose from salted caramel and peanut brittle if you’re feelin’ salty. If you want something a little bit different, go for the turkish delight, strawberry, nougat, and pomegranate. However, if you want something boozy and brash, go for the brandy snap with ginger pav. All will excite you.
What’s more Phoebe from Friends than saying “Want to head to an island for dinner?”. Tantalus Estate on the incredible Waiheke Island is one of the vineyards you have to visit. Owners Campbell and Carrie opened the restaurant in 2016, and have never looked back. Some of our favourite dishes include the Whangamata scallops with fermented cabbage, kohlrabi, avocado, and beef dripping. For your main course, nothing is better than the Eastherbrook Farms duck breast with agria potatoes, manuka, watercress, cocoa, and coffee. If you still have enough room any of the desserts will be sure to tickle your fancy. We’d recommend booking here so you’re not disappointed especially after catching a boat for dinner.