Westpac on Takutai Square,
50 Customs Street East,
+64 9 368 5315
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Just to clarify, the below review is based on two visits I made to District Dining.
The atmosphere of the place was comfortable and cosy. Although, it did get a bit too warm on my second visit and was a little uncomfortable. The place could do with a little more lighting as well. It's nice to have that dim environment, but it was a tad too dim.
Service was a little mixed. While they were efficient in serving, some staff don't appear to be that happy. Overall, not brilliant but not bad service either. Service on my second visit was much better. I think it just comes down to who your wait staff is.
There was never really a long wait for food to be served. So that was a plus.
Most everything was delicious. There were one or two misses, but those were negligible. E.g. broth for scallop ravioli was too salty and the brisket could do with a bit of sauce. The brisket was tender, but being a brisket, I thought it still needed sauce as it is dry meat. Otherwise, lovely flavours going on. Definitely a good variety of flavours.
On my second visit, I was rather disappointed as they'd removed the shepherd's pie from their menu. In its stead was a lamb dish which I think more than made up for the absence of the shepherd's pie.
Desserts were the stand-outs. Yum! I am not a fan of Banoffee pie, but District's was just delicious.
I've read some previous reviews where people have complained about their portion sizes. Not sure if perhaps they have increased the volume of food per serving but I thought the portion sizes were fair and reasonable. Meals as promoted as "share" plates but they're not quite like a Chinese meal where 1 dish is enough for 2-3 people. For 7 persons, we found 6 small, 6 large and 6 desserts to be plenty.
Drinks are on pricier side.
All in all, great food. Do give the pig's ears a go. A great dish to munch on while having a beer or any alcoholic beverage. Shared plate concept is also awesome, allowing variety.
Wow - what a stunning dining experience - one that certainly must rank as one of Auckland's best.
Everything about District Dining was exemplary. The service very helpful and engaging, setting great and food...let me at that Shepherds Pie again please! Great to see District Dining live up to the hype which is not always the case with so many of Auckland's recent restaurant openings.
Having read mixed reviews on District Dining I was incredibly impressed with the restaurant. The decor is stunning, ambiance great and service faultless. The menu had some interesting choices which had us intrigued to say the least. We started with some pork pancakes which were fabulous, then shared the shepherd's pie and ribs along with the scallop ravioli. The pie was the hit of the night with the seafood benefiting from the tasty broccoli and chili and harissa potatoes. For me the dessert at District Dining really won me over....a peanut butter parfait with banana ice cream was a winner, whilst my partner favoured the espresso brulee and biscotti. To drink we enjoyed the Kumeu River chardonnay and Emerson's beer. Overall I was extremely impressed and would definitely go back to District Dining.
Great new restaurant that I finally had the opportunity to enjoy. Great and varied menu & wine list. Excellent service and the lamb shoulder shepherds pie is highly recommended!
The decor, service and ambiance of District Dining was fantastic but the food was sadly lacking. The tiny portion sizes did not justify the price. The veal sweetbread and the duck confit were both too dry and overcooked. The lamb rump dish was too salty and the meat was tough. The only dishes at District Dining that we enjoyed were the chicken liver pâté and the espresso brûlée.
Went to District Dining for my brother in law's birthday on Saturday night - was slightly dubious as had read mostly positive reviews, but one which had criticized portion size, music and lack of atmosphere. I found the opposite to be true. Either the owners have taken this previous criticism on board and done something about it, or I entirely disagree with that reviewer. I loved absolutely loved District Dining. There was a fantastic buzzing atmosphere and the portions sizes were explained as being more substantial at the pricier end of the menu, and less so at the cheaper end. All sat beneath the heading "something to share" so wasn't expecting mains sizes as such or to be satiated by ordering just one plate to myself. I'm not a fine type really, as I despise the often sedated atmosphere and waiting staff hovering around in the shadows, waiting to leap on my table in the name of "good service", so this style of eatery suits me to the ground. Beautiful dark sleek interior, friendly approachable service and delicious food. Simple menu, well executed.We were completely gluttonous, ordering a cocktail each, two bottles of riesling, five orders from the "something to snack on" menu, four orders from the "something to share" menu along with two desserts between four of us - all of which came to just over $100 per head.Eating highlights:- Szechuan salted crispy pig ears, the melt in your mouth slow roasted lamb, beef tartare with hand-cut chips, toasted sourdough and a bang on perfect aoli. The banana ice-cream sandwich was to die for. In fact, who am I kidding? It was all my favourite. Delicious. Eight thumbs up from all 4 of us. Thank you District Dining for a really super night.
Greeted by no staff member upon entering, I saw my friends already sitting at the table with a couple of glasses of wine, but of course, so I just sat myself to unite our trio.My friends had already ordered a couple of entrées to share, yet to decide on Mains, so I duly check out the menu and could not go pass the Duck. Mains ordered and a carafe of Crater Rims “Black Friday” pinot noir for pleasure.The entrées have arrived. Mussel Fritters with preserved Lemon are light, fluffy and tasty to the last bite; you don’t need the mayo to enjoy these Mayonnaise, chicken liver parfait with Port Jelly, Toast, Red Grape. Its gorgeous! I had to restrain from licking the jar it’s served in.Entrées swiftly cleared, and we sit admiring the art work, the hidden writing in the wall, to a flock of back birds flying over the big windows. The layout of District Dining is what I would call “minimalist chic”, with dark wooden waiting room/bar upon entering, then two stages to the Restaurant, the furthest stage containing the main bar. I find this venue very comfortable.Our waiter tops up our water and before we knew it our mains had arrived. 2x Duck Confit and 1x 12 hour Lamb shoulder. 12 hours have made this Lamb as delicate and flavoursome like my mother does, but better (Sorry Mum!) the eggplant cooked in a typical Italian style with a smoky grilled taste, accompanied with olives and tomatoes. The Duck is intentionally overcooked with Ras el hanot. The meat easily carves off the bone to combine in mouthfuls with the kumara mash and pomegranate. Everything about this dish works so beautifully. We are all in love with the Chef/s right now! There is room for dessert, but there is no more time, so I will be back for dinner.This was an absolutely stunning lunch! For the upper end of Restaurants - District Dining Auckland has got it! The only fault I will give it, the service had no personal touch to it, but the staffs are attentive so District Dinning Auckland gets 4&1/2 St
Headed along to District Dining (Auckland - not the Sydney one, popping in there might have been a bit suave for 'date night' with the wife!) and it lived up to the reputation it has quickly garnered.
The concept of 'sharing' plates really worked (though the wife's not a sharer - at least not of her food - what's hers is hers and what's mine, is hers!).
Even tried the crispy pigs ears - which were posh pork scratchings (it's an English pub snack thing - have to have had at least 3 pints to swallow one without heaving). These however were actually quite moreish!
Great service, great food - and the company was pretty good too!
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