Throughout August, Restaurant Month is taking over dozens of our favourite Auckland dining spots, with many of the one-off degustations and special menus showcasing the wealth of fresh and flavoursome vegetables we're lucky to have readily available. Whether you're already a dedicated fan of brussels sprouts or are curious to find out just how delicious leafy greens can be, read on to find out about what vege-inspired delights the city's top eateries have on their menus...
A Taste of Pope Joan – Wednesday August 10
Guests at this four-course banquet will be some of the first to try the new menu of Pope Joan – a Melbourne restaurant co-owned by renowned chef and lover of vegetables Matt Wilkinson. For this feast, he's teamed up with Odettes’ chef Josh Kucharik to create a series of dishes that celebrate the freshest local produce available. However, this isn't one for vegetarians – Matt's takes on Roasted Kumara with Baby Stems, Baby Roasted Cauliflowers, Brussels Sprouts Salad, and Carrots with Devilled Egg Sauce will be scattered between courses of Oysters and Black Bean Vinaigrette and homemade cheeses and dips to start, followed by Cured Local Fish in Seawater with Octopus Sauce and then Spiced Nelson Wild Goat. With two cookbooks and extensive restaurant experience under his belt, Matt is set to bring fresh treats to Odette's Eatery. Find tickets and view the full menu by clicking here. We have a copy of Matt's book Mr Wilkinson's Favourite Vegetables to give away – click here to enter the draw.
Onam Vegetarian Festival – Sunday August 28
Taking place at Elliot Stables, this day-long festival will see the team from Ela Cuisine host a feast of 15 vegetarian items with roots in Travancore cuisine (a historical Indian Kingdom). The day is set to include plates of pappadams, banana chips, chilli, mango chutney, sambhar, chilli, erissery, plus many more. Book for one of the hour-long sessions taking place throughout Sunday and get set to eat as many flavour-packed dishes as you can manage. Tickets are $30, find out more by clicking here.
Clooney – Seven-course vegetarian dinner
Clooney's carefully refined style of cuisine will see a menu which will see incredible combinations such as Fermented Tomato with Gooseberry, Gnudi with Sweet and Sour Carrot, and Rye with Shiitake and Sweetcorn appear on your plate. If that wasn't tempting enough, the final course will be a decadent dessert of Burnt Buffalo Milk with Valhrona. You can enjoy this for a price of $80 – click here to find out more about Clooney's month-long vegetarian menu.
Ebisu – Four-course dinner with wine matches
Serving fresh, contemporary Japanese fare, Ebisu's vegetarian menu consists of miso-glazed eggplant, mixed vegetable tempura and a refreshing yuzu sorbet to finish. Click here to find out more about the restaurant, as well as the options on offer for meat-lovers.
Café Hanoi – Two-course vegetarian lunch with wine matches
Vietnamese favourite Café Hanoi has dreamt up a tasty vegetarian menu which includes fresh summer rolls, lemongrass tofu, crispy pancake with fresh herbs and a seasonal vegetable curry, matched with Joseph Drouhin or Carrick wines. It costs $40 and is available throughout the month – click here to find out more about their Restaurant Month special.