A good game afternoon requires three things: quality food, drinks and games, of course. And no, we’re not just talking about chicken nuggets, juice boxes and Uno. We’re talking fusion tacos, vibrant cocktails and golden classics such as Settlers of Catan, Scrabble and Articulate, which Dice & Fork offers, plus much more.
A cheeky side note – among the 100+ games available, there is an adult-only selection for lovers of less PG games like Cards Against Humanity and What Do You Meme?
We were warmly welcomed by the owners, Haydn Young and Kathy Jiang. The husband and wife duo previously owned a food truck serving grilled cheese toasties at the Auckland Night Markets.
The restaurant is the brainchild of their passion for board games and hospitality. It’s a relaxed place, also a regular venue for social gaming meetups and a painting class.
The interior feels just like a family cabin. The open doors let air into the rustic, dimly-lit building with high ceilings. Although it feels vast and expansive, funky little additions such as potted plants, colourful paintings and a fireplace, gives a spacious yet comfortable and homely feel. The wooden table-tops and alcohol cabinet are handmade by Haydn himself, which adds a nice touch.
We stacked so many board games on our table – Guess Who, Connect Four, What Do You Meme – that we almost ran out of room for food.
Kathy presented us with two of her signature drinks – we weren’t told what they were, only that “we should trust her.” We were right to – out came a rosy-pink gimlet cocktail and a tangy, virgin piña colada that we happily slurped up. Plus, bonus points for using reusable metal straws.
Next came the sharing plates. Haydn made a special mention about all their sauces being house-made. The pumpkin and potato mash croquettes with feta and coriander paired well with the spring onion dip. The outside of the croquette was golden and crispy, while the inside melted like mozzarella. The delightfully-spicy spring onion dip provided a nice kick alongside gooey goodness.
The pumpkin salad, featured roast pumpkin, spinach, feta, pepitas and manuka honey dressing. Although the savoury notes from the feta and spiced pepitas added a nice contrast to the dressing, it was a little too sweet.
The bap and taco were ready at the perfect time – after losing a game of Connect Four, I was looking forward to some comfort food as consolation.
Note, their tortilla tacos are Kiwi-inspired and not authentic Mexican. I ripped the smoky beef taco in half to share – with chipotle mayo, pineapple, pico de gallo and coriander dribbling down my fingers. The beef brisket was tender. Although I was expecting more of a zing from the pineapple and pico de gallo, the house-made sauce made up for it, and I devoured the entire thing in one bite.
Now, for the highlight of the meal – the portobello bap. “You wouldn’t normally think of ordering this [mushroom bap] but it’s so meaty and juicy that I recommend it to everybody,” says Haydn.
The buttery brioche bun, was toasted to perfection. The mushrooms were sweet and succulent. The spinach was stuck inside a web of gooey, melted Swiss cheese. Heaven. And the sweet jalapeño mayo added just the right amount of punch and sweetness to a sinfully-good dish.
A day at Dice & Fork is just what you need when you desire some relaxed, low-key fun. Comfort food with a twist, cocktails and a board game range that tempts even the most sophisticated person – what else could you want?
Dice & Fork
210 Victoria St W,
Tue: 11:30am- 9:00pm
Wed: 11:30am- 9:30pm
Thu: 11:30am- 10:00pm
Friday and Saturday: 11:30am- 11:30pm
Sun: 11:30am- 9pm