Last month Central Auckland's dirtiest eating establishments were named.

Food grades in the former Auckland City region show 10 restaurants and cafes have received E grades, with 29 given a D grade.

The New Zealand Herald online asked readers if they were influenced by the food grading system. Nearly 13,500 readers responded and just over half said they used the rating to make a call about whether to dine there. Or not.

But to the every day diner, how do these places really stack up?


A few brave members of the online team have decided to put their bellies on the line and review all 29 of the D listers, revealing one a day. D grade eateries are reviewed twice a year, according to Auckland City Council. While they are subject to change, our list is correct as of the last week of August, 2013. If the grade is changed at the time of publication this will be made clear in the review.

So join us on our journey eating through the D list. Check in at lunch each day, read our review, and let us know in the poll if you have - or would - eat at the outlet.

Yummy Palace Restaurant, 17 Crowhurst St, Newmarket
We ordered: The spicy soup and an array of goodies to cook ourselves in the hot pot: lamb ($8), dried bean curd ($5), Chinese cabbage ($5) and broccoli ($5). Our rooky reputation with this method of dining got a few giggles at first, but we soon improved and began to enjoy playing with the flavours.

The vibe was: A bit deserted this lunch time, but the pop music playing and ample seating made us think this place could be packed during a Saturday supper service.

The décor looked: Polished and neat.

The service was: Very kind and friendly. The wait staff were pretty casual in their approach, but doing their best to explain to us how the menu worked.

We left feeling: Like we'd had a fun time and not eaten too badly.

We could see their D grade: Nowhere, so we asked where it was. They said it was an A grade and it was in the mail. It turns out they were telling the truth. According to the Auckland Council food gradings search, they have since been upgraded to an A.

The most D-grade thing about it: The wait staff looked a bit too casual, but it didn't feel too D from the dining room. They must have lifted their game since the first inspection.