Putting a Malaysian spin on the traditional buffet is all-you-can-eat Banana Leaf Sundays at the Mt Roskill restaurant Santhiya's. Locals have been beating a track to this restaurant's door for some time now thanks to the delicious cooking of chef and owner Youges Subramaniam. On Banana Leaf Sundays she serves unlimited portions of scrummy traditional South Indian-inspired Malaysian dishes (many of which have been passed down from generation to generation within Subramaniam's family), served on banana leaves. It doesn't get more authentic than that now does it? Plus the dishwasher must love it!
This is a halal restaurant so there is no alcohol served. $16 for Sunday lunch/$19 for Sunday dinner. 1270 Dominion Rd, Mt Roskill, ph (09) 620 2989.
Waiheke wine expo
Waiheke Winegrowers will be showcasing over 70 wines from 14 vineyards at the Waiheke Wine Expo at Harbourside opposite the ferry terminal on Tuesday from 4pm-7pm. Tickets are $25 and can be booked via firstname.lastname@example.org or 027 712 0384.
You read about them in last week - Morgan McGlone and Analiese Gregory, the top Kiwi chefs making their mark in Sydney - and you can now buy tickets to experience their talents when, along with Melbourne-based Dan Wilson, they cook up a storm in Auckland at the Next Crew dinner event. The six-course degustation along with matched wines, canapes and cocktails on arrival, is being held at a secret location and tickets cost $150.
Down the corner
The Corner Bar at De Bretts on High St has been an institution for Aucklanders for decades and has passed through a range of incarnations. We're thrilled to see its latest revamped look which is suitably polished with a High St edge. Open Tuesday to Saturday, noon till late.
The good people at Kohu Road have just opened a cafe and creamery in New Lynn. The stylish space allows you to indulge all your sweet-tooth fantasies as they serve up the best of their scrummy icecreams and sorbets along with Kokako coffee, cakes and lunch items. Open Mon-Sat 8am-5pm, 44 Portage Rd, New Lynn, ph 0800 564 876.
On the move
Well-respected chef Peter Thornley (Bracu, Kermadec) is heading south to run the Hilton Queenstown's signature restaurant, the Wakatipu Grill.
Menu picks looking at Viva's favourite dishes around town:
* Sidart: Go for the roquefort cheesecake alone. A small sphere of roquefort-infused icecream, served with a dessert wine, is the perfect way to complete an evening at Sidart - sublime. Three Lamps Plaza, 283 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby.
* Jeremy Schmid (or the king of all things charcutiere and sausage, as we like to call him) of Two Fifteen Bistro on Dominion Rd is doing a fabulous terrine of pork, wild mushrooms and pistachios which he serves with a pair chutney. Quite the best terrine we've tasted in this town for a long time. Two Fifteen Bistro, 215 Dominion Rd, ph (09) 630 6474.
* A half jug of sangria enjoyed with the deep-fried goat's cheese drizzled with runny honey and scattered with slivers of almonds will make you forget all about the declining temperatures. Bellota, SkyCity, Federal St, City, ph (09) 363 6000.
* Recently we had a dish that epitomises everything good about bistro food - simple, comforting and reasonably priced. We're talking about the free-range chicken leg with chestnut stuffing served on a bed of leeks and bacon at Sunday Painters at 185 Ponsonby Rd. Deliciously warming on a cold autumn night. Ph (09) 360 2001.