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 for the month of September. 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.

(Check out our week 2 wrap here and our week 1 wrap here.)

Chinese Steamboat Restaurant, 283-289 Dominion Rd, Mt Eden
We ordered: A buffet for two people at $25 a head. Great value for this spread. It was a steamboat style of cooking in hot soup at our table. We picked lamb, a bunch of different Chinese vegetables plus a selection of ready to eat sides like broccoli with garlic, edamame and sago. We decided to avoid the seafood, but there was plenty on offer.

The vibe was: Gearing up for a big night.

The décor looked: Clean, but a little tacky with all the soft drink options left out for people to help themselves.

The service was: All that we needed - a friendly face delivered our spicy soup and the rest was up to us.

We left feeling: Like we wanted to come back and really make the most of that all-you-can-eat steamboat offer with a group of people.

We could see their D grade: Was cheekily hidden by a golden lucky cat, so we asked to see the grade.

The most D-grade thing about it: Potentially the seafood that was left out, unrefrigerated for the entire five hour dinner service.