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.

The Roast Fish, 547-549 Dominion Rd, Balmoral
We ordered: Pork and chive dumplings (20 for $12), broccoli with garlic ($12) and stiry-fry lamb with leek ($18). Every dish delicious - what we couldn't finish we took home in a doggy bag for later. They took a little while to arrive to the table, but we were told the handmade dumplings were prepared fresh so it was to be expected (and totally worth it).

The vibe was: Pumping during this early evening sitting. We had fun checking out all interesting dishes being ordered by patrons around us.

The décor looked: Clean and comfortable. We liked the small open window peeking in to the kitchen.

The service was: Very good. They helped us pick some winning dishes, and we we paid they said, "we hope to see you again!" Nice touch.

We left feeling: Surprised that the place was a D.

We could see their D grade: Wasn't around, so we looked up their rating on the Auckland Council website. Since the series began The Roast Fish has moved premises, changed its name to Cafe Manchuria, and been upgraded to a B (although they hung an A on the wall). A note at the old Roast Fish directed us to this site and we were reassured that this was "the same thing".

The most D-grade thing about it: Nothing anymore, hence the well-deserved upgrade.

- www.nzherald.co.nz