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.

Ulutoa & Sons Taste of Samoa, 87 Mangere Rd, Otahuhu
We ordered: A $4 serving of what we thought was a vegetable curry and asked for the staff's favourite meat choice - she picked the fried chicken thigh ($5). The curry was mostly inedible bits of bone - we picked out a few pieces of potato and carrot. The fried chicken meat was okay, but we left the skin aside.

The vibe was: Pretty drab, although a couple of locals popped their heads in while we were paying.

The décor looked: Like an unloved takeout joint.

The service was: Shy but polite.

We left feeling: Eager to tuck in to our takeout, but when our plastic spoons gave it a go, we didn't feel that good about it.

We could see their D grade: Was actually an E stuck on the wall as we paid. E grades are forced to shut their doors until changes are made and the place is reassessed, so we're not sure what happened.

The most D-grade thing about it: Was the fact that we could see an E.