A national children's charity will benefit from the annual outdoor White Plate Dinner on Whangārei's iconic Canopy Bridge.

The event, on tonight, is being organised by those behind popular Northland restaurants The Quay, No. 8, The Cove, The Dune and Mount Maunganui's No.8 and Fire.

General manager Steve O'Shea said last year their restaurants did the entree and main courses for the event, and another restaurant did the dessert.

"The original format was different restaurants were asked to do a course."

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This year the entire menu incorporates the flavours and themes from each of their restaurants.

O'Shea said this year, the group found out organiser Jodie Hannam was not going to be able to arrange the event on her own. So the restaurant group decided to take it on with Hannam's help.

O'Shea said it would have been such a shame not to have the event this year, especially because it was cancelled due to bad weather two years ago.

"It's such a big social event for Whangārei, it's such a great event to have in Northland."

He said it provided the opportunity to showcase the good food in the region.

O'Shea said they have changed the format, including adding a charity component to this year's dinner for the first time ever, with $10 from every ticket being donated to the Starship Foundation.

"We're hoping it's something that they'll continue on with."

Like last year, people no longer needed to bring their own plate, which had originally been the case.

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Guests are encouraged to wear white and will be seated at around 30 tables of eight people.

Tickets to the three course dinner, complete with entertainment from local band Otium in two of their sub band configurations Neapolitan and The Gold Cloaks, cost $150.

There are still some tickets left. To book one, email whiteplatedinner@gmail.com or call Jodie Hannam on 021 923 077.