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Dine by Peter Gordon, Auckland, North Island

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Skycity Grand Hotel, 90 Federal Street
City Center
Auckland , North Island
New Zealand
Tel: 64 9 363 7030's insider take:

Native son Peter Gordon burst onto the Wellington scene in 1986, then ran restaurants in London, New York and Istanbul before deciding he wanted to come home again. In spring 2005 he did so with a vengeance, taking over as master and commander of this sophisticated dining room in Auckland's newest hotel. He even had a hand in the look of the place: aged leather seats, dark wood floors, and marble bar. In 20 years, Gordon's style has evolved but hasn't really changed: He's still a primo Pacific Rim guy, able to fuse without tears, making it look easy and taste astonishing. Dishes like smoked coconut laksa with grilled shrimp, chicken galangal dumpling, green tea noodles, coriander, crispy shallots, and a fried quail's egg (that's an appetizer), or pan-fried blue cod on roast cauliflower and snake beans with pimentón-battered okra and lemon salsa sound as if they must surely have three ingredients too many—but one bite and you're a convert.

No lunch on weekends.

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