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French Café, Auckland

210 Symonds Street
Eden Terrace
Auckland , North Island
New Zealand
Tel: 64 9 377 1911
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Concierge.com's insider take:

Visitors aren't likely to find this place by walking past it: It's set on a rather scruffy block at the edge of Auckland's downtown. But as well-heeled locals know, it's worth seeking out. Inside the airy, light-filled dining room, bold modern paintings by Kiwi artist Karl Maughan hang opposite large windows. British expat chef Simon Wright's French-influenced cuisine is equally sophisticated. Diners linger over plates like a ragout of snails, smoked bacon, and shallots on parsley risotto or the signature dish, roast duck with mandarin purée, kumara mash, and bok choy. The eight-course degustation menu is a bargain at NZ$110 (about US$80). But splurge and get the wine pairing, too. Reservations are essential.

Closed Sundays and Mondays. Lunch on Fridays only.

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