From international award-winning chefs to special offers from favourite city centre restaurants, American Express Restaurant Month is set to indulge the senses this August with a calendar of diverse culinary events

Heart of the City’s American Express Restaurant Month, is returning this August to showcase the city centre’s diverse dining scene across 31 days of foodie experiences.

More than 100 city centre restaurants are taking part in this year’s event, which kicks off on 1 August and includes a calendar packed full of unique dining experiences – from the return of the popular Chef Dining Series and more than 25 one-off events to special set menus offered at three price points; $25, $40 and $55+.

With world renowned guest chefs joining a line-up of New Zealand’s best chefs and restaurants, diners will have the opportunity to experience new innovative menus, techniques and international flavours.

Heart of the City Chief Executive Viv Beck says American Express Restaurant Month, now in its ninth year, keeps going from strength to strength.

“This event has become a highlight in Auckland’s epicurean calendar. We are thrilled to be bringing it back for another year of showcasing the diversity of culinary talent and phenomenal restaurants we have right here in the heart of the city.

“From fine dining with internationally recognised chefs, to a relaxed mid-winter BBQ, this year is about cele-brating dining in all its various forms and giving food-lovers a taste of some of the incredible experiences that can only be had in the city centre.”

American Express Restaurant Month is a well proven success story attracting locals and visitors to the city centre alike. Last year’s event saw a 10% increase in spending amongst participating restaurants when com-pared with the equivalent period in 2017.

Among the most anticipated events of American Express Restaurant Month is the popular Chef Dining Series. It will see a line-up of international legends from New York, Hong Kong and Melbourne join forces with top local chefs to deliver unique menus in special one-night-only events, held each Wednesday throughout August.

A Taste of Dirt Candy at Giraffe

Wednesday 7 August 2019 – $180 per person

When celebrated Canadian-born chef Amanda Cohen opened her 18-seat restaurant in New York back in 2008, she made her intentions clear: “Vegetables are amazing. Made out of little more than water, sunlight, and dirt they wind up growing into a candy store full of colour and flavour. And that’s what I want Dirt Can-dy to be: nature’s candy store.” Hosting Amanda Cohen for the night is one of the city’s most well-known and enduring Chefs – Simon Gault and his team at Giraffe. For anyone who loves their greens, this dinner event will be tasty and quirky. Think New York Lower East Side meets Auckland waterfront for a vegetable extrav-aganza.

A Taste of Roots at The Grove

Wednesday 14 August 2019 – $250 per person

The only restaurant outside Auckland to have achieved the ultimate three-hat status in the Cuisine Good Food Awards is the recently closed Roots Restaurant of Lyttleton. Headed up by Chef Owner Giulio Sturla, Roots was renowned for its menus that featured flavours and textures of in-season, often foraged, local, ethical and sustainable produce. Hosting Giulio for the night will be the also three-hatted Grove team including executive chef, Swiss born Kira Ghidoni, the ever-present front of house Fabien Decoux and leading restaurateur Mi-chael Dearth. This exclusive event will be a chance for New Zealand diners to experience a taste of the magic of Roots.

A Taste of Maha at Soul

Wednesday 21 August 2019 – $199 per person

Named after Chef and Owner Shane Delia’s wife, Melbourne’s Maha restaurant is celebrated for its fresh, con-temporary Middle Eastern menu with a cutting-edge style that has redefined this ancient cuisine through modern dining. Chef, Television Presenter and Author, Shane Delia and the Maha team will join Gavin Doyle of SOUL Bar & Bistro to create a one-off menu of full-flavoured Middle Eastern dishes and a night of celebrat-ing a shared love of food and company.

 A Taste of Aaharn at Huami

Wednesday 28 August 2019 – $230 per person

Culinary legend David Thompson is a master of Thai cuisine and made his name internationally when his London restaurant Nahm, was the first Thai restaurant in the world awarded a Michelin star within six months of opening. After a successful tenure with Nahm in London and Bangkok, Thompson left the Nahm brand to focus on new businesses as a way to explore promote and preserve Thai gastronomy.

This includes his chain of Long Chim restaurants in Singapore, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth and the newly opened Aaharn in Hong Kong.  Thompson is teaming up with Raymond Xue at HUAMI to bring an extraordinary and authentic Taste of Aaharn right here in the heart of the city for one night only.

For more information on American Express Restaurant Month 2019 including a full list of participating restaurants, menus, and calendar of events visit

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