Acclaimed chef and TV personality Ben Bayly hits the road this month, filming his third season of his series A New Zealand Food Story which is due to screen on TVNZ in early 2024.
The show documents Bayly’s journey of discovery as he meets the farmers and producers selected to supply his flagship restaurant Ahi, which showcases the very best of New Zealand on a plate and is located within Commercial Bay, downtown Auckland.
While info on season three is strictly under wraps, Ahi’s latest tasting menu – He Korero o kai Aotearoa or A New Zealand Food Story – has launched – delivering the latest great New Zealand ingredients that Ben and his team have discovered, paired with vegetables grown at the restaurant’s Ahi Organic Gardens – harvested twice a week and delivered straight to the restaurant.
Bayly says this tasting menu is the best way to experience Ahi – and the seasonal modern New Zealand food culture – and is an Ahi experience that he, head chef Mike Shatura and the team have designed for diners to remember long after they have left the restaurant.
“We see every guest that shows up at our restaurant as a blessing, how did they find us? Seek us out? Where did they hear about us? Every customer took a journey to come to Ahi and I never want to take this for granted,” he says.
“For this, our customers deserve an amazing memorable moment in time while they are here”.
A New Zealand Food Story (the menu) is available for lunch and dinner indefinitely and comprises of 10 items, four snacks and four courses and an additional two koha items for $165 per person. Several items on this menu are not available on the à la carte menu.
Without revealing too much of the menu to retain the surprise element, think interesting and valued yet underutilised iconic New Zealand ingredients like long finned eel and yellow foot queen pāua.
Fast forward to the conclusion and diners can expect a truly theatrical ending with Aotearoa grown bananas from Northland’s Wapiū, made into a sticky toffee banana cake with a decadent banana custard, burnt banana skin ice cream, Northland pistachios and finished with spiced rum fireworks.
To avoid disappointment, bookings for Ahi’s A New Zealand Food Story tasting menu are recommended. For bookings and more information on Ahi see ahirestaurant.co.nz.