I love the museums in the different cities I visit for my work. And even better if they have a proper cafe or bistro to have lunch in.
It’s a rainy day in Auckland and I decided to spend the day in the Auckland Museum (also referred to as the Auckland War Memorial Museum on Google Map). And I took the whole day looking around the wonderful exhibitions and was quite hungry by the mid-day. They have a wonderful bistro on the ground floor just by the T-Rex. You can go to the bistro without buying an entrance ticket for the museum (which was quite expensive for a foreigner).
In te Reo Māori, Tuitui means ‘to stitch together’, but it can also refer to the meeting of friends and whanau (family) over good kai (food) and kōrero (conversation). What’s interesting was the special menu that coincided with the special exhibit that was going in the museum. When I was there, it was the Greek exhibits on loan from the British Museum. And on the menu was a special Greek moussaka.
Daily changing soup with bread
It’s such a cold day, I needed some soup to warm me up. I was so underdressed this trip as I didn’t expected a sudden winter to descend on me. The daily changing soup was a butternut squash with pine nuts and some other interest ingredients. I was not so much of a pumpkin aficionado but I really needed something warm.
It was not the soup that surprised me, but butter. I grew up with Anchor butter which is from New Zealand, but this artisan butter from some local producer was totally different. Creamy and just fresh tasting. It was delicious with the toasted bread. But I had to watch it as I had a main course coming.
Chips, mushy peas, tartare, lemon, malt spray
The fish was snapper and was very flaky. For me, the best fish and chips are still made with either the common cod or halibut. But Tuitui’s version was very good, just flaky. The malt spray was like a soy sauce/fish sauce spray that was delicious on the fish. And the house made tartar sauce was great with the rough cut chips. Didn’t enjoy the mushy peas though, but it was simply personal preference.
The day I went to Tuitui was a weekend and the kids were out in full force with their grannies and parents in tow. Tuitui was packed to the brim and they were half-staffed as they came back from the lockdown.
The food was delicious and the serving was generous. I told them they didn’t need to be apologetic as this was common among my F&B friends as they struggled to get back from the long “break” when many of the usual staff went on to look for other work. Now I had all the calories loaded, back to my museum tour.
Tuitui Museum Bistro & Café
Parnell, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Visited in Jun 2022