East, a new vegetarian restaurant in the heart of Auckland, has opened and if the food is as good as its calming interior then we want to book a table. Pronto.
East Restaurant’s architectural interior has been created by Luchetti Krelle, an award-winning architecture and interior design firm that specialises in hospitality and created Longrain in Tokyo and Acme in Sydney. East has a cover capacity of 100 and will be open for lunch and dinner daily.
The East team of chefs, who represent culinary traditions from Japan, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka, is led by Harmeet Singh. “I’m excited to not only be cooking regional Asian flavours, but to be applying them to plant-focussed, vegetarian and vegan cooking.
We have been experimenting, developing and embracing techniques, including fermentation. We’ve created our own sauces, including prik nam pla, nahm jim, chili oil and a vegan ‘XO’ sauce (featuring shitake mushrooms and using a special process to achieve texture and flavour) inhouse.
The result is a menu that has depth without relying on meat and that celebrates the piquant, sour, sweet and umami of the Asian flavour profile,” says Singh.
Seventy five percent of the dishes on offer are vegan and 70 percent are gluten free. The modern-Asian eatery is also one of few restaurants in New Zealand to have an extensive, 100 percent organic and vegan wine list featuring New Zealand and Italian vintages.
The cocktail menu offers a bespoke range of pan-Asian drinks, including an Omo Sake — jasmine-infused tengumai junmai sake, campari, sweet vermouth, tea pearl; a Shochu Sesame Sour — Hombo shuzo shochu, lemon juice, honey syrup, sesame, grapefruit and hops bitters; and a non-alcoholic Nang Pimm — Seedlip spice, lemonade, lemon juice, angostura bitters, strawberries, Thai basil, blackberry and balsamic bitters.