We have been calling Commercial Bay home for just over three months now and it is only fitting to bring you our Asuwere Members guide to Commercial Bay. It is no secret that Commercial Bay has outdone themselves with the fit-out and stunning location, bringing a unrivalled shopping experience to Aotearoa.
Not only are the fit-out and sea views something to marvel at, but what is more impressive is the great mix of retailers and eateries that are on offer. Over the last 3 months we have bro’d down with some local legends and enjoyed what they have on offer.
No stranger to Asuwere, our good friends at Aotea. Tama and Simon have brought a slice of Aotea / Great Barrier Island to downtown Auckland (that Kauri counter was literally brought over on boat). Aotea produces a therapeutic goods range, from moisturisers and honey to their versatile Kawakawa balm. They grow the native flora and extract the oils on a little patch of land on Aotea, Great Barrier Island. The products are amazing, be sure to stop by.
With their second Auckland premise, the Gentry has to be one of the most beautifully designed barbershops in the country. Adrian has been in the game for over 20 years and his crew bring a relaxed vibe with great fades, hot towels and cold beers along with some good chat.
The Food Court
This foodcourt is on level 2 and offers an elevated shared dining experience of a standard beyond the likes of your regular mall foodcourt.. With pretty much every cuisine covered, we have struggled to tick them all off. Must try’s include: Eat India (Kati roll is a must), Good Dog Bad Dog hot dogs (more of a treat), Fatima's (always great), Needo pasta (for the hungry ones), Gusstop Cafe (for a quick bite on the go), Nam Nam (fresh Vietnamese), Foodu dumplings (cheap and cheerful), Hammer & Tong (home cooked meal).
Dine in - it is easy to miss but the best seats in the house are along the Quay Street side of level 2, hidden behind Fatima’s.
Gochu is one of the most coveted restaurants here, and for good reason. Ollie and David have done it again with a modern Korean bar and restaurant serving local, seasonal ingredients with a bustling atmosphere and great service. Their dishes are inspired by David's Korean childhood, made with the best New Zealand ingredients, topped off with classic cocktails. The fried chicken is a must.
An Asian-inspired restaurant bar with self service drinks and incredible sea views is a recipe for success. Situated on level 1, Poni Room is a must try. With exceptional seafood, delicious cocktails and great music, make sure you book to guarantee a spot.
Also along the seaside frontage you have the ever faithful Burger Burger serving up the goods, and Hawker and Roll with their Malaysian Street Food. Recently opened is Saxon and Parole. We are yet to try, but have heard good things.
Perfect for a lunchtime or afterwork brew, Public Bar is at the end of the food court and overlooks Britomart station. With Auckland's lack of preserved heritage architecture this view is much to appreciate, making you feel like you are enjoying a drink overseas. Not sure if this is legit, but we have taken food from the food court here which is a bonus.
A night club in a shopping centre is not something we are familiar with in NZ but it now exists and it's a bit of a vibe. Following your dinner, drink or day of shopping why not wrap up with a Mexican inspired Mezcal and Tequila bar? The cocktails here are delicious and you are thrown into a bit of a sensory overload with thousands of fairy lights covering a moody low roof club. You’ll instantly forget that you are at Commercial Bay.
Originally from a Snells Beach garage just north of Auckland, Nico and his wife Emily started the business on the side of being a renowned pastry chef and interior designer with weekend markets at Matakana and an online store in 2016. Fast Forward 5 years, this A-team has awards, two premises and some of the most amazing chocolate you'll ever try. Nico is also an Asuwere member, so you know he has good taste.
We cannot forget the morning, especially with Commercial Bay's early starts.
Commercial Bay has you covered from morning until night. For coffee you cannot go wrong with Best Ugly and a low tide flat white, obviously followed by one of their delicious bagels. Best news is, they are right next door to Asuwere. Kokako also has you sorted on level one.
Bowl and Arrow do a fantastic brew and an even better smoothie bowl, also on level one.
And last but not least, with more great options when you are on the go or just need a sweet treat to get you through, at the top of little Queen St you’ll find Blue Bells bakery - delicious.
And that’s what 3 months of eating at one place looks like.