Following a kitchen fire that partially destroyed the restaurant earlier this year, O’Connell Street Bistro in Auckland officially reopens Friday 9 September.
The seven-month hiatus has been an opportunity for owners Chris Upton and Amanda Mason, head chef Mark Southon and their team, to give the very popular inner city bistro a major overhaul.

Upton said diners will now enjoy a refreshed space that still retains an intimate bistro feel.

“The old O’Connell Street Bistro remains in many ways but we have also taken the opportunity to rethink some of the fundamental aspects of the business, from the ambience to the tableware, logo and the menu itself,” said Upton.

“Mark has developed an exciting new menu that showcases seasonal ingredients and reflects our unwavering passion for presenting modern European cuisine in innovative ways.

“In addition to our new menu, regulars will also be pleased to find some of the old favourites they know and love, remain.”

While retaining a selection of what Upton calls ‘bistro classics’, the celebrated squid, the rabbit pappardelle, and the restaurant’s renowned crème brulee, Southon’s new menu incorporates a list of standout dishes.

“Some of my personal favourites include the lamb rump and truffle glazed sweetbreads and a stunning ‘toffee apple’ dessert with Granny Smith sorbet, Royal Gala butterscotch and elderflower jelly.”

As well as the new flavours, patrons will also notice differences in the restaurant itself.

“The new décor conveys a more luxurious experience for diners while there are some surviving chattels from before the fire that we would never turn our back on, they are an important part of the bistro’s history. We are very much looking forward to building on our traditions in new and exciting ways.”