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For some nostalgia, the cocktail list at the bar Kiss Kiss can only be seen through a View-Master toy.
NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE

A guide to local favorites in Sandringham

For some nostalgia, the cocktail list at the bar Kiss Kiss can only be seen through a View-Master toy.
  • By Rebekah White
  • Photos by Lottie Hedley
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Sandringham
Auckland
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Two of Auckland’s arterial roads, running parallel to each other, host two of the city’s most vibrant food communities. Separated by barely half a mile, Sandringham Road’s hub of South Asian cuisine is matched only by Dominion Road’s strip of East Asian eateries, the closest thing Auckland has to a Chinatown.

Restaurants in these areas regularly pop up, flare in popularity, move or disappear. Many others, though, are stalwarts that have stood the test of time, becoming favorites for solo weeknight dining or chaotic, large-group “BYOs” — gatherings where diners bring their own drinks.

Meet Rebekah White

Born and raised in Auckland, Rebekah White is the editor of New Zealand Geographic magazine and travels the country writing about science, nature and outdoor pursuits. When in her hometown, she spends her time finding new running routes and places to eat, or lingering in old-favorite cafes with a book.

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mail-solidEmail bytheway@washpost.com
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Sandringham

New Flavour
Finding a good meal after 10 p.m. in Auckland is a tough ask, which is why taxis full of hungry revelers routinely journey to this strip of Dominion Road in the wee hours. New Flavour was the first standout among the dumpling houses, and it still epitomizes them: fluorescent lighting, brusque service, transcendent dumplings and a 3 a.m. closing.
537 Dominion Rd., Mount Eden, Auckland 1041, New Zealand
The Capitol Cinema
Most moviehouses in Auckland are chains, but the single-screen Capitol is a standout exception. Its imposing neo-Greek facade, which dates to 1923, is equaled within by its dark-wood lobby and purple velour theater seats. The cinema announced its closure in early 2019, spurring widespread dismay, but new owners quickly stepped in to save it.
The Capitol Cinema, 610 Dominion Rd., Balmoral, Auckland 1041, New Zealand
Kiss Kiss
The design, inspired by video games and dollar stores, and the long communal tables make dining at Kiss Kiss feel like being at an exclusive theme party — with excellent Thai food. The sharing plates here are generous, and the cocktail menu can only be read by peering into a View-Master. (Remember those?) The efficient service suggests you shouldn’t stay long, but you’ll want to.
Kiss Kiss, 1 Rocklands Ave., Mount Eden, Auckland 1024, New Zealand
Hulu Cat
There are Hulu Cat locations scattered across Auckland, but this hole-in-the-wall on Dominion Road is perfectly situated to take advantage of post-dumpling-feast sugar cravings. The bubble teas are endlessly customizable in terms of tapioca pearl size, sweetness, warmth and so on. The taro milk tea is a good place to start.
Hulu Cat, 603 Dominion Rd., Mount Eden, Auckland 1041, New Zealand
Paradise
This restaurant has become so popular that there are now three of them next door to one another: takeaway, dine-in and buffet. It’s with good reason. Paradise’s Hyderabadi-origin halal cuisine is some of the best Indian in town. Assemble the largest group you can, start with a tikka masala, a biryani, a paneer and a korma, and share the lot.
Paradise, 591 Sandringham Rd., Sandringham, Auckland 1025, New Zealand
Shubh
The takeaway counter at Shubh offers the best value in Auckland: containers of Punjabi curries stacked alongside bags of naan and roti. Try the sour-sweet yogurt curry and the white-chickpea curry, and don’t overlook the desserts by the door. Grab an order of gulab jamun (think doughnut holes soaked in syrup) and the milk-based rasmalai.
520-524 Sandringham Rd., Sandringham, Auckland 1025, New Zealand
Potters Park
During World War II, Potters Park was a garden whose produce sales raised funds for servicemen and their families. Today, it has a children’s playground and a huge piece of public art, a sculpture of a walking boy reminiscent of Waldo. The century-old green space is a regular stop on heritage tours for its view down Dominion Road of Auckland old and new.
Potters Park, 173 Balmoral Rd., Mount Eden, Auckland 1024, New Zealand
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Rebekah White
Born and raised in Auckland, Rebekah White is the editor of New Zealand Geographic magazine and travels the country writing about science, nature and outdoor pursuits. When in her hometown, she spends her time finding new running routes and places to eat, or lingering in old-favorite cafes with a book.
Lottie Hedley
Lottie Hedley is a contributing photographer to The Washington Post based in Auckland, a city that, in the summer, combines all her favorite things — super-fresh produce, long walks and swimming. The best walk, in her view, is the Milford-Takapuna trail: It has fascinating volcanic geology, you can stop and swim at Thorne Bay, and at the end at Takapuna Beach, you can treat yourself with gelato from the beach cafe.

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