In Italian, the word Andiamo grab’s attention by encouraging you to get moving or to put it not so lightly, to hurry up! This Auckland eatery both demands your attention and deserves it. Boasting a fresh, Italian style menu, Andiamo sits proudly in the neighbourhood of Herne Bay and has been serving the decadence of Italy for more than three decades. Though for a short period this much loved space briefly became The Halcyon, after a swift acquisiton by Nourish Group in 2018, Andiamo was reinstated to its former glory (to many cheers from the community who had missed it!).
Both a local eatery and neighbourhood watering hole, Andiamo caters to the busy clientele of Jervois Road but its reputation also calls to those from all over Auckland, drawing them in with classic dishes, homemade pastas and the laid back, relaxed ambience of a coveted spot in the sunshine.
Giving back to the people who love it the most, Andiamo offers a ‘locals lunch’ of two divine courses and a glass of your favourite drop for just $35. With bruschetta and malfatti, tortellini and pork bombette to choose from, Andiamo ensures its local patrons are well looked after.
We decided to give all the heavy hitter dishes a taste, calling on some of the most renowned and classic meals on the menu, alongside the cocktails that people can’t stop talking about to give us the best representation of this incredible Auckland haunt.
Macaroni and Cheese
Chances are if you’ve heard the name Andiamo around town, it’s likely you’ve heard it in the context of their cheesy macaroni, which resides in the heart’s of all those who have enjoyed it. This drool worthy dish has been making a name for itself amongst cheese connoisseurs and pasta-lovers alike and we were lucky enough to watch Head Chef Thibault as he whipped up a piping hot serving of this coveted dish.
While you might protest that Mac and cheese isn’t exactly authentic Italian, why does it even matter when it tastes this good? The ultimate comfort food, Andiamo’s cheesy macaroni boasts three types of cheese – Mature cheddar, Fontina and Parmesan. To accompany the lashings of cheese it also has truffle paste, bacon and chilli flakes (as if your tastebuds needed any more deliciousness!) And then, just when you think it’s finished and couldn’t possibly get any better, Thibault sprinkles more cheese on top. Heaven.
While you’re at it you may as well order the Coconut Chilli Margarita because the best food deserves appropriate company. Served with chilli around the rim it’s not for the faint of heart but it is for the margarita aficionado and that I am.
Anybody who’s anybody these days knows what Burrata is but for those of you are less cheese-obsessed, let me take you on a journey. Burrata has a soft shell wrapped around a creamy center that when broken into delivers the same satisfaction levels as when you smash open the top of a Creme Brulee. It’s buttery consistency and creamy interior is revealed as it slowly seeps out onto your plate. Andiamo serves theirs with asparagus, chilli, macadamia and sourdough crumb. Because what’s better than cheese? Cheese covered in bread.
I’ve found that even the fussiest of eaters seem to have a soft spot for calamari. I don’t know if it’s because it’s similar in appearance to its much more mainstream cousin – the chicken nugget – or simply because no one can say no to a fried delicacy but calamari is always a key part of any shared meal. It’s a crowd pleaser! Andiamo’s calamari is no different. Chilli fried calamari with romesco sauce and basil oil; it has both the right amount of saltiness and crunch that makes it tick the box for everyone at the table.
Soft, melt in your mouth off cuts of the most decadent pasta, the word “Maltagliati” literally means ‘badly cut’ but what it lacks in precision, it makes up for in taste. Served with braised beef cheek ragu, you can’t go wrong with this pasta meal as your main course. You will find most Italian starters to be light and refreshing, but that’s simply because what is coming in the main course’s taste profile can only be described as rich and luxurious – so make way because this one is about as luxurious as they come.
Iberico Pork Meatballs
Served with a generous helping of spaghetti, these meatballs collapse in your mouth when you take your first bite releasing every single flavour in this complex dish. Pork with smoky pancetta, savoy cabbage and brown butter they also come with gravy and parsnip puree that will set your world on fire. You’re spoilt for choice in the meatball department with the option of the Iberico Pork, or the Grass-Fed Beef with blistered tomato and wild oregano or the Hawke’s Bay Lamb with fresh peas, fava bean, mint and pecorino. If you’re an indecisive menu-reader then good luck here!
Overall, Andiamo boasts a charming, laidback and beautifully curated menu that speaks to it’s Italian heritage with the addition of modern New Zealand touches and niceties that we have come to know and love. The perfect place to enjoy a long lunch with friends or impress a new date, Andiamo has been and always will be a beloved Auckland eatery.
Address: 194 Jervois Road, Ponsonby
Hours: Tuesday 4pm – 11pm, Wednesday – Sunday 12pm – 11pm, Monday closed