$30 per person
Corner Fort Lane and Snickel Lane, Auckland Central
It's rare for fresh, unique experiences in the Auckland food scene, I would only count a few every year. Madriz is at the forefront in my mind for 2017. Bringing a distinctively Spanish flair, this is a unique eatery that well compliments the warmer Auckland evenings.
The small restaurant has limited space inside, with the tables spilling onto Fort Street. It makes for a distinctly casual affair, which works well for the this style of eating: small bites with good alcohol.
Choose from a selection of pintxos: pieces of silken bread topped with vibrant, fresh ingredients and pair it with some smooth beer and wine. Madriz has perhaps the best chorizo I've tried in Auckland, many of their ingredients are justifiably imported from Spain. The anchovy pintxos is also highly recommended, with a fat succulent piece of pure, salty, unami brilliance.
Larger dishes include buttery calamari and the incredible roast lamb, the potatoes are worth trying simply on their own! Let's not forget the churros, with home made chocolate sauce. Without a doubt, the best in the city.
Madriz's menu is updated regularly, as are the wines. The glasses of blood red wine were reasonably priced and very full bodied, suiting the dishes well.