Awarded by Jt Bailey
I adore Baduzzi. It makes me feel like being ensconced in a hug from family I haven't seen in far too long - safe, satisfied, sated, celebratory, a wonderful mix of joy and self-recrimination for not having arranged for this moment earlier. Fantastic staff and food that really has no match in the city, and probably far beyond even that. It's a joy to watch them prepare meals, it's a joy to eat those carefully constructed culinary creations, and it's a joy to just sit there and enjoy the company and the atmosphere and the wonderful setting and just be. It never fails to bring me a profound sense of connectivity, an awareness of table-mates and restaurant-mates and city-mates and country-mates, and so on. Baduzzi reminds me of Auckland in that it celebrates the ties that bind us all together without the need for explicit reference or ham-fisted insistences, it just demonstrates the beauty of a diverse group of people being together and sharing work and life and making something wonderful from that. Auckland is our home, and Baduzzi is our home, and they both remind us of how lucky we are to have places like them that remind us all of just how very much we're not alone, just like a hug from someone you haven't hugged in far too long.