Awarded by Annabelle White
There is always a warm buzz in Ima Cuisine (an Israeli mothers’ kitchen) serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner and making everything from scratch. My favourite order is the popular North African Moroccan Shakshuka; great eggs perfectly cooked in a luscious bed of tomato sauce punctuated with homemade spicy lamb sausage accompanied with homemade toasted bread and a knob of butter –so good you want to cause a distraction so you can lick the plate. Everything is made in house – “we just don’t lay the eggs” says the owner/patron the warm and engaging Yael Shochat. Yael’s motherly commitment to great food includes knowing all her suppliers, going to the produce market herself and serving generous portions – it feels like you are coming home. The counter has superb baking (her hot cross buns are legendary, the donuts will make you weep!). This “feast-before-your eyes” approach relates to the way they serve dinner and lunch here – you just come in and the offerings and selection is like going to a home that happens to have the most amazing dedicated chef in the kitchen. Ima’s is a love affair and genuine delight and completely unique to Auckland’s CBD – here amongst offices and concrete you have a team committed to serving you great food and feeding you well. Since 2004 Ima’s has been nurturing us all - perhaps I can be adopted?