The X-factor is such a hard thing to nail, yet Depot’s had it in spades since day one. Some of it’s thanks to the slick service from welcoming and clued-up staff; another portion’s due to the location, set in the heart of theatre and hotel land; a lot of it’s down to the deceptively simple, flavour-packed food. But that last sprinkling of magic that defines Depot’s success is, of course, down to the genius of owner Al Brown – he saw the kind of laidback, rollickinggood-time of a joint that Aucklanders didn’t yet know they were craving, then nailed its delivery. From daybreak till long after dark, the high tables and bar stools are thronged with happy diners. Eat your fill from the spankingly fresh raw bar then share the likes of cumin-crusted lamb ribs with skordalia. And save room for the signature Depot sugar pie.
86 Federal St, City, 09 363 7045, eatatdepot.co.nz Breakfast, lunch & dinner 7 days; bigger share plates $28-$35
Good times and IN BRIEF punchy flavours