European pastries, a creative breakfast and then light meal menu projected onto a concrete back wall, gourmet hot dogs, and a carefully chosen wine list.
Imperial Lane oozes industrial charm and European sophistication. I hesitate to use the word European because why do Europeans have the monopoly on sophistication? The Imperial Building on Fort Lane in Auckland has a style all its own and is one of the many reasons New Zealand is starting to make quite a name for itself on a global foodie scale.
Ostensibly a dimly lit laneway with brick walls and exposed pipes, Imperial Lane is housed in the historic Imperial Building, a former picture theatre, in Auckland’s vibrant viaduct precinct, along with bar and eatery, Everybody’s and nightclub, Roxy.
The team behind Imperial Lane have left nothing to chance. Coffee by New Zealand’s iconic Wellington roasters, L’Affare. Melt in your mouth almond croissants, fruit tarts and apple strudels are supplied by Michelin-star Danish baker Kristina Jensen, of Elske. Meat for the hot dogs comes from boutique butchery, Neat Meat. You can decide whether you are feeling more Spanish, Moroccan or Danish as you select your El Matador, Marrakesh, or Polser sausage with all the trimmings, nestled in a brioche bun. Now I understand you may well question ‘nestled’, but believe me, a baseball hot dog may well not carry off any kind of nestling, but these babies...they are nestling with the best of them.
Small wonder that Imperial Lane is so impressive. The inspiration and savvy business genius behind it, Pack and Co, have already proved they are a force to be reckoned with. Having taken over the reins of 51 year old Wellington Institution, Matterhorn; brought champagne, cocktails and excellent food to Queens Wharf, Wellington, at Fox Glove; delivered town to the beach at Takapuna’s The Commons, not to mention the other various gourmet pies they have their fingers in, the Imperial takeover was always going to work. And it does.7 Fort Lane or 44 Queen Street, Auckland