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  # 2004658 29-Apr-2018 18:46
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networkn:

 

Pasture was the worst meal I had the year it came out, compared to price and expectation. Trying to be "different" is all well and good, but if the food doesn't taste good, it won't matter what your ideals are. I'd likely go back and see if it's different after 18 months, but there are so many amazing restaurants that open in Auckland every week, it's hard to justify going back to one you didn't have a great experience in.

 

Places I consider seriously excellent in Auckland are: 

 

Sidart (Tuesday Test Kitchen is great fun if you are adventurous, Kazuya (though it was stupidly difficult to get a booking for a single person), Cocorro,  Clooney (I haven't tried it since they changed the menu after nearly closing last year), Depot, One Tree Grill (Friday nights dinner was exceptional but pretty expensive), Bowz, Blue Breeze.

 

 

Pasture would be okay if they were around $80 a head but on some days (their pricing varies depending on what they serve up), the price can be over $160 a head just for the food. I've been twice -- the first time with my wife was abominably average; the second time was when my best friend shouted my a post-birthday surprise dinner. My heart sunk when she revealed the surprise was Pasture. Basically if you want a whole lot of overdone, pretentious, and preserved stuff added into your otherwise bland and flavourless food, one can never go wrong at Pasture. I am truly amazed that they are still in business. The owners are lovely people and I don't consider myself a ridiculously demanding eater but they are just taking the mickey IMO.

 

On Masu: I also agree with you. It's ridiculously over-priced and average. I feel the same way towards Ebisu. Nick Watt's restaurants are mostly mickey-taking exercises in my experience, although Huami has largely been pretty good the three times I have been there.

 

I find Cocoro a bit over-priced personally as well but they are streets ahead of both Ebisu and Masu in terms of quality. If you haven't tried Inti, I thoroughly recommend it. It's a wonderful mixture of fine food, relaxing yet casual atmosphere and very good service. Cassia's food is spellbinding but the vibe is also a bit low brow and excessively noisy.

 

Edit: fixed some typos


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  # 2004663 29-Apr-2018 18:52
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davidcole: Service would be my only gripe. Head in somewhere you’re pestered for drinks and good order, then the service practically vanishes.

 

This sums up most restaurants in New Zealand. Sadly. There are, of course, exceptions.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2004671 29-Apr-2018 19:06
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dejadeadnz:

 

Pasture would be okay if they were around $80 a head but on some days (their pricing varies depending on what they serve up), the price can be over $160 a head just for the food. I've been twice -- the first time with my wife was abominably average; the second time was when my best friend shouted my a post-birthday surprise dinner. My heart sunk when she revealed the surprise was Pasture. Basically if you want a whole lot of overdone, pretentious, and preserved stuff added into your otherwise bland and flavourless food, one can never go wrong at Pasture. I am truly amazed that they are still in business. The owners are lovely people and I don't consider myself a ridiculously demanding eater but they are just taking the mickey IMO.

 

On Masu: I also agree with you. It's ridiculously over-priced and average. I feel the same way towards Ebisu. Nick Watt's restaurants are mostly mickey-taking exercises in my experience, although Huami has largely been pretty good the three times I have been there.

 

I find Cocoro a bit over-priced personally as well but they are streets ahead of both Ebisu and Masu in terms of quality. If you haven't tried Inti, I thoroughly recommend it. It's a wonderful mixture of fine food, relaxing yet casual atmosphere and very good service. Cassia's food is spellbinding but the vibe is also a bit low brow and excessively noisy.

 

Edit: fixed some typos

 

 

Thanks, I'll try Inti. I went to his popup and wasn't overly amazed, but I have learned that sometimes there is nothing wrong with the food itself, just not to my personal taste. Still takes high level of skill to put together and others would enjoy that menu on that night. 

 

Azabu is another horrifying overrated place. The number of places that drool over at it reviews...

 

I LOVE fresh raw fish, and there are so few places that do a really good Sashimi platter beyond Salmon and Tuna. Cocoro has the best one I have come across in the higher price range, I'd love to find something more modest. 

 

Lillius was fantastic recently, owned by the son of clients, who used to come and hang out at our office occasionally after school!

 

Gerome also amazing.

 

Lastly. Ostro. Just get the Lamb for 2. Everything there was excellent, but we had enough for leftovers and it was amazing then as well!

 

 

 

 


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  # 2004672 29-Apr-2018 19:07
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nzkc:

 

davidcole: Service would be my only gripe. Head in somewhere you’re pestered for drinks and good order, then the service practically vanishes.

 

This sums up most restaurants in New Zealand. Sadly. There are, of course, exceptions.

 

 

I can't agree with this. Obviously it depends which market segment, but we eat out a lot and service is generally reasonable. Maybe not exceptional, but it's not usually noteworthy for how bad it is. 

 

 




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  # 2004676 29-Apr-2018 19:19
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networkn:

 

Azabu is another horrifying overrated place. The number of places that drool over at it reviews...

 

I LOVE fresh raw fish, and there are so few places that do a really good Sashimi platter beyond Salmon and Tuna. Cocoro has the best one I have come across in the higher price range, I'd love to find something more modest. 

 

 

I have a different view towards Azabu. I agree that some of the fawning over it gets a bit over the top but relative to its price, it's not too bad. It's a "easy eating" place that serves up enough stuff that almost everybody can either like or have limited objections over. I think their buns are bit of a joke however.

 

The best place for sashimi in Auckland was Ariaki. I was just absolutely devastated when they closed -- those were great days. If you want better-priced sashimi, give Tokyo Bay at Takapuna a try. It's an all day eatery and is especially fantastic for a nice weekend lunch.

 

I am consistently amazed that Ostro never makes any of the Metro lists and don't think they've ever made Cuisine's list either. As "big" restraurants go (and I don't mean this in a derogatory sense but there are certain unique challenges to operating one with a large dining room/expectation-adjustment that one has to make when one goes to one of these), it is by far the best in Auckland IMO. The price isn't cheap but the food is always excellent.

 

Saan is also great. Just skip the awful desserts.

 

 


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  # 2004689 29-Apr-2018 19:55
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networkn:

 

I can't agree with this. Obviously it depends which market segment, but we eat out a lot and service is generally reasonable. Maybe not exceptional, but it's not usually noteworthy for how bad it is. 

 

 

Ive formed my view as a result of travelling. NZ companies just dont do the service thing well at all.  Yes some are OK and I have had the odd occasion where it has been exceptional.  Ranking it overall, so yep sweeping generalisation, its simply not up to the mark on an international scale.


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  # 2004690 29-Apr-2018 19:56
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One of by big beefs with restaurants are those that make either impossible or uncomfortable (due to attitude) for someone in a wheelchair to dine. The issues I encounter is ....

 

Steps into the establishment.

 

Bathrooms that are impossible

 

Overcrowding making it impossible to maneuver. I have encountered establishments that are reluctant to move furniture even a little to facillitate entry and a couple that have asked me not to come in.

 

High reception counters and eftpos terminals out of reach. I dislike handing over my card.





Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

The is no planet B

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 2004704 29-Apr-2018 20:39
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Service is a big thing. Most cafes in New Zealand have terrible service. Some young person will come around and drop the menus. When you are ready to order you have to make it very clearly visible that you finished perusing the menus so they come around to take your order - it seems they forget which tables need to be attended to. 

 

Then they will come around 30 seconds after they serve you and ask "How is everything with your meal?". First I have a mouth full and can't say anything - good timing... Second I don't even know yet. It's been 30 seconds.

 

After this "visit" they forget about you and no amount of eye contact, hand waving will make then come to your table for a second order of a drink or something else.

 

When we lived in Khandallah (Wellington) we used to walk to the village just to stretch. A few times we stopped at a restaurant there (not a cafe) and had dinner. The food is really good and worth the stop. Once we walked to the village and decided to have just some dessert. We stopped by the restaurant and asked for a table for two. The restaurant had only a couple of occupied tables - it was Monday or Tuesday, something like this. The owner turned around and told us "No tea, no pudding."

 

As usual in such situations (with us) we never went back there. If someone crosses me, they don't have my money again.





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  # 2004733 29-Apr-2018 21:07
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This restaurant review from a few years ago always cracks me up:

 

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11284114

 

I often wonder if that place is still in business - I would guess not.




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  # 2004746 29-Apr-2018 21:44
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MikeB4:

 

One of by big beefs with restaurants are those that make either impossible or uncomfortable (due to attitude) for someone in a wheelchair to dine.

 

This is becoming very common in Auckland. It's so bad in some cases that I don't even think someone who's just a bit unsteady on his/her feet has a chance at many restaurants. It's ridiculous. I was at Blue Breeze Inn last night and people were so packed together that, I am not kidding, I managed to hear the sound of the lady at the next table err.... releasing a bit of gas over a cacophony of shouting before I smelt it. IMO, in some situations, I would argue that the crowding border on being safety concerns.

 

freitasm:

 

Service is a big thing. Most cafes in New Zealand have terrible service. Some young person will come around and drop the menus. When you are ready to order you have to make it very clearly visible that you finished perusing the menus so they come around to take your order - it seems they forget which tables need to be attended to. 

 

Then they will come around 30 seconds after they serve you and ask "How is everything with your meal?". First I have a mouth full and can't say anything - good timing... Second I don't even know yet. It's been 30 seconds.

 

Yep - sit down cafes in New Zealand have by far the worst service of any type of hospitality enterprise in my experience. A lot of the teenage/early 20s servers have some of the worst attitude imaginable. It's hard sometimes for me to understand what would motivate anyone to sit down at, say, a Melba or Coffee Club and pay $25 bucks or something like that for one of their god awful lunches plus a drink, along with putting up with the total absence of service.

 

In my view, in terms of Auckland eateries anyway, most cafe owners are asleep at the wheel, along with most neighbourhood restaurants, except for the "Cheap Eats" ethnic food type places. When we go out for dinner these days, it's basically either some place like Momo Tea to Wagamama (if we are in a hurry or on a weeknight) or we just go straight to the topline places. Most of the suburban eateries/$40-$60 a head places have god awful service, food, and almost everything else.

 

And don't get me started with the "Is everything alright?" question 5 seconds after my first bite.

 

 

 

 




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  # 2004749 29-Apr-2018 21:53
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One additional bugbear (maybe not quite a bugbear but just a personal preference) of mine: the rise and/or resurrection of the boring and unimaginative bistros and the colossal over-rating of such. Over the last year and a bit, we've had the media and the hipsters raving on about placings like Ampersand, Rosie, the so called resurrection of Odettes and the incessant coverage of its sister restaurant Hugo's, and the Halcyon all drawing a hell of a lot of headlines. I am hardpressed to see the appeal of such places. Look, they don't serve bad food but unless you are in a hurry or just happen to be nearby/or am looking for a casual lunch, why would you go out of your way to go to such places when for similar prices you can eat much more imaginative food at places like Amano, Cassia, Gusto at the Grand, Depot, Saan, Cafe Hanoi and lots more. The number of these sorts of places that got into the Metro Top 50 just has me puzzled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  


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  # 2004750 29-Apr-2018 21:55
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quickymart:

 

This restaurant review from a few years ago always cracks me up:

 

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11284114

 

I often wonder if that place is still in business - I would guess not.

 

 

 

 

The supplied web address for wingman in the herald article http://www.thewingman.co.nz/ takes you to a clothing site.

 

 

 

The egg's any way you like as long as its poached got me last week. 

 

Ordered a Big Breakfast GF and asked for scrambled eggs. Was met with were too busy today to do scrambled is poached ok. 

 

The look of disbelief from myself was enough to get a correction of I will check with the kitchen. 

 

 

 

The other thing that gets me with even midrange and above restaurants south island. I am gluten intolerant. 

 

Most of these places have not identifiers on the menu detailing which dishes are GF option,

 

or even lack of a dedicated menu, and when asked the waiter's look in disbelief and have to ask the Chef/Kitchen

 

Like its the first time in their career at that establishment they have been asked about allergy options.  

 

I have also been pleasantly surprised with kitchen and even cafe variations where the bread has been made GF and is fresh, 

 

Likewise I have also been given two slices of vogels GF at a restaurant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  # 2004767 29-Apr-2018 22:18
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The 1-meter long pepper grinders, and never enough pepper.  Please put a short one on the table!





gml


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  # 2004783 29-Apr-2018 22:52
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JeremyNzl:

 

The supplied web address for wingman in the herald article http://www.thewingman.co.nz/ takes you to a clothing site.

 

 

Zomato listing. It's closed.

 

JeremyNzl:

 

The egg's any way you like as long as its poached got me last week. 

 

Ordered a Big Breakfast GF and asked for scrambled eggs. Was met with we're too busy today to do scrambled is poached ok.

 

Seriously? I'd have immediately eased their workload via the front door. What a cheek!


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  # 2004801 30-Apr-2018 06:28
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In general I've had good experiences at restaurants/cafes in and around Auckland at all price points. My main bugbear would be poor timing. I'm not a slow eater, but I don't like being rushed between courses. Some places are bringing out the mains while the entree plates are still being cleared. Similarly, go out for a Sunday brunch and your coffee is served 20mins before the food. If I've had a full cream flat white I'm usually too full to enjoy my food.


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