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“Bistro butchered” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Ponsonby Road Bistro

Ponsonby Road Bistro
165 Ponsonby Road | Ponsonby, New Zealand
(09) 360 1611
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Ranked #124 of 2,155 Restaurants in Auckland Region
Cuisines: International
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Bistro butchered”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

Lets be clear. Bistro is my favourite style of food. And I have been to quite a few in France and around the world. So I approached PSB with high hopes as the reviews have been good. Alas a real let down. I know bistros are lively places but the noise level was intolerable. Lighting too low and the people at the next table used a torch to help read the menu!! How can you enjoy food in this environment!
The service was OK and they did try hard, although mucking up our entree orders, and I think they picked up I was clearly rattled. My clam entree was very nice, but my main of salmon on barley risotto was not, but to be honest at that point I was gulping down my food to get out of the place as fast as I could.
This place is more like a bar/nightclub than a restaurant in my view, and lovers of good bistro food should avoid and leave it to the noisy hip set who are there for reasons other than great bistro food.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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59 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    32
    21
    5
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“A Pleasant Experience You Pay For”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

Friends and I rolled up to the bistro for a nice lunch. We weren't prepared to dress in a dinner suit but wanted somewhere that wasn't going to serve ketchup on the side. At 12:30pm when we arrived the place was empty and we had no problem getting a table.

I started with a wine, a very good wine from a very good wine list. They are certainly making good margin per bottle but you don't come here to save money and there are plenty of places that charge the earth for a wine list straight out of New World's coupon book. Service was very good and my glass turned into a couple of bottles as our crowd grew. The ability to keep wine and water glasses full without derailing the dining experience seems straight forward but a rare art form and one that I am pleased to say the bistro has mastered.

Onto food. The menu is a bistro menu. Nothing too frightening there so great to take Nana to (don't show her the prices) if a little boring for the more adventurous. I ordered Pate to start and Duck Confit to follow. The rest of the table varied in entrees but mains were predictably focused on steak. Everyone was happy and along came another bottle of wine from that wonderful wine list.

Food arrived. I was disappointed that my pate had turned into Thai meatballs but elected to persevere rather than send it back as I would rather not eat alone. They weren't my first choice and for good reason - barely tepid meatballs with all the complexity of whiskas catfood is not what I was looking for. This called attention to our attentive but slightly disorganized waiter who had clearly exhausted himself keeping those wine glasses full.

A second course arrived. Duck confit isn't a complicated dish really. You cook duck slowly in fat and then cook it again not in fat. Evidence suggested they had partly pulled this off as the duck was tasty if a little under-seasoned but missing that all important crispy skin. The half quart serve of parsnip puree was nice if a little overwhelming and the braised cabbage while apparently going for the "chunky" look was a pleasant flavour. Looking around the table the steak was not surprisingly steak and looked nicely put on a plate. Well done that chef.

No one was up for dessert - I expect all had enjoyed their own parsnip glut in one way or another. We settled up and were on our way after a largely pleasant experience.

As far as location, it could be anywhere for the view. It is however Ponsonby Rd and there is a premium associated with that.

I enjoyed myself. I was well fed and fairly well looked after. The menu was brief but appropriate however the whole experience lacked the final polish that would have me recommending the place to others.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Hamilton, New Zealand
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Perfect, yet again!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

Ponsonby Road Bistro is just wonderful. We eat here whenever we are in Auckland, in fact we make a special point of booking ahead so we don't miss out. The food is always superb with a wonderful menu to choose from; this menu changes regularly and it's always a treat to see what's on offer. The wine selection is fabulous and the staff are absolute, consummate professionals. Their knowledge of the menu and the wines on offer are second to none and they are always more than happy to provide alternative options if required. The decor is hip but comfortable, cleverly designed and a fantastic atmosphere. Reminds us of Melbourne. Can't rate it highly enough!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Fabulous lunch”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

We walked along Ponsonby Road until we found this restaurant after reading a review. It was a perfect lunch - great and friendly service, comfortable surroundings and suburb food. We ordered entree sized meals (meatballs and chickpea pancakes with halumi) with a side of delicious Brussel sprouts and followed with a chocolate dessert to share. It was all wonderful. We did not have a reservation but for lunch on a Tuesday that was fine. Recommended!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Auckland Region, New Zealand
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Not too shabby”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013 via mobile

My partner and I dined here the other month. The atmosphere was good. Had a vibe. Wasn't dull. The lighting was too dark I felt. The service was attentive, food was tasty and generous. Wine selection good. Would come back

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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