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“Great beer, Food Selection Could Be Better for Vegetarians”

De Fontein Belgian Beer Cafe
Ranked #739 of 3,564 Restaurants in Auckland Region
Price range: $14 - $28
Cuisines: Belgian, Bar, European, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view, Families with children, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Drinks, Breakfast, Dinner, Brunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: De Fontein is located in the heart of Mission Bay, just 8 minutes drive from Auckland's CBD, and is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, especially from the sun drenched balcony overlooking the bay. We proudly serve authentic Belgian cuisine complimented by an extensive selection of fine Belgian beers & some of the best wines from NZ and Australia. We recommend you try our signature steaming mussel pots, or our famous mussel platters.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Great beer, Food Selection Could Be Better for Vegetarians”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 21, 2013

As a traveling vegetarian the challenge can be finding a quality meal that can make you full. After walking along the cafes and restaurants I decided to try this place per a recommendation from someone local. They had a few options that included a vegetable lasanga, skewers, and a warm vegetable salad. I ordered the warm vegetable salad that was mainly potatoes. The salad also included pumpkin, apricot, feta, spinach, and bell peppers. It tasted more like something I would eat for breakfast than lunch because of the heavy amount of potatoes they served. The waiter was from Belgium and knew of great selections for beers but couldn't tell me which wines were local to New Zealand.

I decided to pair the meal with their recommended Peches Lindemanns which on it's own was a delight so I ordered an additional one when my meal came.

Other pluses included a great view from the patio.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MaryCP_25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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307 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Surfers Paradise, Australia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“My OLD local”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 16, 2013 via mobile

I used to love this place when I lived in auckland years ago and was really looking forward to going back now I'm back.
Mussels and pâté were nice, beer as good as ever. The girl who sat us was bubbly and very accommodating. But it all went down hill with the bread and dips. Oil is not a dip in my eyes and neither is garlic butter, so just pesto.
My biggest complaint though was with the evening maître'd when we were leaving. Don't ask how everything was if you don't care! She asked and I said the above about the dips. She just looked at me, said "that's how it's always been" and gave me a snide look. My partner and I left angry and disappointed. Looks like we'll be looking for a new local

Helpful?
Thank Jimmy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frenzigroup, Manager at De Fontein Belgian Beer Cafe, responded to this review, November 24, 2013
Hi Jimmy,
Thanks for taking the time to give us feedback regarding your experience at De Fontein. I am pleased to hear you enjoyed your meal and our beer, but disappointed to hear you were unhappy with the overall experience.

I have taken your comments regarding our bread and dips on board and discussed these with our chef. We aim to provide a fantastic service and product so are always eager to hear comments from our customers on how we might be able to improve. I have also reminded our staff of the importance of customer service and how to deal with negative feedback.

Thank you for your time once again, we hope that you will be back to give us another chance at being your local!

Kind regards
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
Level Contributor
150 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
“Beer, good value n best views”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2013

We have been a couple of times to this De Fontein café bar. Both times, we sat upstairs for vantage views.
Good value for lunch especially if you are able to catch a promo voucher. An icy beer, fish n chips ( fresh, crisp, non oily), wide vistas of the Tamaki seafront, a cool breeze.... it satisfies. Never mind the bit of tired carpet. Its functional.
Service was a tad slow but friendly.
Better places elsewhere for a special dinner but for a nice beer, good value and the pleasure of soaking in the views , De Fontein has it place.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Ricc0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Bad Service Leaves Sour Taste”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2013

I have been going to De Fontein and the other Belgian beer Cafes frequently during my time at Auckland. During that time, I ave had some fantastic meals and experiences.

However, my recent visit has shown that the BBC is the sort of bar/restaurant that needs a bit of a shake up. The service was confused and muddled, we struggled to get people to take our orders, and we were grossly overcharged.

The setting is trying to go for an older style Belgian pub, and it does it well. However, part of the restaurant are getting tired and need some money invested in tidying things up like worn-out floors and wobbly tables.

We were greeted by a staff member who offered us several options for our seating. We opted for inside as it was non-smoking (the balcony is their smoking area). Our other party members were delayed, and the wait staff were happy to let us wait for the others before ordering drinks.

Once we had the full party, we ordered some drinks. The selection of beers is great, albeit on the pricier side. However, the authentic beers and not being served the usual NZ beer selection justifies the extra price. I was surprised that the non-alcoholic cocktails seemed affordable, and were only $1-2 more than getting a coke or orange juice. If you're a non-drinker or have children, this is a positive about De Fontein.

We ordered some mussel pots for our meals. This is certainly the food attraction here, and the food didn't disappoint. $23 got 1 kilo of steamed mussels in a choice of 5 sauces. They were delicious and made a good light meal between two. The meals didn't take forever to come out and were cooked properly. Hats off to the kitchen staff for this one.

When it came to ordering another round of drinks, we had to go to the bar as no wait staff were around. This was the beginning of our service going downhill. Watching some of the wait staff talking to other tables, I saw we weren't the only ones getting a below par experience.

This was further compounded when we went to pay and the wait staff had no idea where we were sitting. I pointed the table out, and proceeded to pay almost twice what we actually ordered. When I requested an itemised receipt, I then had to wait to request a refund as she had charged us for a much larger table elsewhere in the restaurant for items we didn't order such as a bottle of wine. After some arguing we were refunded for the difference without an apology.

Our dinner made us feel that the customers could be treated better, and the front-line staff could do with either some training, organisation or a kick up the backside. There are similar bistro type restaurants along Mission Bay provide a much better service and experience, which makes me more inclined to go elsewhere next time.

I'd rate the food 5 star, but the poor service brings it down to an average expeience.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank theworldsfastestslot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wanganui
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Fantastic beer selection and good food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2013

Food is bar meal rather than fine dining but the beer list is worth visiting for. Half a dozen belgian beers on tap and literally hundreds of different bottled beers to choose from. All reasonably priced so long as you avoid the "bucket list" - a hundred dollars plus for a standard 330ml bottle is out of my league ! Great night out and a welcome change from the usual Kiwi beer selections!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Mike B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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