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“Clever and inspiring cuisine”
Review of Ambeli - CLOSED

Ambeli
Price range: $1 - $33
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Driven by the good cheer of maxim "it's an empty house without our visitors!" and the plethora of the hosts's family heritages, Ambeli's cuisine is offering the true satisfaction of the Mediterranean from a new angle; supported by the winelist of owner Shaebodine Moleta whose passion for the service of dinner is boundless.
Auckland, NZ
Level Contributor
136 reviews
85 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Clever and inspiring cuisine”
Reviewed January 31, 2013

We visited Ambeli for dinner recently on a weekend visit to Wellington. It is located just around the corner from the Embassy Cinema (of Hobbit fame) in what looks like an old shop front. The layout and interior are cosy but not at all pretentious. We were shown to a window table which allowed us to watch the passersby and the wait staff were attentive and helpful in discussing the menu and specials.

The menu presents an interesting and clever take on some of the classic ingredients of bistro food. There is an emphasis on the matching of offal with main cuts and each dish was presented with an inspired selection of tastes and textures. This may put some potential customers off but be assured that the use of offal is subtle and very well done. This was food which was a little less "hyper-constructed" than some at the fine dining end of the spectrum, but it was thoroughly deserving of the reputation Ambeli has developed. The concierge at our hotel asked if we had arrangements for dinner and when we said that we had booked here she was effusive, saying that Ambeli was her favourite restaurant in Wellington at the moment. We could see why.

The wine list is not huge but it is very well balanced between old and new world wines and presented a range of prices which would allow most to choose a good match for the food. It is a pity perhaps that more wines were not available by the glass.

Ambeli is noted as one of the top 10 restaurants in the city in most review sources and we would concur with that view after having been there.

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

119 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    84
    19
    9
    7
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Uk
Level Contributor
37 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“January blues?”
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Very disappointing. Seems to have changed hands or was in January holiday mode. Nowhere near as buzzy and well run as on previous visits: wait staff did not seem to be up to the job. Food was disappointing and some of it had been standing around. Hope this was a one off.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Rupert R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
204 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 210 helpful votes
“Best meal in new zealand”
Reviewed December 31, 2012

Dinner at this restaurant is a must if you are passing through wellington. The service was excellent, the food was fantastic and the wine was lovely. We had a very enjoyable evening and would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone who is a foodie! We wanted to try the entire menu.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Constantlyontheroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nelson, New Zealand
Level Contributor
43 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Expensive but interesting”
Reviewed December 2, 2012

We ate at Ambeli on the night of the Hobbit premier. The food is very interesting with lots of unusual flavours and combinations. We found the wine to be very expensive - one of the most expensive I have experienced in New Zealand. The staff were attentive and knowledgeable.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank Vic E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Excellent service! very good food!”
Reviewed November 29, 2012

It is a small restaurant, but very nice. The waiter was very courteous and made you feel good. The food was very good. I forgot what we had on the night because it was some time ago, but this restaurant is the one that we would like go again.

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank seaofpoppy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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