Chapel Bar & Bistro

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10 reviews
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147 Ponsonby Road,

(09) 360 4528

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Review byAndré Taber26/09/2006

4 out of 5

In the building that was home to two stalwart Ponsonby eating establishments (Ivan’s and Anglesea Grill), Chapel does its best to be a “local” by catering to many tastes.

It functions well as a bar: most evenings it bursts at the seams with the after-work crowd—but we wanted to check out the food, so we picked a mid-week after dark.

The place was hosting a promo party for a beer brand. We pushed our way through the drag queens to find bleary-eyed punters slumped at tables and a waitress not particularly interested in having to worry about serving food.

On our second attempt, Saturday lunch, Chapel was closed. It opens at midday every day except Saturdays and Mondays, when business starts at 4pm.

So, third time lucky: Sunday lunch. A brilliantly sunny spring day, the restaurant was bright, airy and tidy; we had our pick of tables; and a waitress who was in a very good mood. So far, so good.

The décor barely acknowledges this establishment’s cheeky name: there’s a bit of church paraphernalia on the walls, but it’s mostly an eclectic mix of bare wood, retro wallpaper, brown leather benches and old desks for tables.

Several beers were on tap and a wine list with a comprehensive selection of mostly New Zealand wines and some Australians ($37—$100 a bottle, with some available by the glass at $8—11). We were going soft drink, though, and had cranberry juice ($3.50) and Bundaberg ginger beer ($5.50).

The brunch menu covered all the bases: sandwiches, pasta, salads, white meat, red meat, fish.

My companion’s field mushrooms ($13) were stacked with alternate layers of home-made herby hummus, a drizzling of walnut-watercress pesto and a single roasted tomato, which added a tangy bite.

They couldn’t fulfil my order of fish and chips, having run out of fish, so I went for the pork and apple sausages ($24)—award-winners from the Westmere Butchery, according to the menu—which had a great old-fashioned flavour. The meal came with a large helping of potatoes that had been roasted till mushy, then squashed together in a cylindrical shape, with a heady sweet apply syrup.

We also shared French fries ($6.50) which were flavoured with a hint of truffle oil and served in an aluminium container.

Chapel was a pleasant place with reliable food, but you have to pick your moment if food is your primary reason to visit.

Does this review have you salivating? You can now make a reservation here!

Chapel Bar & Bistro has been reviewed by 10 users

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