152 Ponsonby Road,
(09) 361 2320
The ViewAuckland Review
4 out of 5 stars
So this is what they call a ‘weather bomb’. On an Auckland night when even trying to cross Ponsonby Rd is a mission worthy of Sir Ed, we finally take shelter in the strip’s newest bar. In the space that as once dubbed Chandelier, the Ponsonby Social Club hasn’t taken long to become one of the areas favourite venues. With a location right by SPQR, it’s almost guaranteed a follow-on clientele late in the night.
We’re probably a little early, (there’s an All Blacks vs Wallabies match on in Sydney in a couple of hours), and the Ponsonby Social Club is just getting warmed up. The gale force winds whistling from Three Lamps to Karangahape Rd can’t be helping a slower start to the evening either.
Gone is Chandelier’s plush ambience, now replaced by a combo of dark wood and slick polished concrete. A pair of wrought iron doors separates the cavernous interior from a narrow brick-lined outdoor courtyard that promises to be a prime destination when Auckland’s summer finally returns.
The soundtrack tonight is soulful R & B, but the Ponsonby Social Club is also developing a reputation for live gigs, with the Christchurch meets New York hip hop sounds of Maitreya scheduled for later in the night.
The bar at Ponsonby Social Club is also worthy of New York, with a good range of draught beers including Asahi, Monteiths and Kronenbourg, and a few surprises like Cuba’s Cristal beer lurking in the chiller. The cocktail menu lists an innovative array with the Bittersweet Symphony and the Prishtina Bomb standing out.
We order an Asahi beer with a Sweet Castro cocktail, a tasty confection with Black Doris plums, Havana Club rum, citrus and honey. It’s probably better suited to a languid Cuban afternoon than a once-in-ten years Auckland storm, but the fresh, summery flavours take our minds off the wind and rain outside. A Latin spin is also evident with the small snacks menu. Dubbed “cazuela”, and served in small earthenware plates of the same name, flavours include Moroccan chicken, chorizo and pork belly. We’re scheduled to eat later in the night while we suffer the tribulations of yet another indifferent All Blacks performance, so just stick to drinks. We also need something to look forward to when we come back to Ponsonby Social Club. Next time it will be later in the night, and when the dual attraction and distraction of the All Blacks and a huge storm hasn’t turned Ponsonby Rd into a relative ghost town.
Ponsonby Social Club has been reviewed by 6 users