10 Waterloo Quadrant,
(09) 984 6000
The ViewAuckland Review
Bars in hotels are a weird breed. More often than not they are soulless affairs, and you're better off staying in your room watching Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel with the spiritual guidance of the mini bar.
The alternative of being forced into conversation with a travelling sales rep from Christchurch really doesn't bear thinking about.
On a chillier than normal November night, we venture into Quad Bar in The Quadrant; Auckland's newest boutique hotel. Luckily it's Saturday night so the chances of meeting Ron from Riccarton are greatly reduced.
The décor of the hotel's reception and guest rooms is stark and minimalist, but in the tiny house bar downstairs, the ambience has been softened by designer Tom Skyring (also responsible for the fit-outs of Pasha and Dine).
Handmade silk wallpapers with a retro dragonfly design combine with a cosy leather banquette and a stylish wooden bar. It's a look that feels familiar and cosmopolitan at the same time. There's a deck for recidivist smokers and a compact private lounge that's just made for an extended poker session or a rendezvous with your clandestine lover.
Behind the bar, Brit barman James Comyn (formerly at the Wine Loft) is happy to mix cocktails that aren't featured on the smallish bar menu, and one of Auckland's better caipirinhas is delivered with a healthy dose of affable cynicism and quirky irony.
The wine list is similarly concise, proudly 100% Kiwi, and all available by the glass. The full Monteith’s range, Heineken and Sol will keep most beer drinkers happy.
There's a small food menu with seafood, meat and vegetarian tasting platters, and a platter of artisan breads with olive oil and dukkah means we don't need to detour to Subway on the way home.
Unlike the atmosphere free zones that incorporate most hotel bars, Quad's concise footprint means that conversation comes easily with the other guests. Tonight, the punters are mainly overseas visitors, so guess who's asked to be the local tourism expert?
The diverse international mix of punters is the big appeal of Quad Bar. Squint your eyes a little (something that comes relatively easily after a couple of Comyn's cocktails) and it's a cinch to believe that you're actually happily ensconced in a cosy bar in some faraway capital. And if you get really comfy? Well, you can always stay the night.
Quad Bar has been reviewed by 2 users