171A Ponsonby Road,
(09) 361 6170
The ViewAuckland Review
3 out of 5
It's an autumn Friday night on Ponsonby Rd, and the unfortunately named Snatch is actually cosier and buzzier outside than in. Outside the combination of leather sofas and a super-efficient heater means it's the place to be even though it's got front row seats to watch the traffic go past. A couple of lovebirds are snuggling up on a couch with a bottle of red wine, as other punters are trying to outdo each other with end-of-week work stories. Inside, surrounded by retro images of Frank Sinatra and a single mirror ball, things are taking a while to warm up, and a solitary drinker is nursing a Heineken.
Snatch occupies the space that used to house a cafe/restaurant called Ease. Back then the decor was all relaxing natural colours and there was a sly vegetarian spin to the menu. Then it became Zephyr, and now Snatch is decked out in moody red velvet banquettes and sleek bar stools. At one end there's a retro mural, and overall it's a slick and sophisticated look.
Unfortunately the sophistication is somewhat let down by the (so called) 'tapas' menu. Maybe there should be a law against using the word 'tapas' when what's on offer are actually 'bar snacks' - like there is for using the word 'champagne' to describe only bubblies with a French heritage. Tasty and well-prepared they may be, but Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Chicken Skewers, and Buffalo Wings really don't cut it as 'tapas'. Can we please ensure some authenticity in this city?
At least they didn't spell it "tapa's" with an apostrophe like some other menus around town.
Despite gripes over the providence of the food, Snatch still gets a lot a things right. Wines from a good selection including lots of winter-warming reds are served in etched glasses that are a little bit different, when the team behind the bar ask "How was your day?" you get the idea they actually mean it, and they keep the cocktail list nice and concise with just six options (although Pina Coladas should really only be drunk on tropical islands).
Snatch is certainly not a bad bar. The service is welcoming and professional, the Moscow Mules are well mixed, but it just feels a little generic when there are other more interesting spots along the strip.
Now maybe if they introduced some real tapas to their menu...
Snatch Bar has been reviewed by 4 users