Venue Image
Viaduct Basin,
Viaduct Harbour Avenue,
Viaduct
Auckland,
1143

(09) 356 7249

Soul Bar & Bistro Information

The Soul Bar & Bistro is in the heart of Auckland's Viaduct Harbour. Its elegant all-weather terrace faces west to catch the spectacular sunsets. It has been - and continues to be - enjoyed by Aucklanders and tourists alike.

Soul Bar & Bistro prides itself on it's use of the finest and freshest local ingredients - rather appropriate, considering its prime Auckland Viaduct Harbour location by the water.

Opening Hours
Mon - Sun: 11.00am till late
Cuisine
Booking
Advisable on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
Avg Food Spend
$$$$ per person
Food Info
Bar Menu, Set Lunch Menu, A La Carte Menu - Brunch Menu, Vegetarian Menu, Group Menus
Drink Info
Cocktail List available
Kids
Children welcome - Kids welcome
Outdoor Area
Great covered waterside outdoor area
Awards
Metro Top 50 - 2012
Best Restaurant, Excellence in Customer Service, Excellence in Training and Staff Development AND Supreme Overall Winner (HANZ Awards for Excellence 2010)
Best Casual Dining Metropolitan 2010 (Cuisine Magazine)
Best Casual Dining Metropolitan 2009 (Cuisine Magazine)
HSI Excellence in Training Awards 2009 (Hospitality Standards Institute
Cuisine NZ Restaurant of the Year Awards 2008 Finalist (Cuisine Magazine)
Best Service of the Year 2005 (Cuisine Magazine)
Best Downtown Lunch Restaurant 2005 (Metro Magazine)
Payment
Am Ex imageDiners imageEftpos imageMastercard imageVisa image
Disabled Facilities
Wheelchair Access, Disabled Toilets

Soul Bar & Bistro User reviews

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Reviewer Gautam
19/12/2014
Excellent food, location and ambience. Service was a little slow though considering it was a Tuesday. Great overall experience.
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23/09/2014
Ladies lunches are a regular Saturday through September occasion now for Soul Bar and great value for money at $32 for 3 courses and a glass of wine.

For starters a smoked kahawai and chilli shrimp bruschetta with our glass of Nautilus Sauv and then for main a choice of snapper or duck. The duck was a little on the tiny stingy size and the snapper looked much better value. But the beetroot risotto the duck rested on was tasty.

For dessert we had a very interesting Chocolate and peanut butter mousse with puffed rice and banana ice cream presented nicely on a black plate.

The service at Soul is swift and efficient but would have been better if it were not for the waitress that pulled strange faces at various simple requests.

It may not be at the very forefront of innovative cuisine but it can be absolutely depended not to disappoint, as my last two visits demonstrated. I find it funny though that some simple dishes coming from this Chef’s kitchen, is from the very same Chef that judges some home cooks on MKR for making too simpler dishes for a competition. Go figure!
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Reviewer bobococo
28/08/2014
First of all, the venue is fantastic. Went for dinner, and ate in the outdoor section facing the waterfront!! Entrée of raw fish, ravioli, then seared snapper (main), and dessert of caramel parfait. I love seafood, so the entrée and main absolutely hit the spot. Finishing off with such a good dessert was the perfect end to a great evening.
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Reviewer Anonymous
10/03/2014
Great to be back at Soul on Friday afternoon after a few months away. Nothing has changed, and nothing needs to.The Bluffies were magnificent and the Kumeu River 2010 that accompanied them tasted like it had been made for the partnership.Upon recommendation from a new waitress (Id have recognised her if Id seen her before) I refrained from a second dozen of the Oysters Natural and took the Pork Belly. When exactly did Pork Belly become stable restaurant fare in Auckland? It should have been years ago, cause this offering was magnificent, so nice one had to underplay it so as one's dining colleague didn't want to try it.Well done Soul, good to back.
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Reviewer beap
11/02/2014
Absolutley amazing dinner at Soul a couple of nights ago. I don't usually write reviews but the meal was so outstanding.

Salt and pepper squid to start was one of the best I have ever had. Kingfish salad for my main was just as delicious and the portion size was extremely generous. Wines were recommended by the waitress and matched well.

Excellent service and a great atmosphere. Can't wait to go back!
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Reviewer globbo
4/12/2013
Went for Xmas do for out team.Entree was 3 mouthfuls of salmon with some uninspiring salad.Beef was lukewarm and extremely spicy-my lips tingled for half an hour.Side salad was bitter and had a few cubes of cucumber.Potatoes were nice.Asked if we wanted desert but gulped at the 17-18.50 price tag and had seen the small desserts go to other tables so passed.Very small portions...had to buy a burger on the way home.Hideously expensive.10.00 for a barely half filled glass of wine.Service was very good.Some of the staff looked miserable and sour.Will definately not be going back.Pricey,small meals and overrated
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StarStarStarStarNo Star
17/08/2013
Soul Bar and Bistro is situated in the heart of the Viaduct harbour, a stone's throw from the water taxis and superyachts. Whether inside or out, Soul manages to create an atmosphere that feels expensive and flash.

My group of 13 were about to partake in the Restuarants Months 3 course set menu for a rather cheaper $45 than their usual cost. I ordered the 'Bees Cocktail' which was Vodka, Lemoncello, Thyme, infused honey and lemon juice. It had kick but was a very good start to the night.

Our waiter started out a little rusty and came across as short and useless but warmed through the night and we found he even had a sense of humour.

For my starter I chose the Salt & Pepper squid with a saffron mayo. I think the Chef over did it with the pepper and could have done with more mayo to balance the thick coating. My wine matching was a lovely glass of Nautilus Pinot Gris. Wished I'd had the great looking scampi tails with green gazpacho dressing and pickled cucumber.

The Lamb shoulder I had for my main with butternut squash and baby vegetables reminded me of an casserole I can make at home and the lamb pieces were of substandard quality. But I think the food was on par of the $45 we paid. My wine match for the main was a Vasse Felix Cabernet Merlot.

The best course of the night was the dessert – Valhona chocolate pudding with caramel parfait, vanilla ice cream, peanut crunch and salty caramel sauce. I thought this to be absolutely yummy and pretty on the plate. The pudding was a molten cake with a perfect gooey centre.

I have heard better things about Soul bar so maybe I need to go back on the regular menu. A shame because I thought the poiut was to highlight the restaurant for 'Restaurant Month.
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Reviewer Salby
30/05/2013
The salt & pepper squid was amazing and my seared tuna main even better and my dessert.. OMG! to die for and outstanding presentation. The service was fast, food & wine were excellent but I wouldn't recommend sitting outside unless you want leaves from the hanging plants to fall in your food and drink. I would definitely recommend Soul Bar & Bistro.
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23/08/2012
Is there a better place in downtown for a long lunch on a sunny Auckland day that Soul Bar and Restaurant? Last weekend I dined with my husband and a small group at Soul Bar and had a fantastic experience. The food was delicious, with interesting tastes in our shared entrees and and a perfect crab ravioli for my main. The wines were all great and we were ably assisted with our selection by Vicky. Vicky was one of those people with the perfect balance of friendliness and professionalism, and we found the service excellent. Soul Bar has been consistently good for a long time and the food is fresh, interesting and tasty - and the location speaks for itself.
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Reviewer tobyruckert
2/06/2012
I was having 2 dinners and 1 lunch at Soul during the past few months and was never disappointed. The food was excellent, the staff friendly and attentive, though the portions were a bit small and of course the price tag could be less. That said I've had a great experience every time and would go back for the seafood chowder alone - one of the best I had anywhere.
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Reviewer PMM
31/01/2012
Have eaten twice at soul and have been twice disappointed with the whole experience.

Slow and uninviting wait staff, raw and/or cold mains, no attempt to rectify or apologise when comments about meals were made to the wait staff.

Then the final blow came with the bill when there was a 15% holiday surcharge on top....

I would happily pay the additional 15% anytime if the food was up to par. However, it was severely lacking in flavours, temperature, portion size and presentation.

Not cool.

Should be renamed Soul-less.
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Reviewer blurred23
18/10/2011
Soul is the best restaurant and bar in Auckland. Situated right by the water in the viaduct, their seafood is second to none, with friendly bar and waiting staff and a fantastic selection of wines. I have booked a table at Soul for the day of the RWC Final? Why? Well there's nowhere I'd rather be.
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Reviewer Anonymous
18/10/2011
I have eaten at Soul numerous times in the past with differing opinions. However during the last 8 weeks, building up to and during the RWC campaign, I have frequented Soul Bar & Bistro at least twice a week and cannot fault it. From its fantastic brunch options and diverse wine list, through to its top quality dinner experience the menu never disappoints. Add to this the friendly, attentive yet not over-bearing service and you have a place where you'd fear not take any clients for friends.

The location is superb, the reputation high and bookings are sometimes hard to secure. However it is all worth it for one of Auckland's most reliable dining experiences.
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Reviewer mitabeme
17/10/2011
Went to Soul Bar & Bistro as we had heard it was fantastic, what a let down it was. When you are paying that kind of money you expect what you pay for...cutlery was dirty, food came cold and side orders came halfway through our meal , just so disappointing when one has looked foward to eating there, would definitely not go back to Soul Bar & Bistro again when there are so many others down there to choose from that are cheaper and way better.
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Reviewer CharlieM
30/08/2011
Just the worst:
worst food
worst service
worst prices
worst ambience
but best location
Everything fits within a price band, I know that. But Soul bar and bistro wants to clean your wallet out with some pretty lousy food (not all that we had but enough to totally spoil the evening). Some pretty lousy service. noise that made conversation impossible.
Generally we would have fared better - price wise, food wise, cost wise and enjoyment wise - doing a Big Mac. That tells you!
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Reviewer lovetodine
21/01/2011
My Partner and I recently went to soul for an early dinner. I was highly disappointed in my overall experience. The service wasn’t up to the standard I would expect, it took us at least 15 minutes to be given a wine list, and another 20 for the waitress to take our drinks order, I even had to get up and get my own menu.Once our food arrived the presentation wasn’t very nice, looked like something you would get at Dennys…My partner ordered the Pork Belly and I ordered Macaroni cheese (which you would expect at Soul would be amazing!) But none the less it has a thick layer of orange oil on top, I though maybe it would dissolve into the macaroni but once I gave it a little stir I noticed that all I was given was a whole bowl of very liquid cheese with ¼ filled with actual macaroni pasta, I had about 3 mouthfuls then immediately felt ill and told the waitress, all I was offered was another drink (which I could not have because I was driving) and yet I still got charged for my meal, my partners was meant to come with Kumra and baby Bok Choy but the Kumra was absent and when asked they said they didn’t receive their daily order, wouldn’t you think to use potato instead?I used to love soul but my last experience has made me never want to return
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Reviewer tactilefog
30/12/2010
A little too loud for my liking I did really love the outdoor area and found it was a nice place to talk and watch the world go by.
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Reviewer PipBarling
11/12/2010
Oh what a shame! Soul has such a bustling atmosphere, and from the regular great reviews and awards I expected much more. We were seated 20mins late even though they were aware we were in a rush. To their credit service was great once seated, our order taken quickly and our drinks and food arrived swiftly. However my medium-rare steak was well done and tasteless - I complained but had to eat it anyway as we didn't have the time to wait for another. The waiter said the chef was sorry, he normally checks everything that goes out, but wasn't available to check this time. So was he implying that the other chefs are unable to cook a steak medium-rare!!! It really was a shame because apart from being late, the service was impeccable.
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Reviewer Wallbert
4/06/2010
After reading all the good reviews and hearing about all their awards, I thought Soul would be a great place to treat Mum for Mother's Day. We were seated on the terrace/outdoor area which was quite cramped and crowded. Being Mother's Day, we had expected this and so weren't too put off by it, however we were surprised to see that apart from the terrace, the rest of the restaurant was quite empty. The Maitre d' who seated us was unsmiling and a bit cold, and asked us if we would like still, sparkling or tap water. We asked for tap, but this took over 20 minutes to arrive. This proved typical throughout the day, with service being very slow throughout the meal. This was quite surprising since, as I mentioned earlier, the restaurant was not actually that full. The meals were insubstantial with underwhelming flavours. My ravioli was mainly pasta with very little filling. Furthermore, the filling was cold while the pasta was hot. Definitely not worth what we paid for them. The only redeeming feature was the dessert, which was brilliant. For a more detailed review, please see Man Eating Pasta on http://maneatingpasta.blogspot.com/2010/06/soul-bar-bistro-viaduct-harbour.html
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18/02/2010
Great Bar enjoyed my self so much will go again. AAAAA+++++
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Reviewer Anonymous
14/11/2009
AMAZING. loved it!
amazing food, amazing atmosphere, amazing service. Will definitley be going back!
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Reviewer Anonymous
8/11/2009
Dreadful service when we dined here today. The meals came out at different times. The waiter didn't know what ingredients on the menu were when we asked. The waiter had to come back and ask what we'd ordered because he forgot. And to top it all off the staff were rude and treated us as if they really didn't like us.
The food was excellent and we enjoyed it but the service really detracted from the experience.
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Reviewer WinterKitten
24/09/2009
OMG, I'm sitting here having lunch at Soul and I swear I'm sitting next to Tom Cruise, the staff are fussing round him, going to brave an autograph, wish me luck!!
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Reviewer Anonymous
12/04/2006
I agree with the comment below - a group of eight friends and I went to Soul Bar in the Viaduct for a birthday dinner, and half the table complained that their main course was served cold. Good overall though, will be back to Soul Bar again!
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Reviewer dreadsey
9/04/2006
Ten of us went to Soul Bar & Bistro on Sunday for a birthday brunch. I had the mixed grill with Italian deep fried egg. The meal was good, however, the majority of our friends had said their meals were on the cold side - I guess that's because they were all brought out at the same time. Good staff and a good time at Soul Bar & Bistro all the same!
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Reviewer Anonymous
7/04/2006
I recently went to Soul Bar & Bistro for dinner on a Thursday. It was very busy, but the service was great. Did not have to wait long for our meals, even though it was busy. It was a bit on the pricey side, but the meal was well worth it. Great service and great food. I would recommend you go at least once for a wonderful experience.
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Reviewer Anonymous
29/09/2005
Soul Bar, on the Viaduct, is a definite must for all Aucklander’s or visitors with a bit of cash to splash. Its certainly not cheap but the quality of the cuisine speaks for itself as does the level of service. The bar is great as well – always busy with a mix of urban and visitor types – also not cheap but the cocktail list is endless and they have one of the best choice of spirits in town.



Worth spending some time there – ‘cos you’ll certainly be spending you cash!
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Reviewer Anonymous
28/09/2005
Definitely the best restaurant in the Viaduct - but also the most expensive. Expect to pay a fair whack for a 2-course meal - but in my opinion worth it. You will need to book in advance to guarantee a table. Great spot to relax and watch the people go by. Recommended.
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