150 Ponsonby Road,
(09) 360 1710
SPQR, the famous Roman emblem, stands for "Senatus Populusque Romanus" - the Senate and People of Rome. Established in 1992 SPQR, a former mechanics garage, was one of the first "new age" establishments to open up in Ponsonby, the once red light district of Auckland. One of a kind, SPQR is cherished by its regular Ponsonby local clientèle and renowned for its exceptional food, service, and ambience.
Mon - Fri: 12.00 to 15.00
Sat - Sun: 10.00 to 15.00
Daily: 18.00 to 23.00
Mini Menu (pizzas, salads etc):
Between 15.00 and 18.00
Essential on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
Avg Food Spend
$$$ per person
Set Lunch Menu, A La Carte Menu, Breakfast Menu
Chris Rupe: Duetz Outstanding Restaurateur 2006 - Lewisham Awards
Hector Palmer: SkyCity Outstanding Maitre D 2006 - Lewisham Awards
WOW! I have just read some of the reviews and am totally shocked!!I have been going to this restaurant for years, only 2-3 times a year as I am not local and I don't have much of a budget. I have always found SPQR to be EXCELLENT!!! The service is great from the warm greeting as soon as you walk in to checking if you are happy with your food or you want to order something else, without pestering, though.The food has always been amazing, fresh and delicious. Those bad reviews only seem to be written when someone has wanted to vent after an occasional bad experience. What about the hundreds - no, thousands of positive experiences? I guess they have gone home after an excellent experience with a happy tummy and not needed to vent.I have always been impressed and always look forward to the chance to go again. I am planning on having my 40th there.I guess all you have to do is go there and look around at the many happy customers that fill the place on a regular basis - let that give you an indication of how great SPQR really is.
Been there for a work meeting, and the meal is good, but thats it!
Service wasnt that good, its a bit pricey...
Been there, ate there, dont know if would come back again....
Lesson: never go to SPQR from work on a Friday looking tired and completely done in. That is the only logic I can come up with for being treated as my husband and I were. We were fussily (much waving of hands) refused a table in the front sheltered area because and I quote 'there's a big booking coming in' and shown to a dim table in the rear from where we were able to observe the non-appearance of said 'big booking.' About 30 minutes passed before a much younger and well dressed couple were shown to the table we had asked for. In my opinion we were not dressed badly. My husband in the 501's and myself also in pressed jeans went well with the existing crowd, always a hodge-podge at SPQR. Having spent several evenings at SPQR over the years both for work and pleasure I now have a husband who refuses to return. I'm going to miss my favourite chicken pizza with caramelized onions.
Overrated, definitely! Have been to SPQR a number of times, complaints too many to list here.
Ok so who hasn't been here, been a few years for me but thought I would give it another try, SPQR you may have just scraped through.
After checking out the reviews on this website I was quite interested to see why there was such a big difference between the View review and the user reviews. People seemed let down by the service of SPQR. For a Ponsonby restaurant you expect a certain level of service and I found it to be satisfactory in my experience. We ordered two bottles of wine, our glasses were kept topped up the whole time. The cockles were a delicious start to the meal, garlic-y and butter-y (perhaps a little too much). My chicken breast was nice and moist through to the centre and the accompanying mash was unbelievably tasty. Apart from a couple of service issues (a glass of water was knocked by a waiter over our table and laps), the food was great, the drinks kept coming and the atmosphere was positive.
A friend and I had lunch at SPQR last week. We both had pizza, but realistically could have shared one with a salad. The mushroom and blue cheese pizza was tight on the blue cheese, whilst the salami pizza was spicy and good. The salad of rocket, parmesan and balsamic dressing was tasty and the wine was decent. Service at SPQR was average and the ambiance good.
We had a group booking for 12 people for a friend's birthday. We called 10 mins before we were due to let them know we were on our way and could we add 2 extra people to our table - "no problem" they said. We arrived 15 mins late having struggled with finding parking in Ponsonby at 8pm on a Saturday night to find they'd given our table away - no warning, no phone call to check we were still coming despite having spoken to them 30 mins earlier to say we were on our way. Food was slow to come out and fish and steak overcooked when it did arrive. Maitre d' had given us two large sharing platters as an apology for inconvenience of having to wait for a new table (around 25 mins later) and we then found those platters were added to our bill at the end ($56) along with 3 side orders that no-one on the table had ordered. Luckily someone noticed before we divided up the bill and paid unwittingly. Staff were unhelpful and verging on rude and food was edible but certainly nothing special. A very disappointing night out and we won't be returning despite having had a few good evenings there in the past.
SPQR is totally over rated. I have dined around the world and have to say this place has the most shocking service of them all. The waiters are over the top and rude. There are much better places to dine in Auckland.
SPQR looks the goods but how disappointing. We were told a 30 min wait for a table, so happy to have a drink while waiting. After 50 mins and a couple of quiet reminders to the 'way to busy' front man, he proudly declared a table had been organised. He was happy to seat our party of 4 on a small round table suitable for 2! A bit of a slap after waiting 50 mins for a table. The impending circus of getting 4 plates and 8 glasses plus extras unfolded as any waiter with half a brain should have been able to foresee.To get a second bottle of wine we had to ask 3 times, then it was bought from the bar without cork and poured directly into a glass still containing the previous wine. No tasting, no new glasses. Lift your game if you want to class yourself as decent establishment.Unless you are part of the Ponsonby 'In Crowd' most of the staff are too self important to give you more than a sideways glance. The food was decent but they could net even get the 2 steaks we ordered to the correct person. SPQR - If you want to be classed as a good restaurant then get the basics down first please!!
Having also been away from Auckland for a couple of years like Sarah below, we thought we would give SPQR a go. Sadly our babysitter didn't turn up, but were pleasantly suprised that they offered a take out service (and we even got it delivered by food runner!).
I can't comment on the service and ambience, however the food delivered (chicken fettucine and saffron risotto) was simply great, especially for a take out.
In fact, we enjoyed it so much we ordered in the next night as well!
Give it a go!
After being away for 2 years now living in Sydney, I was really looking forward to SPQR.
However I was meet with very bad service and paid a bill for this I never ordered. The experience left a very bad taste I will never go again.
Quite possibly the worst restaurant my friends and I have ever been to. Serving a table of six seemed to be quite the challenge for the staff of SPQR as we were left waiting in anticipation for our meals for over one hour. My meal was understatedly the most unpleasant calamari salad I have ever had, so bad it was returned. The simplicity of a salad was underestimated as my 5 friends had their pizzas 20mins before my meal arrived. Furthermore, two staff members were argumentative when we tried to get the salad taken off the bill. We will never go back to this obscenely run restaurant again.
For a restaurant that has been a staple of the Auckland restaurant scene for so many years I was stunned at the shockingly poor service and more than average food. We had a booking that had been confirmed for some weeks and had a set menu which had a good selection. Booked for 7.30pm, we placed our orders for all three courses approx 7.50pm. Our entrees arrived at 9.30pm - these were ok but a few of our party were served entrees they did not order as the kitchen had run out. No staff advised them that they weren't available. Our mains then arrived around 10.30pm after much asking & again some of the choices were now no longer available (in one case they had to come back twice). A number of people ordered steak & no one received the correct order e.g rare, med/rare etc. It was tasteless and tough. The waitress then brought salad & potatoes after we had all eaten our mains!! and offered them as complimentary! Desserts were average. The attitude of the staff was appalling. I & a number of others will never return. Not great considering we spent several thousand dollars.
yes, it was good, the food that is. We were waited on by a nice gentleman and had a great evening, but one small thing that bothered me was when we got the bill, the water that was continously being toped up by our kind waiter, was charged to us without asking, now i am not bothered about the price but the fact that they did not ask and state that it was going to be charged to the bill was not really on. apart from that it was a great night out and i highly recomend the place.
SPQR on Ponsonby Road never fails to hit the mark with a flourish. Fantastically over the top waiters, sleak ambience even during the day, impeccable service and as usual the food is perfect. Couldn't recommend it enough.
I have been to the iconic SPQR many times over the years and have in the past had consistantly great food and very slick service. The last time I visited, we took a guest from overseas to our trusted SPQR. The experience was nothing short of personally embarrassing for us. The service was D grade, serving one meal 25 mins before the other 2, and rudely responded too when we asked when the other meals were coming. The "too cool to be cool" attitude, did not work that night. I have never been back, and won't risk entertaining there again. Sharpen up your act SPQR
I was soooo disappointed of this place. Its location gives it a great potential however it was very disappointing. I think that previously I have had better service at the local takeaway shop, first it took them over 10 minutes to take our order even though the place was not even close to being full, after they very rudely took our order, it took them about 15 minutes to bring us a bottle of wine, the dinner was very late as well, and the waiter didn't care to check if the food was what we ordered, he mixed up the plates and gave my plate to my partner.
The whole experience was VERY disappointing and I am sure that I am never going back to that place
I was very disappointed when I had lunch at SPQR. A pretend pizza barely had any food on it! My son is almost anorexic in the amount he eats but this pizza left him still hungry! I have eaten at SPQR before and been very happy with the whole 9 yards but this time only 50cms was covered! Don't do this again chef SPQR!
I been here a couple of times to eat, but last night was the first time I've gone for a drink. The service was as good as ever, but just felt like I was invading people's dinner. There's not real space allocated to the bar, and we ended up being barged into someone's table. I love it as a restaurant - just not sure of it as a bar in its own right.
I took my brother from the UK here last week and was once again suitably impressed. Even though the place was packed the service was impeccable – we never had to wait for more drinks as new ones were consistently supplied just as we finished the last round.
The food this time wasn’t quite up to scratch but the atmosphere and overall experience covered any downfalls there.
We’ve been to SPQR on Ponsonby Road four times in the last five months and never been disappointed. The restaurant has a lively bar attached offering some great cocktails as well as a refined wine list. The service is always impeccable and delivered with real style whilst the food is faultless.
Definitely recommended but don’t forget to book – SPQR gets busy quickly.
Who has not been to SPQR? If you are ever looking for the recipe to a successful bar and restaurant, then you need to look no further! It’s the atmosphere created by the staff that really sets it apart. After you have been a few times, you will be greeted at the door like an old family friend. And what a great family to belong to when you get to indulge in fantastic food, drink fine wine, and party with some of Auckland’s greatest party goers. 'SP' is an icon to Auckland so if you have not been, it’s best you get along and become a part of it!
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