21 Hurstmere Road,
(09) 929 2791
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I quite liked my ala-carte meal at the Commons a few months back so decided to book my table of 12 for the 6 course degustation.My group arrived here expecting to sit in the private group area only to find that we had been bumped weeks after I booked to the main restaurant in favour of a 21st. The staff member I booked in person with was not working that night so the poor waiter bore the brunt and tried to appease with a glass of free bubbles each. Which in the embarrassment of the moment he proceeded to drop all over the floor. After a bad start the Chef came out to speak to me and assure me the food would be great and we drank our bubbles and all was forgotten.The first course was kingfish with lime pith, young coconut and was a little bland but was pretty on the plate. The 2nd course was cauliflower, sunflower, almond and popcorn, nice texture and great presentation again.The mains were a Pork Jowl and Venison, both yummy but we all agreed could have done with being a slight bit larger. The pre dessert – more a palette cleanser with cucumber was not liked much by the table. But the dessert I had had on my previous visit we had again and it was AMAZING – homemade crunchy bar and Puhoi Bush honey ice cream. I just wish it was as big as the ala-carte portion.The wine matching for an extra $40 I am happy I didn’t get. The waiter said you received ½ glass servings but each serving was about 100ml at most. The staff were excellent, plentiful, well-versed in what they were offering and determined to make our evening good. The downside of the restaurant is exactly what I was wanting to avoid by having the private area, and that’s the noise factor for conversation which we wouldn’t have got in the private area. I have had more generous beautiful degustation’s at other restaurants such as Fish, Vinnie’s and Number 5 but for around $100-120 so this one for $75 I guess was relevant.
Great friday night vibe at The Commons and easily the best bar in Takapuna from what I've seen on my travels. Grab a spot near the outdoor heaters if you can as it will make a mid-winter visit even more appealing. Good wine list with prices not too over the top.
The people behind the central Auckland Imperial Lane development of Roxy have taken an ambitious punt over the bridge to fill that upmarket gap that was lurking in Takapuna.
Their newish development is a large-scale venture, with five different eating and drinking spaces.
I love the menus with a cryptic list giving clue to what you will be eating although very small and I noticed no red meat. I chose Chicken, Olive, Heritage carrot and pinenut and it was the main dish of the night, the chicken was cooked perfectly and the puree and pinenuts gave it the smooth with the crunchy – great textures.
The only inconsistency was that one friend got the main size of the bluenose fish and it was hardly bigger than the entrée size my other friend has ordered at the same time.
The dessert list is as inventive as the other courses. I opted for the one listed as Chocolate, Honeycomb and Puhoi Bush Honey which was a standout for me although as far as presentation it would have stood out more if it wasn’t swallowed up by a black plate and on a white plate instead. The Chocolate was mousse, the Honey was the ice cream and the Honeycomb was just like homemade Crunchy bar and generous in the pieces I received. I loved it and am happy that it’s also part of the Degustation menu and that I will get to eat it again in 6 weeks time.
The staff were professional and friendly and well-versed in what they were offering. The building is spacious and I love that it has 4 areas in which to dine – the outdoor ‘common’ courtyard, the casual downstairs and the swanky upstairs more formal dining and then lastly the Private Group Dining area in which we will be seated in next time.
Easily one of the best restaurants on the Shore, my most recent visit to the Commons (my third) just reinforced this sentiment. Spectacular venue with an elevated position over the central courtyard with more intimate dining upstairs and casual bar/bistro down make The Commons a venue for all occasions.
The menu is pretty concise (actually, really concise) but don't let that detract from what is a really good offering overall. A strong focus on seafood but when you're this ocean why the hell not! The smoked fish salad was terrific and just right for one of those typically Auckland, muggy days...although my dining companion opted for the vegetable tart which she was seriously smitten by!
The wind list is good with quite a few reasonably priced options by variety, although I would say that the beer list could do with a bit of wow factor! Takapuna was in serious need of something like this and glad (very glad) to see The Commons take up residence in the area.
The Commons is a great place to have lunch in Takapuna. The atmosphere is great and the staff are welcoming. We had a GrabOne voucher and we were impressed with both the food we ordered and they friendly way in which it was delivered. Calamari was crisp and tasty (although a wee bit fatty towards the bottom of the bowl), fries delicious and the chicken liver mousse exceptional. It is served with a yummy toasted brioche, which is great if you love the mousse but don't want to eat heaps of bread. Will definitely return for an after-work drink in the near future.
Nice location, Nice atmosphere and amazing food!!! Would definately recommend the Commons to all you foodies out there
The Commons is truly an exquisite dining experience. From the doorman opening the door for us, to the maitre d’ that greeted us inside. It was tempting to stay downstairs in the upbeat, classy environment to try the tapas menu, but we opted to dine upstairs and feast on the chefs tantalizing menu offered by the maitre d’. Upstairs we thoroughly enjoyed an evening of fine dining experience. All the staff are gave world class service, they were friendly, well informed of the menu and extensive wine list, and made us feel completely pampered and looked after us for the evening. The atmosphere is warm, classy, creative and vibey with really great background music. The food is INCREDIBLE!! Colourful, fresh, creative that made my taste buds dance with joy. So many different flavours, textures and tastes! Looking forward to going back and trying out the tapas menu. I’m sure The Commons will be our new summer spot with the outside bar and lounge couches - bliss!!
three cheers (and five stars) for the commons - any place that serves up James Squire is off to a good start in my books. The settings it cool - that hurstmere corridor can get pretty cold but the courtyard area (and the heaters) does manage to keep the temperature decent.
Haven't eaten at the commons as yet but with Mexico opening soon, this might well be the destination to be once summer kicks in. Awesome guys - c u soon!
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