6-8 Vulcan Lane,
(09) 300 6226
The ViewAuckland Review
5 out of 5
Formerly the historic Occidental, this was the long-time home base for journalists from the Star and the NZ Herald (it was at the midpoint of both offices).
It also became a favoured watering hole for Flying Nun types when the label Doug Hood’s Looney Tours company and other black jean-clad earnest types moved up from the South Island and into premises around the corner. The place had an atmosphere—a smell in fact—all of its own.
Those days are long gone and the once pleasingly seedy bar has been upgraded with a Belgian makeover and beers (Leffe, Hoegaarden, Kwak and Duvel among them), plus an excellent menu which favours steaming plates of mussels, the traditional casserole waterzooi (chicken, seafood or vegetarian), a wonderful Belgian bangers and mash (stoemp) option. And of course there are those substantial desserts.
These days, the lunchtime clientele at the Occidental Belgian Beer Café in Vulcan Lane, Central Auckland, is mostly suit-heavy and sometimes slightly shrill when the girls have a few wines too many. But the wonderful beers and good food don’t make you hanker for the old Occidental at all.
The bar staff are knowledgeable about the many beers: so take your time, sample a couple before you settle on something you like—and remember, you don’t have to try them all in one sitting.
The outdoor tables here are perfect for people watching in summer (better though, they can watch you) and in winter big black drapes over the door keep out the cold and create a sense of warmth and intimacy.
A year-round pub with a friendly atmosphere, great décor and even better beers.
The Occidental Belgian Beer Cafe has been reviewed by 6 users