Tin Soldier

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10 reviews
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151 Ponsonby Road,

(09) 378 1719

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From the friendly greeting upon arrival to the casual banter at departure it is hard to vault Tin Solider. Expectations were reserved slightly, nestled amongst such Ponsonby icons as Chapel and PRB it would be easy to slip up. However if anything Tin Soldier exceeds the standards set by its neighbours.

Split two level venue. Bar 'upstairs' has plenty of leaner height seating, yet affords itself to plenty of standing space for the staff to operate through. Downstairs (5 steps) the dining area caters for all. There are larger regular height tables for larger groups, leaner heights for those that like to people watch, plenty of glass to watch the throngs outside, a recessed windowed green area above to allow the air through and an open kitchen! An open kitchen is a statement to patrons that our staff know their stuff...here they sure do. The knife work, cooking techniques, and presentation are a delight to watch.

Attentive, educated, honest in their food appraisals and preferences.

Chipotle mayo on the cerviche market fish may be slightly overpowering for the softer pallet, but adds a dynamic twist to the traditional oka serving. The Chicken Parfait with pear and saffron chutney - it's so addictive the government might try and ban it.

We went with the Pork Belly (a personal fav at the moment) and were not disappointed. The 'spiced pumpkin' it is served with is incredible. Without going all Simon Gault on it the initial sweetness of the pumpkin blends into the saltiness of the pork then the subtle spices finish it off perfectly...the best Ive had of late. We probably didn't need the venison carpaccio, such the serving sizes of the first 3, but it was recommended so we did. And glad we did too. This modern day thought of infusing fruits with meat flavours is a pleasure in most cases, the venison with the pear and crispy garlic is a fine example.

Too full for dessert or cheese on this occasion. But will be back
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Tin Soldier in Ponsonby.

The mains were pretty good. However, the desserts were the stand out for me. I couldn't quite visualise what the 'tastes of Milo' would be like but it definitely didn't disappoint. I only wish that there were more churros, or perhaps I should ask next time I should ask if I could get the churros on its own. Crisp, light and fluffy. The churros melts in your mouth. Meanwhile, the watermelon dessert was perfect for the hot muggy day. Refreshing and delicious.

Relaxed and comfortable. Although, could do with some fans indoors as it was stifling hot the day we visited.

Friendly and efficient.

Overall impression:
Need to try more of their mains before I can give a proper verdict. But the churros is worth returning for.
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One of the most satisfying Auckland dining experiences in a long time and one that I'd thoroughly recommend. From woe to go, Tin Soldier really delivered.
Setting is contemporary with two separate spaces. The main dining area within clear view of the busy kitchen has a combination tables, booths and high stools - quite a nice effect especially if, as we were, you've got the luxury of an elevated view so you can pretty much decide what you want before even seeing the menu.
Staff were fantastic - breaking down the menu and the dining philosophy really well - Tin Soldier is a sharing experience with all dishes basically deconstructed - and it works.
Drinks list ideal - a good variety of craft beers and local wines - Little Creatures for me (one of the best drops going around) and not overly priced.
Then the food - on our visit we enjoyed everything from buffalo cheese balls and mussel sliders to sirloin steak and pigs cheek. In truth we ordered far to much (and therefore we didn't have room for Tin Soldier's Milo-inspired dessert which I've been since reading about) - but there was so much to tempt one and it was really well priced.
Tin Soldier is right up there with Ponsonby's, if not Auckland's best casual dining restaurants I'm sure. We'll be back and hopefully soon.
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Reviewer Brennybumnuts
We had a great night at Tin Soldier on Saturday. We enjoyed the whole shared plate experience and great service. The outstanding dishes were sirloin steak and the pigs cheek. The fries and chorizo crochets were also great. Tin Soldiers well priced wine list also impressed Us. The man o war Chardonnay a mere $12 a glass a winner.
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Reviewer cmonthebay
I had read the write up about Tin Soldier in the Herald and then having seen some pretty positive reviews on this site and others were really keen to give it a go mid-week.
I like the small plate concept as it gives you an opportunity to try a wide variety and then if need be, order more. The Fish pie was pretty spectacular but the highlight (which seems to be a common theme), was the Milo pud...why has it taken so long to discover this dish!
Overall, dining at Tin Soldier was a really great experience. The drink prices are a little higher than I'm used to but this is Ponsonby right. Go there!
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Reviewer Serpico
Went to Tin Soldier last night for a quick drink and stayed for 2 hours. was a really great vibe in there.
Had the Pinot Noir from the tap and it was good, had the mini hotdogs and chicken wings which were good - the mini hot dogs were really good.
Service was friendly and relaxed - we sat at the bar.
I would definitely go again and have a proper meal, the menu looked really good.
It is unpretentious, friendly and a great place just to hang out.
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Reviewer sallly
I went to Tin Soldier a couple of weeks ago just after it opened. I loved the wine on tap, I loved the milo dessert and I loved the pumpkin.
Cute waiters outfits. Nice new addition to Ponsonby Road for those of us locals getting a bit bored with the same old menus.
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Reviewer Andyq
Tin Soldier is highly recommended! For those of you who are a little cautious when sampling new foods, please don't be put off by the name of the pork cheek... If you like pork belly you will adore this dish. Impeccably cooked, I can say you will not be disappointed. The rest of the small plates were just as tasty and the service was wonderful to match. Fantastic offering of tap beers (and tap wine?!) but again don't let snobbery get the better of you. Try it- or it's your own loss. To finish, go for the flavours of Milo.. Don't question it just do it. You will be back for seconds. Or requesting it for breakfast the next morning. Will definitely be back - thankyou Tin Soldier for a wonderful dining experience!
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Content updated: 19/12/2014 16:14

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