120 Quay Street,
(09) 300 5279
The ViewAuckland Review
When you've got a spare minute, click onto Google Street View and take a look at Tyler Street as it was a few years back. That big vacant square on the right, Northern Steamship as the first on the block of the new breed of CBD bars, and if you look next to it, a rather innocuous looking garage with shutters and the occasional black rubbish bag and discarded milk crate scattered outside. It doesn't exactly look like a space that could ever be cool.
Skip forward to 2011 and a visit to Tyler St reveals a much different story. Buildings have been knocked down, built up and redesigned. The garage remains but in name only, for recently Tyler St Garage has sprung up in its place. Not a rubbish bag in sight.
The first thing that hits you when you enter the bar is that the floor carries on directly from the pavement outside, even down to the old parking spaces complete with 'reserved' signs. This is a very pared-back industrial look that is all quite dark but never felt cold. If it's a nice day, head upstairs to the balcony. This offers great views out over the harbour (which will only get better once the wharves get further developed), and there's a bar set up there as well. I can only imagine what this place is like at full steam on a Friday night.
Alas, we'd already had plans for Friday but went along for a late lunch on the weekend, nursing slightly sore heads from the night before. We shared one of their 5 varieties of pizza, our choice being the tiger prawn, chilli, garlic, oregano and capers. When it came out, we were concerned that it looked too greasy. Fears were allayed on first bite - I've never had a seafood pizza like it. The only thing that distracted me whilst eating were the pork buns that were ordered by the table next door. They looked terribly inviting - next time, next time...
Drinks-wise, there are some great things on offer but we went off the menu with a couple of Bloody Marys. These didn't quite hit the mark, being a bit weak and no celery, but really it wasn't a biggie. A suggestion perhaps that the team set up a make-your-own Bloody Mary station as I've seen in bars serving brunch in London... that would make me very happy.
I want to go on about Tyler St Garage - about the food, the design, the fact that you can get every wine on the wine list by the glass, carafe or bottle, the amazing staff, the beast of a metal staircase... But you have to try this one for yourself. This is going to be a big player - wouldn't it be good to say that you were one of the first?
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Tyler St. Garage has been reviewed by 18 users