50 Customs Street West,
(09) 309 5854
The ViewAuckland Review
Tucked away down a side alley in the heart of Britomart, Agents and Merchants enjoys a great little spot next to Racket, and as such give a lovely sense of being away from the hustle and bustle whilst it still feels like you've stumbled upon it. Agent’s and Merchants is not big, and the outdoor area gets packed pretty quickly, but why would you want to be sitting out there anyway? It's freezing, people!
Tapping in to the trend of small plate shared eating, Agents and Merchants offers a variety of options, including a number of lovely seafood plates that will satisfy anyone with a craving. Highlights include Chipotle prawns, pan seared tuna and scallops with streaky bacon and mango salsa. The curly fries needed more sauce to accompany, but that's admittedly a bit picky on my part!
Very impressive and extensive, Agents and Merchants is definitely about the wine. Some more options by the glass would have been appreciated, but this is definitely a place where you can sit, relax and enjoy mulling over the wine list. I probably looked like quite the commoner by ordering beer, but they have Budvar so I think I saved face a little. The cocktail list is adapted for the seasons, and the New Orleans Hot Toddy (with Hennessy VS Cognac, Rye Whiskey, Peychaud's Bitters, Absinthe Bitters, Honey, Fresh Lemon Juice, Orange Peel and Cinnamon) sounds like just the ticket if the weather keeps getting colder
Pretty good, though the night we went (Friday) it did seem like there wasn't a clear distinction of who should be doing what. It may be rushed but the best bars cope with this with a smile and a sense of having everything under control. A little work to be done here.
The design – Agent’s & Merchants has a warm feeling to it, especially the wooden floors and lovely detailing around the bar. Given that it hasn't been around for all that long, it feels bedded in. Take a moment to enjoy the lovely hanging lamps over the bar, and the ceiling (though frankly, if you're looking at the ceiling, maybe it's time to leave).
The Bottom Line
Definitely a place to come for good wine and food to share with friends. It's not a place I would go to again as a first stop to a lads night out (which we did), but definitely if I wanted to relax mid-week with some friends, some wine and a desire to share plates, I'd recommend it.
Agents & Merchants has been reviewed by 7 users