Ponsonby Road Bistro

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User rating 

8 reviews
Venue Image
165 Ponsonby Road,

(09) 360 1611

Ponsonby Road Bistro Information

Ponsonby Road Bistro in Ponsonby, Auckland, serves simple, strong, honest food. But above that, the Ponsonby Road Bistro also keeps Auckland locals coming back for more because it exudes a charisma and charm that no other restaurant is able to stake claim to. This popular eatery is the epitome of bistro perfection; sleekness without the attitude and character without the excessive extravagance.

Opening Hours
Mon - Fri: 12:00pm till late
Sat: 16:00pm till late
Food Times
Lunch 12:00pm - 15:00pm; Dinner 17:30pm onwards. A reduced menu is offered from 15:00pm - 17:30pm.
Advisable on Thu, Fri, Sat
Not Necessary on Mon, Tue, Wed
Avg Food Spend
$$$ per person
Food Info
A La Carte Menu
Drink Info
Cocktail List available
Children welcome - Kids welcome
Outdoor Area
Metro Top 50 - 2012
Best Casual Dining Metropolitan - Cuisine Restaurant of the Year Awards 2011

Metro Magazine Top 50 Auckland Restaurants 2010 and 2011
Am Ex imageDiners imageEftpos imageMastercard imageVisa image
Disabled Facilities
Wheelchair Access, Disabled Toilets

Ponsonby Road Bistro User reviews

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I’ve been wanting to go to Ponsonby Road Bistro for a while and finally got here. My group of 11 only stopped here for a main as I had arranged a progressional dinner down Ponsonby Road with a different restaurant for entrée and another for dessert.

First impressions were really good, a swanky restaurant with dim lighting, the only negative was the acoustics were not so great so a little noisy. I love the hand written menus and the staff were very friendly and matre-d’ accommodating considering we were not staying for 3 courses.
The wine menu was extensive and had some really lovely wines available.

For my main I chose the Lamb with lemon Risotto, yoghurt and parsley. It came in a pottery Paella type dish and I absolutely loved the flavours. I was so pleased with my choice although everyones dish looked very good. The only negative from two ladies in my group was that the fish was a little dry.

This was a meal we'll remember, both for the brilliant service and the exciting, beautifully cooked food.

The warm Valrhona chocolate pudding with chocolate sauce has been eyeballing my friend for some time and she was disappointed not to get to try it before I rushed her out to the next stop. Apparently it’s so good that it’s always on the menu, so we shall be back. I loved this place, I will definitely be going back to sample a dish from each course.
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Reviewer improve
All started quite well. We were offered water, ordered our wine with one very professional waitress giving us a run-down on the specials. Then a switch happened and a young waiter carried on with a far too jovial style for my taste. I wanted service and not make friends.
We ordered our meals and when they arrived, the lights were turned down so much that we were not able to recognize what was on the plate.
I tried to tell the waiter but he seemed to insist on what he called "mood lighting".
They brought one more candle but without any improvement to visibility, and the already too small table was now even more crowded. And as if to add insult to our misery, the lady who seemed to be the manager came along with a little battery torch! This really topped it for me.
When it came to payment I tried to tell her once more how unfortunate it is not to be able to see the food on the table. Her attitude was somewhat between smug-professional to a "I really don't care".
The food was average (I still don't know what it was), pretentious, and overpriced.
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Reviewer glasshalffool
I agree with some of the other commenters here, Ponsonby Road Bistro has quite a simple menu. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the steak I ordered. It was cooked possibly a little more than I would have expected from medium-rare but was delicious nonetheless. The accompanying chunky fries were nice and crispy, although I wish they provided more of that superb aoli dipping sauce!

The service was quick and painless and we were checked on at every stage of the night to see if anything could be done for us. The place is perhaps a little small for the noise, I could barely hear my friend speak at some points of the night but overall it was an enjoyable experience. Will definitely be back.
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Reviewer eat2enjoy
We have been customers of these people across their various food enterprises and but will NOT be back. A short while ago we (my wife and I) had lunch at PRB - a return after a previous bad experience but their past allowed them another chance. Lunch - great Waiheke oysters well presented. My wife had a terrine starter that was more like baked ricotta with no terrine like weight or structure and no haloumi flavour or texture. I had a cauliflower based soup that had little flavour and was on the cold side of luke warm. We then preceded to two very disappointing mains. My wife had 6 prawns that came in a metal gravy boat (yes, the table next to us had sauce in the same type of 'boat') fully in their shells and very hot - no part peeling done in the kitchen here. I had polpette and pappardelle - the tomato based sauce was flavourless, the polpette had no outer caramelisation and were almost cold in the middle. The lunch was so bad we left about a third of a good bottle of bubbles and did not wait for dessert.

I have previously (with clients) had a very very disappointing wagyu steak lunch here - when I spoke to one of the owners some days later he said that he had is 'b team' on that day as his chef was away. He told another review site they have never sold wagyu - I have 3 people and the date if they want to be reminded.

I have subsequently reviewed the above very disappointing lunch elsewhere only to have one of the owners bale me up in the street and call me rather unpleasant things as a result.

Dine here if you want average to bad food at prices that do not match what you get. There is better to be had at many other places.

My rating is a reflection of 2 in a row very bad dinning experiences along with the subsequent attitude of one of the owners - especially as I have previously raised food issues in a nice manner. They might charge 'a team' prices but beware the 'b team' experience - and 'c team' attitude. Shame on you PRB.
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Reviewer citykid
Heard good things from friends about Ponsonby Road Bistro so the girlfriend and I tried the restaurant out last night.
Pretty small menu - can't say I was overwhelmed by the selection...at least it had a good wine and beer list (had the Emmersons Pale Ale - my new favourite).
Had the steak which was a bit overcooked and served with far too much in the way of salad.
Good, buzzy atmosphere though - very popular on this particular Friday night. Will give Ponsonby Road Bistro another go though.
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Reviewer Louie
We went to Ponsonby Road Bistro for dinner on Sat night. It had been recommended by quite a few people so I was looking forward to the experience. The restaurant was packed at 7.30pm and we were seated between two other couples. Unfortunately they knew each other so the women talked behind our backs which was pretty annoying. The menu was a bit disappointing, usually I have a hard time choosing something, but this time it was only the steak with chunky fries and the fish that appealed. The entrees were also disappointing with the platter winning. This consisted of gherkins, capers, meat and bread and was plain, if not boring. The steak was deliciously cooked, but then again nothing special. The dessert was another non event. Apple crumble cake, was like a muffin warmed with ice cream. The service was great and ambiance good too. The wine list was also good, but overall I think they don't try hard enough.
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Reviewer david451
I tried Magnum twice. First time we waited nearly 2 hours while people after us seemed to get tables! the food was disappointing considering the price. Second time the waiters were arrogant and seemed to forget about my table so I had to ask for service 3 times! I wasn't asked once about the dessert menu and our glasses never got filled. The food was dissapointing again! my burger was not cooked (red cold mushy mince), I was told by the waiter it was fine and I wouldn't die. I'll never set foot in that place again, money is not an issue for me but when I get that kind of food and service I resent parting with it!
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Reviewer Gauma
The description says that the food is simple - I wouldn't agree with that. Probably simply great is a better definition.
I love everything about Magnum - ambience, food, wine, service, music... If I really want a nice evening, I go there, because I am guaranteed to enjoy every little thing.
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