Snapdragon Bar & Kitchen

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18 reviews
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204 Quay Street,

The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byBrett Atkinson14/01/2011

From the team that brought Foxglove to Wellington. That means quirky touches like 1970s album covers, an indoor wall of living, breathing ferns, and retro furniture upstairs straight from Dr Evil’s lair. But is it a restaurant or a bar?

At least a few backpackers are getting work at the Viaduct this summer. The international crew serving at Snapdragon is energetic and eager, but let themselves down with basic mistakes like no drinks menu being offered and a wait of ten minutes to take our first orders. Compared to service at the Viaduct’s similarly-priced Euro and Soul, just not good enough.

A well compiled array of larger and boutique Kiwi vineyards, but minimal direction from the wait staff. ‘Which of these Rieslings is drier?’ Cue awkward shuffling and ums and ers.

The authentic Southeast Asian flavours of the seared tuna salad, well priced at $20.50. Unfortunately not the same response to the oddly slimy calamari with sweet chilli jam ($14.50), or the utterly flavourless crispy crab “sliders” with mango, cucumber, black sesame, and Malaysian curry mayonnaise ($16). Small plates need to pack loads of flavour into their smaller profiles. Despite the multiple ingredients listed, Snapdragon’s ‘First Plates’ fail to do this.

Most Surprising Dish
The dry-aged Angus Fine Marble scotch fillet with mushroom bearnaise, crispy onion rings and bordelaise sauce. Sorry, with Euro and Soul just around the corner, that’s just not worth $36.

The Bottom Line
With Middle Eastern, Asian and European influences the menu reads like a dream, but unfortunately the skill just isn’t evident to pull it off. While the décor and ambience is interesting, Snapdragon soon runs out of puff.

A Reason to Return
The cocktail list and the cool upstairs lounge area with views of the Viaduct. Give this place 6 months and it’ll probably be mainly a bar anyway.

Snapdragon Bar & Kitchen has been reviewed by 18 users

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