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Viaduct Basin,
Viaduct Harbour Avenue,

(09) 356 7249

The ViewAuckland Review

Review byEd Reed5/10/2007

5 out of 5 stars

With an owner not afraid to undertake innovative marketing initiatives, Soul Bar has long been at the forefront of an Auckland dining scene that is becoming increasingly competitive.

One adage that even the most junior marketing exec will tell you rings true, is that any marketing is only as good as the product it’s trying to sell.

That is where, under Judith Talbrons’ direction, Soul Bar and Bistro has really prospered. It is the darling of the Viaduct area, with the figurative full house sign seemingly displayed permanently.

The last supper for a departing work colleague was the perfect excuse for a mid-week visit to Soul. The place was predictably humming with seemingly satisfied diners, and with Fashion week just around the corner, the stylish set was definitely in attendance.

With a well-appointed menu to ponder over, the four of us ordered a bottle of Vavasour Sauvignon Blanc ($46) and ciabatta with bessara oil to buy us some time.

My starter choice of the hot venison kofta turned out to be well made, although the spicy fried calamari drew equal praise from two of my work mates.

Although Seafood is unquestionably at the heart of Soul’s cuisine, the menu is by no means limited to this food group. At $37, the double lamb chops with green pilav are one of the more expensive dishes but when food tastes this good and work’s paying for it, who’s counting! Of my colleague’s main course choices, only the grass fed beef fillet was eyed up with real envy.

Accompanying our meal was a delicious bottle of Chard Farm Pinot Noir ($63) - going down so well, a second was ordered without too much hesitation.

With ample portions, in truth a dessert wasn’t really warranted. However, having earlier cast my eye over the self-saucing chocolate pudding, it would’ve been hard to go past it. The crisp outer shell gave way for an explosion of rich warm chocolate sauce that mixed with the ice cream would have made any sweet tooth happy.

With a bill just shy of $400, the price tag is an accurate indicator as to why Soul Bar and Bistro has proven over the years to be so popular. The food could not be faulted in the slightest and, when combined with the idyllic setting and efficient service Soul delivers on its promises.

Now that’s a strap line if ever I’ve heard one.

Soul Bar & Bistro has been reviewed by 28 users

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