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141 Queen Street,
Northcote Point

(09) 480 2690

The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byBrett Atkinson11/01/2010

If the weather is good – as it was this year – the traffic-free days between Christmas and New Year are a great time to be in Auckland. It’s like living in Whangarei (or Christchurch), but there’s plenty to do.

This year one of our discoveries was the newly opened Stafford Rd Wine Bar across the harbour in Northcote Point, and just a few hundred metres along from the Engine Room and the Bridgeway cinema. There’s been a wine shop on the corner of Queen St and Stafford Wine for yonks. Point Wines is still there, but it’s now been joined by the best little wine and tapas bar this side of the Harbour Bridge. The wine shop has been relocated down the hill slightly, and the sunny corner location now sports tables and chairs just made for enjoying late afternoon sun.

More than a few locals have obviously decided to stay around Auckland this year, and we’re lucky to secure one of the last inside tables. The interior of the Stafford Rd Wine is actually reminiscent of the Gypsy Tea Room in West Lynn, with a grandiose wooden bar and distressed painted and wallpapered walls straight from the backstreets of France or Spain. The wine list is hugely diverse with weekly blackboard specials adding to the mix, and it’s good to see another independent bar taking beer seriously with Emerson’s and Little Creatures amongst the brews offered.

We’re here primarily for the wine and food though and dive into a Three Miners Central Otago Riesling ($8.50), and Seresin Chardonnay ($11.50). The tapas menu is equally diverse, but after a few minutes of observing other plates emerging from the kitchen, we decide on the orange marinated smoked salmon with tartare sauce ($12.50), tea crusted pork fillet with a sweet chilli and lime glaze ($12.50), and the calamari & chorizo salad ($11.50) with rocket salad and semi-dried tomatoes. Unlike a few other tapas bars around town, the servings are admirably robust, and it’s the perfect grazing selection to debate the validity of easily broken New Years resolutions. A later arrival of another friend means we do need to order some more food though, and it’s actually a good opportunity to order a follow-up bowl of fries and aioli and a bottle of New Zealand’s finest beer for summer, Emerson’s Organic Pilsner ($14.50).

Not that I usually need to find a reason for that particular combination.

Stafford Road Wine Bar has been reviewed by 11 users

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