Venue Image
115 Queen Street,
Northcote Point

(09) 480 9502

The Engine Room Information

The Engine Room, on Auckland's Northcote Point, is a stunning Modern European restaurant set in a classic art deco building.

Opening Hours
Lunch: Friday from 12.00
Dinner: Tues-Sat 18.00-late
Essential on Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat
Avg Food Spend
$$$$ per person
Food Info
A La Carte Menu
Outdoor Area
Winner Best Upmarket Bistro - 2012 Metro
Metro Top 50 - 2012
Metro Restaurant of the Year Award 2011 - Best Upmarket Bistro.
Local Bistro Winner 2010 - Metro
Metro Steak Frites - 2008 Metro Best Local Restaurant - 2008 Metro Restaurant of the Year Supreme Winner 2007 – Metro Best Local Restaurant 2007 – Metro Best Local Restaurant 2006 - Metro Best Local Restaurant 2006 - Metro
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Disabled Facilities
Wheelchair Access, NO Disabled Toilets

The Engine Room User reviews

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Made my first return visit to The Engine Room since the renovations took place and managed to get a table just the day before - a great start! The new space looks fantastic, with the additional tables being slightly removed so as not to make the whole place actually seem bigger or louder at all. The cheese souffle is such a treat and I shared it with my Mum who had never tried it before. She agreed it is a taste and texture sensation. I couldn't go past the schnitzel for my main, which I think is the best schnitzel anywhere. My husband's steak was cooked perfectly (just the right amount of rare). Desserts were also shared - the churros and a yummy peanut cheesecake with a lovely, dark caramel sauce. Two small problems - our waiter suggested Brussels sprouts which we declined, but they arrived anyway and we let that go. However, the plate they were served on was cold so they didn't stay warm long at all. I still have to give The Engine Room 5 stars though, because you just can't get much better.
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Awesome new fit-out - especially good to be able to see the talented kitchen staff in action. I've been 3 times now in the last two years - not one single reason to fault the place. The Metro Award is well deserved - good work Engine Room.
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We went to the Engine Room when it first opened to rave reviews and were underwhelmed. However I had watched the refurb with interest and again the rave reviews so time to try gain. The refurb works well doubling its size and was packed. We were placed at a corner table in the older part of the restaurant. A waiter immediately approached with water. After nearly 10 minutes with no one coming near and a couple of waiters studiously ignoring my eye contact I finally caught the eye of the maître de. She sent the waiter over immediately and we ordered a couple of glasses of Cable Bay Sauv blanc. The menu is on black boards which are situated above the kitchen. Now it looks great BUT where we were seated we couldn't read it. So we were left with no alternative but to stand up andread it. Now I kind of like to mull over my menu and normally change my mind several times. That's part of joy of eating out. but after standing over some one else's table twice I got sick of it. Ok so not off to a good start. A delightful little chef's canapé arrived. Thai fish cakes which were just divine!!! and I was delighted we were back on track. Our waiter was French and a lovely guy but I could only understand every 2nd or 3rd word. I watched other diners looking at him with bemused faces as well. We had Bluff oysters served in the shell with a standard red sherry vinaigrette and were lovely. My main was the veal schnitzel with slaw and potato rosti. It was deep fried and nothing wrong with it but I think I would have done a better job at home.. My husband had the Duck Confit which he said was ok. So def no wow factor. We shared the Profiteroles which were cut in half and in the middle a scoop of icecream was placed? so vanilla icecream was the hero here...overall we gave the place 4/10. My opinion hadn't changed and honestly I cant understand where the rave reviews come from. I wanted to love the place & the atmosphere is great but it stops there. so many other better choices.
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Reviewer JanetDaniels
Husband and I went to ER last night, after planning to do so for ages - was surprised to get a table when I called three days earlier! I understood it to be the place that you needed to book well in advance. Entrees were good. I had read the reviews about the twice baked goats cheese souffle and I can't disagree: it was absolutely delicious. So far so good. Ordered snapper with chorizo and chick peas, was a bit surprised to learn that there was no actual chorizo, but admittedly could taste smoked paprika; I was disappointed that there wasn't that added texture that would have worked so well with the dish. When I enquired, the chef and the waiter both said they take chorizo and mince it or do something with it so only its flavour is in the dish. The seafood in there was still translucent, too, slippery in the mouth, with a texture like oyster - I mentioned this aswell and for both comments the staff metaphorically shrugged their shoulders, probably decided I didn't know what I was talking about and left me sitting there, deciding whether to eat the snapper (which was cooked really well) or to leave the lot. When further enquiries were made to our table about my problems with the dish, the owner (I assume) sneered as she said they cook the seafood until the shell opens - that's how it is done. OK I understand, that's the textbook way to tell if it's cooked, but don't chefs use their skill and judgement? Again she reinforced the arrogant attitude that the Engine Room has about its rave reviews. The dumb customer to my right loudly exclaimed, mid-way through 'my discussions' with the staff "I've just had a big piece of chorizo"!! What calibre of diners!! I expect it might have been a rogue piece of chorizo that escaped the mincer plate. We were asked if we wanted anything else. We said thanks but no thanks, and approached the till to pay. Owner(I assume) refused to let us pay and told us never to come back. Temperature outdoors was positively balmy in comparison.
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Reviewer Louie
The Engine Room lived up to my high expectations at a recent visit. The service was exceptional as was the food and accompanying wine. I enjoyed the goat's cheese souffle to start, followed by the chicken with green papaya salad and ended with some of the delicious home made truffles. My partner was kind enough to share the chocolate churros which lived up to their reputation. Can't wait to go back to the Engine Room.
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Reviewer citykid
a visit to the Engine Room has been on my partner's dining bucket list ever since she settled in Auckland so with baby-sitters organised, off we went to Northcote Point.
Wasn't too sure about the whole sitting thing - but we got there for the 6.30 sitting and it was pretty apparent that this was the place to be.
We were welcomed really nicely and taken to a table by the window - a good location to not only view the mouth-watering blackboard menu but also see the kitchen at work.
Our waiter was spot on and really helpful - top bloke too. He guided us around the menu really well and was forthcoming with the wine suggestions.
Had to go with the souffle (sorry mum, your souffles just don't bear thinking about in comparison) and then the steak as a main - both exceptional dishes. The meal was finished off with some hand-made truffles - just the ticket.
We both had plenty to drink and three courses each and the bill just came to over $200 - I thought this was great value for such an experience and can easily see why the Engine Room was one of those must do dining experiences - thanks guys - can't speak highly enough of the Engine Room experience.
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Reviewer verite
Love this place. Impeccable service, delicious, beautifully presented food. I can highly recommend the churros - they come with a full glass of chocolate to dip them into.
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Reviewer nickier
I really do like what they've got going at the Engine Room - and if you combine that with a movie at the Bridgeway just over the road, a really good night out and the perfect excuse to head to Northcote Point.
On our last visit I had the veal schnitzel and those rosti's...fantastic. My husbands lamb rump was pretty good to so there was a bit of food envy. We did share some dessert - the rhubarb tart with icecream is the perfect foil to winter and you cant go past the profiteroles - this is what eating out is all about.
Have bought the Engine Room book so here's hoping I can do it justice - probably another excuse to return there and do some background 'research'!
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Reviewer RS6dad
After dining at so many restaurants around Auckland & the world but hearing so much about the Engine Room my business partner invited us along on Saturday night to what she thought was to be a great evening at a top restaurant.
The service was below average and extremely disappointing, with an intrusive waiter who didn't listen to what we wanted and to top things off food which was absolutely horrible.
There is no way this restaurant comes close to being a fine dinning experience and i can speak for us all in saying that we were totally underwhelmed by the experience.
High prices with very very poor below average food.

I will not be recommending the Engine Room restaurant to anyone in the future.
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The Engine Room is one of my favourite special occasion places. The service is very attentive (without being too much) and the food is just delicious. The schnitzel is one of my favourite meals, and I must admit I haven't tried any other mains (apart from having a bite of someone elses), because I always order it! I recently tried the twice baked goats cheese souffle after hearing so much about it in various publications, and it did not disappoint - so tasty and a beautiful texture. I didn't have room for dessert after the entree and main, but they are very good and the churros some of the best I've tried. Be aware that there are two sittings each night. You don't feel rushed at all, but it isn't really the kind of place you spend a whole evening at.
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Reviewer KARYN284
I went to The Food Show in Auckland 2yrs ago & was lucky to hear Peta Mathias talk about her travels. When someone asked her what was her favourite place to dine in Auckland was she replied "The Engine Room". She is a real food traveller & knows her stuff. I was lucky enough to be taken to The Engine Room last November for my 40th birthday. It was by far one birthday I'll never forget!!! The food totally blew me away. The atmosphere and service was fantastic. They soooooo deserve an award. Well Done!!!!
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Heavens! People who throw their toys out of the cot... If your meal is disappointing, say so and give them the opportunity to put things right. We have been to the Engine Room 4 times, for both lunch and dinner, and the food has been consistently excellent. It is expensive, the portions are large (HOW can people eat 3 courses?), but the flavours are superb. It is our 'special occasion' restaurant. The service is attentive, and Natalia is a wonderful host. Long may it stay in business! (NB It is actually the old Post Office, not one of the local character villas).
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Reviewer Akldlass
The worst dining experience ever! It was such a disappointment. The food was served in a pool of oil and I couldn't even eat my meal. The prices were for fine dining but the meals were worse than KFC.
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Reviewer Anonymous
Went to the Engine Room for dinner on a Friday night - the food was nothing short of spectacular and the service was great, however it is very pricey so more of a 'special occasion' place to go and they didn't hand out menus. The menu was written on a board above the kitchen which was very difficult to read (scrawly handwriting, not printed) and the light from above shone directly on it making it difficult to read. Menu aside, my experience was nothing short of outstanding and would most definitely go again. (4.5 out of 5)
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Three weeks later I am still raving about the food and service at the Engine Room. Its obvious why it has received the awards it has. Having eaten at some of Auckland's top restaurants this far more modest, cosy, suburban place has blown me away with the whole experience. We dived in here on impulse on cold, winters evening after seeing a movie, great idea. I chose the entree size of the Handmade Potato Gnocchi in a rich tomato sauce with Ricotta - still cant get those incredible tastes out of my mind -it really was soul food. I cant recommend this place enough and cant wait to go back.
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"The Engine Room" – Not yet found on any food guide or award winning list, but simply known in the best way, by "word of mouth" – The Engine Room is located across town at North Point, far from the fashion spots.
This is a very interesting newcomer restaurant run by the very promising chef Carl Koppenhagen and Natalia Schamroth, and is part of the large choice of restaurants for the city of Auckland. The restaurant is located on the ground floor of an old villa, and includes a melting pot of tables, kitchen, bar, all together. It's full every day and difficult, of course, to get a table without reservations.
By the way, since you come from abroad, reserve in advance for the tables on the far right back corner of the restaurant by the windows. If not, you need to accept any table in the middle, in front of the kitchen or near the entrance. But anywhere you sit, it is the only way to sample this "new gem" of Auckland’s favorite spots.
"The Menu" (*) My suggestions:
# Thai Duck Salad-Noodles, Coconut, Mung Sprouts, Coriander (*)
Chicken & Pork Terrine, Cress Cornichons, Pickled Cherries (*)
Grilled Scallops, Fennel, Radicchio and Green Chili (*)
Pan fried Kingfish, Cannelini Beans, Salsa Verde (*)
Churros con Chocolate (a Spanish delicacy) (*) Balinese Black Sticky Rice, Coconut, Pineapple (*)
So don’t hesitate on your next trip to Auckland, try to discover this nice little restaurant far from the tourist traps.

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Reviewer Anonymous
Two of us dined there 1/3/08
Service between two waitresses was excellent.
My starter was the pork and chicken terrine, i personally thought it was lacking in depth of flavour as if it was just out of the fridge and too cold, my expectation was of a sweeter relish and felt a little let down. 3/5.
I had the steak which was as good as any i have ever tasted! 5/5 highly recommended.
Panacotta/apricot desert was beautiful 5/5
My partner had the same except for starter which was pasta. 3/5.
Personally neither of us liked being so close to the next tables but if that doesnt bother you, you will really enjoy this restaurant.
All in all for us we had a lovely evening.
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Reviewer Anonymous
We live close to the restaurant,and love going out to the local restaurants and cafes, however we have experienced a disapointing approach from the staff at The Engine Room. We rang to book a month in advance, and was asked for credit card details. On prompting, we found that we would be charged $30 per head upon cancellation, automatically to the credit card. On principle, we decided not to book. This is considered to be unethical practice and an insult to our integrity, not to mention, a likely breach of credit card or consumer legalities.
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Reviewer Mike69
What, are you guys kidding?....goes to show the kiwi tall poppy syndrome is alive and well! I've been to the Engine Room 3 times now since it opened it's doors and it has consistently not let me down.

In my opinion, without question one of the very best restaurants in Auckland and, reading some of the user reviews here, I don't see how people can say the food was great and still only give them 2 stars!

So take my advice, book early, take a few chums and order the Steak Frites - you will not be disappointed I assure you!

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Reviewer Lorna Curry
We had been waiting to get into the Engine Room for ages. When we finally did I was a bit disappointed.
The food was OK, my Souffle was lovely , but my partner had the pasta which he found a bit bland, then he had the steak, which was a bit too tough and just really basic steak and chips. I just thought that for the price I did not get my money worth. I won't be going back.
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Reviewer Anonymous
Eight of us went to the Engine Room last Friday. The food was beautiful however the service left a little to be desired. First off the waiter had to take the drinks orders one by one which was pretty poor really. Then the waiter asked our friend who had just seated if she would like a drink as she was reading the drinks menu and then came back with a wine glass and proceded to pour my bottle of wine I had just ordered into our friends glass! I was gob-smacked. I didn't mind my friend having a glass of wine but how did the waiter know that we were not good friends? I thought it was very rude and his manner was far too abrupt for my liking. I won't be returning to the Engine Room again.
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Reviewer Anonymous
I went to the Engine Room last night for a meal with my wife and I thought the staff were amazingly polite and efficient. The food was perfect and it certainly looked like everyone else in the room was enjoying themselves as well. So maybe the reviewer below had a bad night?
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Reviewer Jones
I recently visited the Engine Room on a Friday evening with a group of nine people. When we booked we were offered a 6:30 slot or an 8:30 slot, with no mention that any of the slots had "time limits".

The meal went rather slowly, which was not a problem per se, and at 8:20 our orders for dessert were taken. We ordered a few desserts, some cheese and a couple more bottles of wine.

At 8:30, we were abruptly informed that we had to vacate the table as it was only available for us to use between 6:30 and 8:30, i.e. after happily accepting our order for desserts and more wine (an order which probably alone amounted to over $200), we were given no time to enjoy this order and asked to leave.

One of a party had a small baby sleeping in her lap, and not withstanding this, the waitress asked us to wait outside on a rather cold night for our taxi. Her comments were supported by someone from the Kitchen (the head chef?), who insisted we leave.

We had international guests with us and it was a very embarrassing indication of Kiwi service at its worst. To be avoided.
The views contained in these user reviews are not endorsed by ViewAuckland in any way and are provided by users who wish to publish their independent views of the respective establishment.

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