115 Queen Street,
(09) 480 9502
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The Engine Room
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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