605 New North Road,
(09) 815 9463
The ViewAuckland Review
4 out of 5 stars
Not for the first time I’m stuck in traffic while my friends wait for me at the bar.
‘Sorry. On my way. B there soon’ I send the txt while negotiating my way along New North Rd towards Kingsland.
The traffic is even more congested as I hit Kingsland’s main strip and there’s people spilling out on to the footpaths from a few places. It’s a Friday night and the first hot summer evening is here, who can blame them?
I’m through the worst and breathe a sigh relief as fewer cars dart in and out in front of me. I take my pick of car parks and spot my mate’s car not far from me. Then I simply cross the road and walk into Winehot.
Easy, and that’s why I like Winehot so much.
This French inspired restaurant has been around for about two and a half years but because it’s located away from the hustle and bustle of Kingsland’s cram of bars and restaurants there’s still many who haven’t discovered this inviting wine bar.
On one hand I feel sorry for those who haven’t yet been to Winehot, on the other hand I’m pleased because it means there’s only a handful of us who know about this terrific place with limited seating and no bookings policy.
My friend had nabbed a seat just behind the opaque window and was waiting wine glass in hand for me. The wine list boasts a good selection of local drops - the helpful staff really do know the range. I opt for a Urlar sav ($8) while my friend had already ordered a Bouldevines pinot gris ($8). Prices range depending on the vintage, but nothing is unreasonable here.
Stem-less wine glass in hand my eyes glance over the place. A group of birthday well-wishers were preparing to make a night of it and had evidently come to the bar to feel at home. The mix of kiwi and French accents didn’t faze the waitress who responded both in English and French to their questions.
The black and I mean it - everything is painted black here – interior is nicely offset with bold silver mirrors and chandeliers. The funky background music suits the mood for those like us having a bite at the tables and those here for the wine, lounging on the couches.
My focus is soon back at our table as the food arrives. Steak with blue cheese, salad and frites for me ($21) and fish of the day with cauliflower puree and baby spinach ($23) for my friend.
My steak was cooked perfectly to my medium rare order and melted in my mouth with the blue cheese. My friend’s was equally as tasty, she’d nearly finished the fish before I could ask her how it was and was tempted to polish off the puree with a quick lick of the plate.
The service here is friendly and professional. There’s no rush so it’s easy to take your time and enjoy the surroundings. Few people come and go, the undercover outside area gets busier as the night continues.
Neither of us thought we’d have room for dessert, but thought it rude not to try. So it’s kahula brulee ($9) for her and chocolate cream renversee ($9) for me. In a word both were divine.
After settling the bill and waving goodbye just as the birthday group erupts into song we leave and jump into our cars just outside the door.
I take a deep breath as I contemplate my journey back through the busier end of town.
Winehot has been reviewed by 5 users