Reviews for Antoine's
by Sweet Mama M
17 days ago
My husband and I dined here on a blustery winter night, taking the opportunity to have a date night with the assistance of a Zomato voucher. Antoine's was a place that we had both heard of, being somewhat renowned in Auckland as one of the grand dames of restaurants. Arriving in Parnell we were able to find parking in one of the side streets relatively easily and located the restaurant just at the top of Parnell Rise. Ringing the front door bell of the restaurant, we were admitted to the foyer and then shown to our table. While the waiter offered to take our coats at the table, it would have made much more sense to do this in the foyer area.
We placed a drinks order. The wine list is extensive (I had a glass of the Clevedon Hills 2009 Arneis) but beers are not listed and the restaurant only carried three at the time of dining. My husband ordered a Stella Artois and we got down to examining the menu. Having taken heed of previous reviews, we decided that we'd focus on the mains and desserts to ensure that we were not overly full by the end of the evening. I ordered the fillet steak (cooked medium) and my husband ordered the cannelloni. I was impressed that the waiter advised that the meals were prepared from scratch and that there would be a wait of around 30 minutes. We were supplied with bread rolls to start and these were well-baked.
We were kept entertained during the wait for our meals by the arrival of the prime minister and his security team - the structure of the rooms and the discrete road frontage making this an ideal place to eat if you are wanting privacy. Before we knew it our meals had arrived, my steak arriving at the table already plated but my husband's cannelloni being served at table. I thought this was unnecessary and actually somewhat messy, with the server dribbling a little bit of sauce on the table. My steak was indeed cooked to medium, with the star of the dish being the caramelized onion. It was served with a beef tendon spring roll which was not to my personal taste, but would be better liked with someone for a greater appreciation for offal. My husband's cannelloni was adequate, but adequate is not what you are expecting at these prices. A surprising standout was the broccoli, served to the side of the dishes with a seasoning that neither of us could pinpoint but both loved.
For dessert I selected the chocolate pot de creme and my husband selected the licorice ice cream. These both came out well-plated apart from the inexplicable use of a paper napkin to line my plate - I'm not sure why this was necessary. The taste of dark chocolate with raspberries was fantastic and the licorice ice-cream was the highlight of the evening for my husband.
It was a pleasant evening but lacked the finesse of some of Auckland's other fine-dining establishments. At times it felt like the sommelier was lurking and in a high-class restaurant, service should be almost invisible until needed - a hard ask, but it's what you are paying for. Some reflection on the flavor profiles of the main meals (in order to add some wow factor) would not go astray.
Recommendation? It's definitely worth going once just to be part of the legend but some work needs to be done before we would visit again.
by Genie @ BunnyEatsDesign
one month ago
I brought Mum for a nice catchup dinner. Antoine’s is very understated from the street. You ring the doorbell, you get let in. Inside, the decor feels like a Parnell residence. Posh but comfortable. We were both curious how Antoine’s has been in business for 40 years. On the main strip of Parnell, but we’d never noticed it before.
The menu is very interesting and had potential for exciting things. Heaps of offal dishes on offer. I am curious what their $50 chicken, leek and wild mushroom pie tastes like, but I’m unwilling to part with that kind of money for a pie. The complimentary bread roll was lovely and fresh. We started with the steak tartare to share. The flavours were great, though the presentation was unusual. It was nice that the dish was placed in the centre of the table and we were given 2 smaller plates so we could share the starter.
My roast duck was very tender, though the sauce meant that wasn't much crispy skin. My mum ordered the special of beef cheeks, tendons and tongue. The tendons were hiding in a spring roll. Very unexpected. The meat portions were huge and neither of us could finish our mains. Mains are served with vegetable sides which was a portion of a potato dish and a large piece of broccoli. These were nice though it didn’t seem relevant to have a piece of broccoli alongside a huge portion of meat. I never thought I’d turn down duck but after eating most of my duck, the flavour and texture just gets too much.
We ordered a passionfruit and a chocolate souffle for dessert. They were light and airy but bland. The rose and cranberry jelly that came with my passionfruit souffle was sharp and fragrant.
The hushed service is super posh and very attentive. On the evening we visited, there was more staff than diners. Glasses kept topped up with water (we paid $14 for water). Table crumber used to sweep away crumbs, table service where the waiter transfers the food from serving plate directly to your plate. Leaving the plating up to the hands of the waiter. I prefer the chef to plate my food. Usually the results are much nicer. As you can see from my photos, my duck looked like it had been dropped from a height.
I felt a bit self-conscious photographing our meals but I saw the in chef in the kitchen taking photos on his iPhone. After that, I didn’t worry.
EFTPOS is not available (they use an old-school credit card imprinter) and all prices exclude GST. Avoid Antoine’s if you are in a hurry, our visit took almost 3 hours. Our meal was paid for in part with a Zomato voucher. Antoine’s is one of Auckland’s most expensive dining experiences. Some expensive meals represent great value. In my opinion, Antoine’s is not good value. We expected very good or excellent. This was average with a huge price tag. This experience wasn’t to my taste but I’m probably not the target market. Nostalgic fine dining with table service is not what I look for when dining out. Personally, I prefer less servitude, smaller portions and more robust flavours and textures, oh and less cost. Our bill came to $220 for 1 starter, 2 mains, 2 desserts, water, no beverages.
one month ago
Well where does one start! This is a restaurant that has outlasted pretty much every other restaurant in Auckland, being under the same chef for over 40yrs... It is easy to walk straight past, and even though I have been coming to Parnell for years this is the first time I have eaten here. Inside it has an opulent and refined feel, with very personal service. On a week night it wasn't overly busy, so we had our own area which made the experience more relaxing. Food wise the portions are generous, all mains come with vegetables, and the presentation is exquisite. The highlight was my dessert, being a chocolate souffle (allow 30 mins) with cassis jelly, both of which were incredible. If you are looking for old school sophistication then you have come to the right place, but just be prepared to pay for the privilege!
by My Dining Journey
2 months ago
Antoine’s is a place that you can easily miss if you’re not looking. With no obvious sign or lighting, the first time I came here, I walked around looking for the front door. Come to think of it, that was almost two years ago! You can read my first impression of Antonie’s here.
Our night started with succulent Bluff oysters, served natural with a light vinaigrette and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. The tripe (not pictured) was from their Nostalgia Menu and is a dish that they have been serving in Antoine’s for the past 40 years. Tender pieces of tripe with green pepper corns and onion, Cooked in a cream sauce, this dish was interesting. I normally eat tripe with ginger and spring onions at yum cha, but this is my first time trying it in a cream sauce. Taste-wise, it was good but very heavy. The same can be said about the sautéed duck liver with grapes and peppercorn. It was a pleasant dish which I managed to finish, but could do with a little less liver and more of the grapes to cut through the fattiness of the liver.
Not expecting such a large entrée, I made the mistake of ordering the chicken and leek pie for my main. Another huge portion, full of chicken, mushroom and leek, all encased in a buttery flaky pie crust. I could only eat a third of it before I realised that this pie has defeated me.
Overall, it was a pleasant but expensive meal at Antoine’s. The menu is rather old-fashion and will be a great place to take someone who doesn’t appreciate the current trend of casual loud dining where waiting 30 minutes for a table because of their no-booking policy is the norm. Nothing too fancy about the dishes, just well-cooked hearty dishes!
2 months ago
Hi there,To everybody who think going to this " pub " (restaurant) hold on! (I just cannot call this place a restaurant)I was there on the 11/08/2014...My wife did want to treat me for my birthday.I was actually looking for to go to this place, been there for over 40 years, should be a descent place to eat.How wrong was I....first, when I arrive there I ask for an aperitif (something ordinary in any fine dinning restaurant) the waiter look at me with fish eyes and ask the maitre'd to come over...he didn't understand me...good start.Well we went with our orders...I choose the tripes from the traditional menu, I love tripes and was expecting a nice and soft tripes with a creamy and peppery sauce ...like it's described on the menu...how wrong was I !! I got a soup with some tripes squares with no flavours...no soul, no heart, no love in the food.I just nicely said to the waiter that was a bit plain after he asked me.And after that I got the rabbit blanquette with sweetbread..one of my nostalgic dish as I had to cook it for my final cookery qualification.That was the sherry on the cake....the topping flaky pastry was completely raw. I COMPLAIN TO THE WAITER WHO BRING THE PASTRY BACK IN THE KITCHEN AND WHAT DID Antony Asle SAID??? IT'S NOT RAW!!Well mister Asle...I worked all my life in fine dinning restaurant including Micheline stared restaurants, I can tell you that was the worst dinner I had in New-Zealand in 11 Years.To all the people who feel like going to try this pub just don't bother, it's a waist of time and money ...worst food ever.
by M F
2 months ago
My wife and I went to Antoine's last night and basically it was appalling. It started well with a glass of champagne but it became fairly clear that our waiter did not know the menu or where the ingredients came from. The wine is all exclusive of GST and a lot of it was unavailable. I asked the wine guy about one of the red burgundies but he knew nothing about it and has to show me the label.
The food, which didn't arrive at the same time was disappointing. My wife's salad was okay and the dressing was good but my chicken livers were grey and over cooked. The mains were terrible - my wife has the rabbit and sweet breads pie (over cooked and very bland/tasteless) and my duck al orange was not crisp and was swimming in sauce. The side dish was potatoe gratin and steamed broccoli - bland and under seasoned. We explained to the waiter why we were not going to finish our dinner but he didn't seem to care. We asked for the bill, told the guy we paid that we were not impressed and nobody (including Mr Astle) spoke to us about it. I should also add that they did silver service (badly) and the background music was a weird mix of euro pop. All in all a very disappointing and expensive ($500+) experience. We will not be going back. As an aside we left Antoine's and went to Peter Gordon's Bellota in Federal Street as we were hungry - this was a complete contrast - excellent food, music, service and wine and a fraction of the price.
2 months ago
Antoine’s is a 1960s-type restaurant that soldiers on, mostly appealing to the yesteryear set. Food here is old-world French, English and Kiwi cuisine. The small rooms are formal yet sparse, and the service has strictly limited "charms". The Oriental spicy tartare and for the brave , the Tripe, are unremarkable but you get terrifically steamed broccoli and superbly tender green beans, served alongside mains the best of which are Chicken a la orange, and a Veg. cannelloni. Sous-vide pork is ho-hum and Snapper with pasta is merely an agreeable filler. A magnificent whiskey panacotta dazzles in the desserts while a chocolate and rosewater blend is more beautiful than delicious. Antoine’s charges $30 for starters, $45 mains, $25 dessert + 15% GST - the costliest in Auckland but the restaurant experience here is barely par for the course, instead of being excellent. Photos - http://www.upnworld.com/restaurant/view/id/52/title/Antoine%27s
by Cupy Chen
3 months ago
Been there twice, was silly enough to return for the second time! First time l went there for dessert after my birthday dinner. All we want was dessert, nothing else. The waiter came to our table 5 times in 10 minutes trying push us to order drinks, even we've told him we had a few drinks and a big dinner we only had room for dessert. Then when his request got declined for the 5th time, the few of them start laughing about is in French, thinking Asians can't understand what they're saying( unfortunately we heard and understood every single word). At the end, the soufflé wasn't even cooked properly!The second time, we went for dinner. We were horrified when the main chef screaming from the kitchen, using inappropriate language to comment on about an order. During the whole time, me and my friend felt intimidated by the chef. Once again, we were being pushed by a waiter to order more drinks a couple times (even we've already have wine on our table). Both occasions our nights were ruined by this place! No matter how the magazines rated you, l don't believe it!
by James Hodkinson
4 months ago
We had heard of Antione's before mentioned in magazines or perhaps on TV, having tried to make a reservation by email but not having received a response we decided to try and just walk in on the night. Success!
The service and class by far exceeded our expectations, amazing food, a lovely intimate dining experience, no rush or loud tables. The waiters were lovely, attentive, friendly and helpful, the wine waiter careful chose some amazing wines for me.
We ate from the nostalgia menu and had no complaints, some incredibly fresh bread rolls were served up soft and warm, then my wife had the chowder and I had a steak tare-tare entree, with both of us choosing the roast duck for main.
Although I was rather satisfied already I couldn't pass up the chance for dessert, a freshly made chocolate souffle, as there was a 30min wait I decided to try a 20yr old port, had to have a second glass of that.
Amazing amazing amazing, would definitely go back, although certainly you get what you pay for and it wasn't cheap.
5 months ago
A place I had always wanted to dine at since I lived in Auckland 25 years ago, so tonight was the night.
If you don't know where you are going it could be easily missed as there is no obvious signage, but once you knock on the door it all unfolds in front of you.
You are formally greeted and shown to your table where you are seated and your dining experience begins.
I had a glass of the house chamapagne while I mulled through a menu that offered 3 different styles of cuisine including Antoines Nostalgic menu that is a choice of their favorite dishes, which made it a very difficult choice for a first-time diner.
I have to compliment the waiter who made the choice easier by explaining some of the meals and their compatibility as an entree and main as well as suggesting a perfect matching wine to suit my meal.
The food in my opinion was excellent and the portion size, pleasantly larger than what I was expecting,leaving the decision of whether I had room for dessert.... but with the dessert choice and the fact I had come to try this great restaurant there was always going to be dessert.
The cost is quite a bit more than your average restaurant, but save up because I believe you won't be disappointed.
I finished the evening with a lovely French desert wine and left with an experience that was one to remember and will be back .
by Gabriel Long
10 months ago
The food is OK, though i wouldn't consider it anything special or amazing, and in this price league there are places i would rather go.
The thing that i found most annoying was i called up asking for a 7.30 table and they said the best they could do was 8pm, we turned up a bit early and the place was dead empty and obviously had been the whole time. Then they sat us in the hallway??? in an empty restaurant.
The service wasn't bad, but frosty/snobby would be an understatement.
I think it is that the style of the place doesn't appeal to me, and what it's trying to be it probably does OK, but in my humble opinion, it doesn't do anything warrant the attitude.
by Kate W
11 months ago
We were wooed into Antoine's thanks to it's cute terrace and twinkly fairy lights outside. It looked like Paris in the middle of Parnell! There's no obvious entrance - you knock on the door to what looks like someone's house and someone ushers you in quietly. Not much ambience as there was hardly anyone there when we went but the portions were huge and the food was very good. I had the french onion soup (see profile pic!), steak and creme brulee with champagne - my fantasy last supper. Not cheap but a nice treat. Apprently Princess Anne and Billy Connelly always come here when they are in Auckland...
by Adam Hiron
Aug 07, 2013
I wanted to give Antoines 2 stars..... - it's outdated and expensive - but there is a certain context to this place that I think wouldn't be fair to it. Others have mentioned it, it's a very old school (I mean 70's / 80's) experience and I really can't think of anything else like it in Auckland. When I compare to The French Cafe, (same sort of price) it just isn't in the same league at all. But then The French Cafe would not be serving Tripe for 30+ years.
It boils down to this - No-one is going to accidentally find themselves eating here - you must be seeking out a throwback to the roaring 80's kind of thing, and I can't think of anywhere else that does it.
by Kirstine Waugh
Apr 19, 2013
Went to Antoines couple of years ago and loved it ! From the minute we rang the doorbell , to the minute we left, we could not fault the service ! The French onion soup . . . Oo la la ! Were lucky enough to have been given a table facing the kitchen and what a treat that was ! Quite exciting seeing the guys at work in the kitchen. Can't afford to go back too often but best buddy is turning 50 next week so we've booked in ! Soo excited !
Mar 22, 2013
Antoines is a must do old school dining experience. The service, ambience, the food are all top notch. On my last visit I had a beautifully tender piece of beef for main, but the standout was the tripe entree. Tender tripe in a fragrant tasty unexpectedly light sauce, bound to convert even the most sceptical diner. This place is perfect for a special evening
by Bridget Chung
Jan 20, 2013
Found this place through lonely plant when I first moved to NZ and have been there numerous times since then. On the first visit I totally expected typical French fine dining, i.e. tiny portions and you'll need 5 courses to feel remotely full, but how wrong I was! Food is absolutely gorgeous and of good portion and service is non intrusive, though it is very French and I do get sick of the French accent sometimes. It almost seems too put on at times but then again that may be just me! :)
Hubby reckons it's one of the best French onion soup he's ever had and always order the same (luckily it's still on the menu unlike my all time favorite the scallop with black pudding)!
by Rachelle Williamson
Jan 20, 2013
What can I say? We love Antoine's. Beautiful food that we both really enjoyed. I had the rack of lamb and my husband had the salmon- and both dishes were absolutely delicious and superbly cooked. The souffle with rose-water cassis was the most amazing dessert - definitely enjoyed it!
And loved how Tony came out and chatted with us (and showed us how best to eat the souffle).
Love it! Highly rate it! I don't think they need to "move with the times" because their food is classic and we need some of these beautiful, classic restaurants!
by Roger Spooner
Dec 31, 2012
Absolutely delightful meal at Antoine's on Christmas Day, made the whole day for us. Our table loved the crayfish, and the whitebait just stunning, the Turkey and other mains were typical Tony, that's why we go there. Yep Christmas Day is expensive we say thank you for being open, and being over 50 well that's OK too, it will happen to you.
Now today we see Tony recognised in the New Year Honours fantastic and congratulations, so richly deserved.
by Jillian Maskill
Dec 26, 2012
Absolutely atrocious meal at Antoines on Christmas Day - Ruined the whole day for us. The only thing that has moved on from the 1980s in Antoines is the price! And even then we couldn't justify $500 for two three course meals and four drinks! The entree of Whitebait and Tuna was nice, but the main course was mediocre and the whole menu was based on a Winter menu! in the middle of a hot humid summer????!!!! Come on!!! Will never go back....Ever!
I can understand why 90% of the people in the restaurant were over 50 and why they are not listed as one of the top restaurants in Auckland. The new young chefs out there are certainly walking all over Mr Astle!
by Courtney Williams
Aug 13, 2012
Best restaurant in Auckland. Service was fantastic, great atmosphere but not too luxury. Had the most wonderful French Onion soup there, I've been to France many times and struggle to find anything as good. Seafood chowder was equally as good, no other restaurant in Auckland can match the taste. I'll give 6 stars!
by Robin Murray-Leslie
Dec 06, 2011
We had a great time at Antoine's.
Our waiter told us that the one evening sitting was such that you could relax into a long, slow dinner like you might on holiday. We were not disappointed and left hours later unsure just how long we had spent in this foodie Tardis.
The waiting staff really know their stuff. Wine and food matches are clearly explained. The wine menu is less auction stand mega-expense, rather a concise list of reasonably priced NZ wines. Prices not too scary for a fine dining establishment.
Food and wine arrived at irregular intervals. Stewart Island oysters done three ways were delightful. Our starers were a little disappointing - especially the waffle. The mains - orange duck and belly pork with congee were outstanding.
Happy that I had eaten the congee (a nervous first) and negotiated the 'zip-zap' payment method we headed home content in the knowledge that we had experienced something well tried, fully tested and bloody good.
by Tony Buckingham
Feb 19, 2010
Antoine's is a Auckland legend. I have eaten there a few times in the 14 years we have been visiting in the summer and never been disappointed.
If you want old style luxury then this is for you. To start with you would be advised to book as they are not keen on dinners turning up.
Then there is the door you have to ring for admittance.
Once inside its calm, great service and a cunning menu. Old favourites mixed with new creations. Perfect for taking grandparents for a treat.
When its cold and you want a luxurious treat book this institution that has been at the top it seems for ever
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