Barolo Restaurant

0 star rating 15 reviews

Restaurant location map

09 3002885

83 Symonds St The Langham Hotel, Grafton, Auckland

Write a Review
  Italian, European
Private Function Room Only


Reviews for Barolo Restaurant

4 star rating
by EarnesTaster
Dec 16, 2012

After being seated in the marquee restaurant of this 5 star hotel, Letti -my hostess with a charming Piedmontese accent -ably guided me through the wine menu. She was at pains to counsel and ensure that my wine matched well with the dishes,and I also was earnest in telling her that I only wished to taste a glass of Barolo ('Wine of Kings") and that I'd personally see to it that the taste of my selected dishes was protected from the Barolo's strong tannins. (I didn't tell her though that I'd use water as my palate cleanser) After being generous enough to let me taste a lighter Nebbiolo, she brought an Arte 2007 Dominico Clerico which was eventually accepted- it was complex,sharp and satisfying.

Eschewing antipasti options like eggplant terrine or Birolo sausages,I opted for Lumache al Barolo.The taste of the snails were as subtle as my understanding of quantum mechanics. They carried a hint of earthiness, a suggestion of kinship to mushrooms and were judiciously annointed with just a touch of the Barolo sauce.
Complimentary focaccia- soft and delicately herbed- was presented with a compelling sauce of butter garlic and anchovies.

The ambience is consummately aristocratic. Upholstered tones of black,brown and green elegantly cohabit with white tablecloths and pools of discreet light.Suspended illumination is formed by bronze blossoms while a large wood-'n'-crystal chandelier adorns the room centre, the wall-side big mirrors deepen and expand the ambience, while voluptuous drapes further cushion a spatial sense of comfort. At the center,the kitchen is hemmed by a tableau of glowing amber screens that ostensibly symbolize a fireplace that lends gentle blaze to this Piedmontese space.

A week before consuming the Primi Patti here, I had re-watched Anthony Bourdain's Venice episode in which he top-lines a gold-standard risotto made in Da Romano. My imagination was not disappointed by the second course - a clam and lemon version whose creamy and citrus notes harmonized beautifully. Beneath those smooth layers, the plump individual grains of expertly cooked risotto could be discerned. The clams,served in decent quantity, were more al dente than desired, and their shells held a basil sauce that better suited the clams than the delicate balance of the risotto.
Service ,while not a knock-out, was competent. The staff are not knowledgeable about dish ingredients,but I was well-looked after and was asked 4 times whether things were to my satisfaction.But there were ephemeral spells when I could see no wait-staff in the room.

For mains,there are hearty options like Lamb loin, Confit of Venison and Hay smoked chicken breast but desiring a meat that would hopefully be silkier than all of these, I chose a slow-cooked pork belly.While it didn't make me jump with euphoria, it made for enjoyably smooth mouthfuls. The vegetable stock-based brown sauce, I never thought I'd say this, could have done with a touch of sweetness to round off its flavours, while the balsalmico radicchio was so bitter that it was like karmic atonement for eating meat. Cutting into the crispy corn pudding -another accoutrement in the dish -sent squirts of sweet yellow sauce all over the plate. NY's Picholine safeguards its patrons against such an eventuality by instructing its servers to go in first with a silver lance and carefully pierce a chicken breast that contains liquid foie gras.. Barolo's NZ-Italians are apparently less protectionist and I did them an absent-minded injustice by repeating my mistake with the second and only specimen, instead of popping it into my mouth and expecting a delightful but fully contained explosion.

Wanting to sample the kitchen's ability with the featured contorni, the easy temptation of truffled potato mash was foresworn in favour of green beans braised in white wine and garlic.About 20 of these stalks arrived in a heap -hardly fine-dining by presentation. Most of them were agreeably soft with flecks of flavour, and were awarded pass marks.

Diligent Letti presumably called it a day before my main course arrived, but I wish she'd bid farewell before retiring. Shouldn't your hostess let you know that there will be a hand-over of care? Another young lady - her nebulously pleasant countenance would have made her a good fit for Antonioni films- then took over with cool smiles and unhurried concern. Abjuring sudden rush-offs from the table-side, she had an interesting way of staying on for a few seconds after the conversation, like a European counterpart of an Ozu shot that lingers for a couple of moments on the frame after the characters have left it.

The Tiramisu anyway will not stay in my memory for long - it was served with Piedmont cherries and their rich compote which had an intensity that the serviceable main player lacked. The tariff inclusive of tax and drink was a reasonable $138. After paying the bill, the send-off was stilted and puzzlingly blase when delivering the final note of graciousness. I was left with a full stomach and eyes again sated by the beautiful ambience - it is the latter attribute that may bring me back here.

3 star rating
by NomNomPanda
Aug 03, 2012

We don't normally go to hotel restaurants, but decided to make a booking for Barolo to try their truffle menu ($120 for 3 courses).

- beautiful and lavish interior
- friendly staff
- fresh and tasty bread to begin
- delicious meal (e.g. the jerusalem artichoke soup I had was better than another very well regarded fine dining establishment)

- olive oil on the table was uncapped and rancid
- very expensive, when you consider that you are having just one entree, one main and one dessert for the price. A tasting menu at the French Cafe (though admittedly without truffles) costs less than this for 6 courses
- we struggled to taste the truffles (not sure whether our palate is not refined enough or whether this is the nature of fresh NZ truffles)
- the waitress neglected to mention to the vegetarian that the bagna cauda (warm white sauce accompanying the bread) contained anchovies
- small oversights, e.g. surplus cutlery not removed (for soup and dessert)
- 2% credit card surcharge

Overall, it was a pleasant and tasty meal, although overpriced due to the flavourless truffles. Would possibly return for the normal menu, but do not recommend the truffles.

1 star rating
by Loulou Ngaei
Jun 25, 2012

We had the Tiffin High Tea here for a wedding reception and it was disappointing. The staff were non attentive and the food - while it looked gorgeous - was not great. I had to ask 3 waiters for a chair for my pregnant friend. The cakes/cupcakes all tasted stale, the scones were doughy & bland and the mini pastries were stone cold. Not what we had expected from a 5 star hotel & the purported best High Tea in Auckland - I wouldn't go back. I haven't had lunch or dinner here but wouldn't ever pay for High Tea here again, our group of 8 agreed.

5 star rating
by Peter Matvos
May 29, 2012

We had the tasting menu... 2 hours of the best food I ever had in New Zealand.

Anything I can say or write about this restaurant will only diminish what I really felt and how much I enjoyed everything - the decor, the ambiance, the service, and above all the magnificent, inventive, imaginative, creative, tasty, superb food.

Every dish was a wonderful and surprising experience. Don't hesitate, don't think twice, just reserve a place and let them serve you with the best meal possible.

We will be back in few weeks and I am counting the days. :)

5 star rating
by Ali Gerbic
Feb 11, 2012

The overall experience of Barolo was 5 star and nothing less of what is expected from the Langham.
The service was friendly, informative but not overbearing.
The food was outstanding, the attention to detail of every single dish ordered was just exquisite.
The menu has appeared to change and I was delighted with the dishes blend of unique flavors which created an overall Italian modern feel. I had the Beef for my main, the beef was tender and cooked perfectly surrounded by a bed of lovely potatoes which complemented the dish beautifully.
I would recommend trying a few entrees as the selection is vast and all are very different.
We shared a selection of all the desserts and the presentation of these, yet again, didn't fail to impress. They were all very different in flavor, texture and appearance but all tasted like heaven.
I would advise you book in advance as this restaurant can get busy.

5 star rating
by Roimata
Dec 15, 2011

I had dinner with some friends here a couple of nights ago and we had simply, the best night.

The staff were very funny, friendly and accomodating.

The food was divine! A very unique combination of food that was mouth watering. I left feeling so satisfied. I'll be craving this food in the week to come without a doubt.

Really enjoyed the atmosphere as well, peaceful and relaxed it was an amazing night and I would definitely recommend to others.

5 star rating
by Viktoriya
Dec 13, 2011

I had a dinner at Barolo tonight with a few of my friends and it was absolutely devine!

I definately enjoyed the main that I ordered. The steak was very soft and mouthwatering. Each component of the dish worked together perfectly and complemented each other well. The entree tiramisu was a great mixture of flavours, something that surprised me with its unique texture and taste. The dessert was very refreshing and a great finish to our meal.

Staff was friendly and I loved the atmosphere of the place.
Overall, I was very pleased with my meal and the service . The experience was spectacular and I will recommend anyone to dine here.

Good job, Barolo!

3 star rating
by Cheerycritic
Dec 10, 2011

Having dined at Barolo two years ago, and been recommending it ever since, we were disappointed last night. The basically simple but beautifully conceived and cooked dishes we enjoyed last time had been replaced by over-complex food design, with textures and flavours that did not always work together, at least in the dishes my partner and I chose. There are many good things about this restaurant - not the least of which is the low noise level so rare in Auckland - but we left less than satisfied that we had chosen the right place for an expensive celebratory dinner.

5 star rating
by Stu Beynon
Apr 27, 2011

Barolo was amazing, there were 4 of us and we all had different starters, they were great and well flavoured. Onto the mains, the venison dish was very very good, not a usual pick but when your at a 5 star hotel you do try out different meals. After the mains my wife and I shared a desert, the mains were as good as i was told and wine matched by the waitress was also good. Staff were very attentive and knew the history of the chefs background and his dishes. Overall if you want a romantic evening with someone or keen to impress people, then i thoroughly recommend Barolo

4 star rating
by Olivia Schwarz
Apr 06, 2011

I recently had dinner at Barolo with friends to celebrate a Birthday.
Lovely dinner , nice atmosphere, perfect for private conversation without sharing "secrets"with the table next to yours.
Try the Ravioli, they are to die for!
Thanks for the enjoyable experience,we will be back!

5 star rating
by Nicole
Mar 17, 2011

We dined here last night and were very impressed, right from when we first booked and we were asked if it was for a special occasion (it was - our wedding anniversary). When we arrived for our 7.30pm booking, the maitre d' was really polite and friendly and escorted us to a private corner table. The service was impeccable, the decor/feel of the restaurant was luxurious and the menu extensive. We each ordered an apertiser (steamed beef and carpaccio), primi piatti (lobster gnocchi and duck tagliatelle) and secondi (kingfish and eye fillet) and were very impressed with the strong flavours and immaculate presentation. Portion sizes were excellent and we were comfortably full, so couldn't quite manage dessert (although the menu looked delicious). Another thoughtful touch was the complimentary chocolate platter that arrived with "Happy Anniversary" piped in chocolate. Overall, a fantastic, romantic dinner and we would definitely recommend Barolo for any occasion.

2 star rating
by Thommie
Oct 09, 2010

Arrived at 7.25 pm told were couldn't take our seats until allotted time of 7.30. Had to wait in lobby. Not a positive start. Strange decor, somewhat Vegas meats Sun City, South Africa. Starter was ok, we had meat platters. Platters went down well. Starters were not cleared away correctly at end of course and the knives and dirty side plates remained.

Mains were not so good, between our group we had the Fish, Beef and Venison. Portions were tiny and presentation was average at best. one of our steaks was badly over cooked. My friend complained and was told it would be 15 mins for a new one. 15 mins?? I can cook one myself in 10 minutes and these chefs are professionals. My friend had to wait as the rest of us ate. No updates on the wait for the steak. My friend finally got his order after we had all finished.

Deserts were very poor, the Panzarotte is horrible. Tastes like cold pasta covered in nasty cheap chocolate sauce. Not nice. In fact the two people who ordered this didn't finish it. The Semifreddo was nice, but tiny and overpriced. Its just frozen cream with a sprig on top.

Would I recommend...No. Would I go back... No. This is meant to be a "top hotel", but clerly is deluded and I have dined in much nicer places in Europe and Africa.

Barolo you need to up your game.

5 star rating
by Vanya
Jun 21, 2010

Beautifully quiet and intimate ambiance - a restaurant where you DON'T feel like you are having dinner with the people at the table next to you. And swags of sound absorbing fabric - such a wonderful change from most cafes with noisy, modern hard furnishings that make everyone have to shout to hear each other. The service was attentive, informative but not condescending. And the food - well, simple conceptions, cooked to perfection, and a butter knife cut the steak. Every mouthful and minute a pleasure.

4 star rating
by Ian
Mar 10, 2010

9 out of 10.. Great changes to this restaurant.. Very impressed with the food and wine, service was a little pushy though. A suitable restaurant for the impressive Langham hotel so about time

4 star rating
by Amoora
Feb 12, 2010

we went recently to the Barolo and we were really impressed with the menu after it has changed, menu now is has more comfy food, it used to be quite complicated and not so tasty, but now its cheaper & more fine dining with flavorful dishes.
the service was very friendly & professional and the wine list was very impressive. some of finest wines ..

we would definitely go back more often since they have changed to Barolo... well done!