CAC Bar & Eatery

4 star rating 23 reviews

Restaurant location map

09 6305790

26 Normanby Road

  Spanish, Mediterranean
11 AM to 12 Midnight (Mon-Thu, Sun), 12 Noon to 12 Midnight (Fri-Sat)


Reviews for CAC Bar & Eatery

4 star rating
by House Of Eats
one month ago

If you want tapas this is the place! The arancini balls are devine oh gooey cheese is delectable! The squid is yummy, and so are prawns served in a garlic butter herbed sauce mmmmm so good! The popular mojito is perfected here so make sure to take it easy - I could order one after the other after the other the other, other, hehe. Must go with a group of friends!

5 star rating
by Rebecca Bennett
5 months ago

Love this place - excellent food, and lovely ambience.  I'd recommend the crispy duck, pork belly and risotto balls.  Great "naked" cocktails too for the ones who aren't drinking alcohol.

4 star rating
by Peter Carpenter
9 months ago

Went here for lunch with my work colleges. Great food and relaxed atmosphere. I enjoyed the food. Overall it was a great place to go to relax and share some tapas.

4 star rating
by Linda Grigg
Jun 19, 2014

I always love this place - one of my favourites. If I go with my husband we have the meat dishes. I take a friend to have some of the vegetarian dishes - delicious.

4 star rating
by Mary Underwood
May 11, 2014

Came here for a private party/function last weekend. Great value per head as the food seemed never ended. Started with the risotto balls which was lovely, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Followed by many lovely tapas dishes.
I'd love to come here again to try other food on their menu. Staff were discreet. Only around when they needed to serve the food which was great.

4 star rating
by Genie @ BunnyEatsDesign
May 03, 2014

My friend and I rocked up to C.A.C. at dinnertime on Friday night. We didn't have a booking but they accommodated us easily. We picked C.A.C. for the tapas which are great when you're not super hungry and just want some tasty dishes to graze on. There was live music downstairs but we were seated upstairs, far from the band. Great for a catch-up.

The service was spot on. It was a little unusual that we had different waiters take food orders, drink orders and serve but they obviously communicate properly with each other because the pacing was perfect and we were never asked the same questions by different people.

We ordered 4 dishes to share between 2. Hungrier people may need 3 dishes each or an extra basket of bread. 2 slices of bread per person is provided and more can be ordered if you need some extra filler. We were content with what was provided.

The menu is quite short but everything sounds delicious and it was difficult to choose. In the end we ordered the olive hummus with fried cauliflower, fried chicken, 12hr lamb and the baked eggplant. It was awesome to see gluten-free, vegetarian, and dairy-free options clearly marked on their menu. There are plenty of options for gluten-free eaters and everything we ordered ended up being gluten-free.

My favourite was the fried chicken and my friend's favourite was the baked eggplant. I have had their 12hr lamb before and it was incredibly salty last time. This time the flavour was very subtle and the meat very tender. We gobbled up everything and sat with our our wines for a little longer after the table was cleared. We never felt pressure to vacate the table. A very enjoyable place to catch up with friend over some delicious food.

With an Entertainment book discount the total bill came to just under $70 ($35 per person). Not bad for quality of food and inviting environment.

Edit: June 2015. Visited again with 6 people for dinner and cocktails. Food was amazing. We order mostly vegetarian dishes with a couple of meat dishes. Their chips with aioli are amazing. Total $33 per person for food, drinks extra. Left feeling stuffed.

5 star rating
by Squiddy
Apr 21, 2014

My favourite all-round restaurant in Auckland. The food is imaginative, generous and delicious. I love the building it's in and the tables are a decent size, which you need because of the overabundance of food that you'll order. Everyone that i have taken here universally loves it - from elderly parents to fussy foodies.

1 star rating
by Scott Mullaly
Feb 19, 2014

Based on the reviews we bought a deal voucher for CAC Bar thinking it would be the business. Our first dish was the risotto balls which were not a good start. They were bland and hard and just tasted like deep fried rice, not to mention the mass of dip that it came with unpleasantly placed next to them. We were hopeful the worst was over but unfortunately we were wrong. The "Twelve hour lamb" looked like a square slab of cat food that had been in the freezer for a good 12 hours plus, and was topped with some unappealing looking chick-peas. It tasted the same as it looked. The chicken and chorizo were both ok however portions were a tad on the small side for the price. And the complementary bread, without butter or dips, came out after all the mains which was a bit odd..

Overall not a good experience and would not recommend.

4 star rating
by Loved By Katie
Feb 05, 2014

It was a special occasion and I've decided to visit my old time favorite CAC. Great parking space, quiet upstairs, lovely atmosphere... Exactly what I needed on the night. Grilled beef steak (19) is my favourite but I've kindly let my friends choose dishes this time.

Squid & Couscous ($19) tasted succulent and fresh as always. I love this dish too! It's somewhat very refreshing and tastes healthy. We've tried the Prawn ($19.9) for the first time but I wasn't impressed. The sauce was too overwhelming the taste of prawn. Display was a bit awful too. Not a dish I wanted to try again! My friends have a love for eggplants but all we could taste for this Baked Eggplants ($14) was pesto. We also ordered Risotto balls ($8) but nothing was special about it. I didn't really enjoy the creamy cheesy dip. Maybe because I'm not a cheese lover.

Their dish seems a bit expensive to be a tapas but I do want to defend them - the amount is huge. And you wouldn't regret ordering it at its price (if you order right things I mean).

Please visit ♥ for other photos and stories.

4 star rating
by Pamela Allen
Dec 09, 2013

Love CAC Bar. Food and coffee always devine. Chef needs to take chill pill though and not be so grumpy. Gordon Ramsay you are not.

4 star rating
by Carol
Sep 23, 2013

This was our third visit to C.A.C. and as usual the food did not disappoint.

Unfortunately the place was literally dead as we had come after a show for an early dinner so it was a bit early for the dinner crowd.

We shared some tapas and thought them all delicious - very filling and brimming with delectable flavours! We were both keen to try dessert but we both declared we couldn't fit it in!

Fabulous historic building that adds to the atmosphere, and our waitress was lovely and friendly. The chef, however was decidedly grumpy and could've cheered up when talking to chatty customers. Never mind, he cooks great food, so redeems himself with his culinary skills. :)

4 star rating
by G R
Jan 07, 2013

Went there a week ago for dinner with the Mrs. The decor was outstanding and well balanced with ambient lighting and spaciousness in between tables.

Drinks were reasonably priced and service was outstanding. We were given our space and at the same time, when recommendations were requested by the wait staff, she ( waitress with circular piercing on her nose ) was more than happy to indulge us with what was what on the menu.

We ordered the risotto balls ( medium ) for staters and found it to be delightful.

My main was the pork belly whilst the Mrs. ordered the gnocchi.

Both were brilliantly presented in terms of plating and well balanced in terms of flavour. Decent portions. Pork belly was slightly tough. But apart from that, it was an awesome night dining out.

Would def go back again.

4 star rating
by Ash Turner
Nov 11, 2012

Great tapas, service and evening thanks. The live jazz was appreciated as well.

3 star rating
by Kate Bukowski
Jul 16, 2012

I have been going to CAC since it is opened. It is great that they have kept up the good service and food. They have kept the favs but brought in some new things which is good for oldies like me who like to have something new to try.
Since opening the only thing that has changed for the worse is that the music isn’t as cool, they don’t have the amazing array of plates anymore (I noticed standard white plates are replacing the old and new mish mash that used to work so well). A bit disappointing you don’t get bottomless bread anymore, you have to pay if you want more now. Feel the new ownership has cut back a bit too much.

4 star rating
by Food Voyeur
May 11, 2012

It was a very rainy night, and I popped into the cosy C.A.C., For some dessert and a cup of tea with my friend. The staff were excellent. A very welcoming waitress and other staff were all fantastic. Upstairs the ambience was excellent.

I had the RICOTTA FRITTERS w. rhubarb & raspberry preserve for 11 dollars. The flavours were lovely.

4 star rating
by Alex Landon-lane
Apr 21, 2012

I've been driving past this restaurant for years and keep saying we'll try it one day... Well, today was that day. Saturday lunch. At first we thought the place was empty but decided to walk up the stairs (a very trendy fit-out in a great historic building...I want to live in it!). A pleasant suspended mezzanine floor scattered with rich rugs, cute marble tables and comfy chairs opened out before us. Most tables were full of happy diners. Slightly off-putting was the stinky smell of the deep fryers...better venilation needed. This is the only reason why I didn't give 5 stars to this deserving restaurant. However, once we sat down the smell seemed less evident. We ordered a medium portion of the risotto balls and the 12 hour cooked lamb. Both were outstanding. Yes, this is not a cheap place to eat, but as an experienced cook, I know these dishes take many hours to prepare and I think are well worth the money. Lovely flavours of well seasoned food. If I were to comment at all negatively about the food, it would be to suggest they increase the quantity of the side servings (chickpeas) in this case. This wouldn't cost the restaurant much and would keep the punters happy. The lamb is meltingly succulent. Highly recommend you try this dish. I will definitely be back to work my way through this menu

4 star rating
by Lynn Clayton
Apr 05, 2012

What a pleasant surprise to dine at this neighbourhood tapa bar. Cool live music downstairs set the scene. The waiter was a little inexperienced however the food was a delightful surprise packed with flavour and well priced.
I wish we had this bar in Newmarket.. It is a a great local eatery serving excellent food.

5 star rating
by Pilldoc 3
Feb 12, 2012

After posting a not so glowing review of our evening at CAC Bar on this website, to my amazement I received an almost instant response from non other than the owner of the establishment. She was very concerned and apologetic with regards to our evening and took the criticism to heart, promising to speak with staff and address our concerns. I must admit that I had planned on not returning to this particular eatery, but after receiving this concerned correspondence from them I feel going back and giving it another go may just be the proper thing to do. For customer concers, I rate them 5 star. Thanks Tina!

----- 12 Feb, 2012 -----
Great location, beautiful building and designed very well for comfort and privacy, but that won't fill your tummy. It will however empty your wallet, that is if you want to feel like you actually had something to eat and or drink. Come on now, $16.95 for a drink? Really? There were 4 of us so we tried 4 different drinks. The bar got confused as they have two drinks almost identical in name. When we asked for it to be replaced it took them 10 minutes to bring a new one which wouldn't be long if they were busy, but they weren't. Also gave 4 different dishes a try. Risotto balls ended being rolled rice balls with a gob of cheese in the middle, deep fried so long that they were like ball bearings and would jump off the plate when you tried to spear them with your fork. Served with an unglamorous dollop of mayo on the side. My three companions raved about the spinach gnocchi but I didn't get to taste it as one of them had 2 whole gnocchi and there were only 4 on the plate - and only $20. The 12hour lamb was interesting. Kind of like pulled pork only then mushed together into a square patty with a few garbanzo beans on the side. The paella was decent with a nice assortment of prawns, mussels and squid. Just that it was a noodle paella and the noodles were a bit over cooked. Bread was complimentary, brought to the table about 10 minutes after the food, cold as if right from the fridge and nothing served to spread on it. Yummm!
We refrained from ordering a second round of dishes and were amazed that we still managed to spend $140. I have to say that our waitress that took the orders and explained the menu was great. The waiter who delivered was another story. Any time we had a question regarding our drinks or food his standard replay was, "I don't know, I just started this job". My suggestion - if you want to have people coming back to your establishment, train your staff before you let them out on the floor to service your most important asset; your customers.

4 star rating
by David Boshier
Apr 12, 2011

It is a great old building and we love the dinning atmosphere upstairs. They have one of the best small plate menus in Auckland.

Things you can not go past are the Risotto Balls, Pork and Wild Rabbit.

They have a wide range of wine served by friendly staff.

5 star rating
by Ryan Judd
Mar 09, 2010

Hands down my favourite restaurant in New Zealand. the service and food is super fast, the quality is nothing short of AMAZING and the venue is incredible. Its definitely not the cheapest restaurant in Auckland but I can pretty much guarantee that you wont be disappointed. Have been there many times and taken new people each time, they all still rave about this place. (don't forget to try the risotto balls)

5 star rating
by Julia
Aug 21, 2009

Very nice place, warm, food are special, the owner were very friendly

5 star rating
by Colin Brown
Jul 04, 2009

The venue itself is worth the trip- lovely old stone building with wooden beams inside. Lively bar area downstairs with excellent little jazzy band on the night I went. Upstairs was more private, warm and cosy. Food was tapas which is a sociable way to try lots of dishes; the hot goats cheese dish was to die for, melted in the mouth. Carefully chosen wine list served in decent sized glasses-hurray! Will definitely visit again.

5 star rating
by JC Xu
Jun 26, 2009

I'm suprised no one has reviewed this restaurant yet! The menu is based on tapas so it's great for sharing as you can try a bit of everything. The prawn dish with haloumi was amazing and we tried a braised chicken and artichoke special which was suprisingly DELICIOUS. The interiors are very welcoming and so are the owners - I am definitely going back =)