Reviews for Clooney
I went to Clooneys Thursday just been with some friends for dinner. It is not the first or last time I'll pay a visit to this elegant, fine dining restaurant. Located in a trendy dining area in Freemans Bay, Clooney's feels like walking into a high-class, modern take on an old school Speak Easy. A large romantically lit room, with spacious circular booths for dining. Clooney's definitely has an intimate and sophisticated feel to it.
They offer both a degustation menu as well as an a la carte menu. We chose from the a la carte menu this time, which comes with accompaniments of bread, an amuse bouche (which was my favourite by far- a truffle and onion kind of soup), two different salad-type sides and a pre-dessert. We tried the shrimps for an entree and I had the king fish while my friends enjoyed the duck. For dessert we had the raspberry and rhubarb option. All the food is just so tasty, well cooked with unique flavours, and beautifully presented. Although the prices are quite high, I actually think that what you pay for the a la carte menu is pretty reasonable given the quality of the food and the inclusion of all the extras.
Overall, this is a restaurant with a fantastically unique atmosphere and equally fantastic food - great for a fun, fine dining experience.
by Hubert Cheng
one month ago
An awesome place to come to. Service is absolutely awesome. We showed them a dessert we had in the past and even though it wasnt on the menu they still managed to make it (or close to). Food was great. Will be back again!
by Miso Peckish
one month ago
Another find dining establishment, located just on the outskirts of the CBD, but walkable.
Thought I would give this place a try before the little one arrives, as it would prove hard to bring an infant to fine dining establishments.
Clooney's offers both degustation and a la carte options. We opted for the degustation option, so that we could try a number of dishes. one of the disappointments were that we had to go with the same menu. ie. one person could not go a la carte while the other went degustation.
Some of the dishes were fairly tasty, while others - I'll let you judge for yourself.
Check out my website for an indepth review.
one month ago
Attended a wedding party in the private dining room downstairs. We had a five course degustation menu of crayfish, pork, duck, lamb and a dessert. Our own waiter who attended us for the evening, gorgeous wines and great company. The room was intimate and inviting.
Each course was a delight - I could eat here every night. Not for those with moths in their wallets; but worth the experience, fabulous flavours - some of which I hadn't experienced previously and was left glad that I had.
Just do it.
one month ago
Since I've only just started this zomato account, most of my rood reviews might be from a while ago, as i had written them in my book. This one is from the 25th of September in 2014, but i like to keep a record :)
This certainly wasn't my first time at Clooneys, but it was however, my very first degustation! We all had 5 courses (optional of 7). It was, i must say, spectacular!
We started off with a complimentary appetizer from the chef:
-Japanese inspired pudding with cauliflower puree and salmon balls (like caviare)- This got our tastebuds working!
Then we got another complimentary dish:
-2 pieces of warm crispy bread each, with a caramel butter-This caramel butter was the best thing i had ever tasted! It was soft and creamy, how butter should be, but with a subtle hint of caramel! So good!
Then we started our 5 course meal!
1st: Kingfish, ginger, verjus and coconut- It was sashimi and very refreshing!
2nd: Scallop, eel in ferment, kimchi-The scallops were delicious!
3rd: Split farro, hapuka, sunchoke, kale-This was my favourite dish of the night!
4th: Bonless lamb, eggplant, date, olive- The lamb was very tender, and the eggplant puree was tasty!
5th and final: Deconstructed cheesecake; freeze dried pineapple and apple, ginger sorbet, cheesecake base clusters, mascarpone, coconut powder and crunchy toffee like pieces- It was very refreshing and sweet!
Overall this dinner was beautiful! Every dish consisted of different textures (soft, crispy, creamy, smooth) and flavours that all worked perfectly together! The portions were the perfect size as we were having 5 courses, so you wouldn't get too full. The waiting time in between each meal was perfect, as you wouldn't get too hungry or full. Five savoury dishes (including the complimentary), and ending on a sweet dessert was a great way to end the night. I left the restaurant feeling satisfied, and not overly full (like i normally do). It was a quiet dining experience and we sat in curved seating, with dimmed lighting, surrounded by fringe curtains which gave the room a mysterious vibe. The service was great! They were very friendly, and always topped up our water for us. I loved how the chefs gave us complimentary appetizer's, and the bread with the caramel butter was amazing!
Love this restaurant, and I highly recommend for a fine dining experience :D
2 months ago
Had a good experience dining with friendly service. I had a 7 tasting course. Had a nice variety food. But sorry to say there are overlap cooking technique. Every courese of food have a puree. I couldnt feel not much different texture. But everything was good!!!!
by David Boshier
2 months ago
We headed along for the tasting menu with matching wines. The service was outstanding and it also gave the opportunity to taste some fantastic wines that you would never find or match. The tuna, watermelon and anchovy dish and the duck breast where standouts. While Clooney's is top notch in every way, for over $1k for 4, there are two other Auckland restaurants I would go to first.
by Jo Y
2 months ago
Absolutely outstanding meal and experience. We enjoyed a drink at the bar first and then choose the 7 course tasting menu with matching wines. The presentation was outstanding. The flavours of the dishes were sometimes quite strong and not traditional but it created a real intrigue. The atmosphere of the entire place is very intimate and exclusive. Wine matching was excellent with decent size pours. Service was consistent and attentive with a level of familiarity which was appropriate. A very special touch was the take home box for breakfast with a note from the owner which was also followed by an email to say that he hoped we enjoyed our night. Definitely a place to go for a special evening.
by Kirsty Cardy
3 months ago
One of Auckland's most renowned establishments for quality, I couldn't wait to try Chef Des Harris's creations. They didn't disappoint.
There's a difference between good food and art. Chef Harris presents art in the most delicious form, providing a true food experience.
Each dish is a journey through flavours and textures that educate and overwhelm a diner with the satisfaction you'd expect from a restaurant of this calibre.
Set in an intimate yet open dining room, Clooney is absolutely worth making a night of.
by Ben Tutty
3 months ago
Jeebers lord above. Best food I've ever eaten by a decent margin and the most expensive food I've ever eaten by a country mile. Waiter treated us like royalty, said woila like 4 times and talked our ears off about all of the dishes. Food was an experience. It looked like fine art and tasted like a hundred dollar bill, If a hundred dollar bill was delicious. Go here for a special occasion you won't be disappointed but make sure you extend the overdraft or get your running shoes on before you order.
by Khoa Le
4 months ago
We came in with a reservation even though it was a Sunday night because we've heard that the place fills up fast. You would have never thought that behind the frosted glass of what would seem like a small cafe is Clooney. We didn't know what to expect coming in from outside of a seemingly dead Sale street however the inside was the total opposite. The interior impressed us greatly; the dim lighting created a romantic ambiance. What wowed me the most was the use of the black partitions. They separated each table so you get sense of privacy even if it is busy. With the circular settings of the tables and the curtain you can still manage to find a corner of your own to hide away. The service for us was so pleasant. We had a charming French waiter. Unlike a lot of waiters in fine dining, he managed to deliver a good service without being too pretentious and rigid. It just goes to shows that you can relax and still pay attention to details.
The menu is ambitious yet simple enough to understand and approach. What made me want to come back already was the 7 course vegetarian degustation. In my honest opinion it takes a good chef and a lot of skill to execute a good vegetarian dish let alone a 7 course degustation.
We opted for 3 courses each and found it to be very decently sized. I started with the hen's egg and onion which was absolutely divine and surprisingly smooth. The foam added a beautiful texture and made the dish not too creamy. What got me the most though was the bacon. It was thin and so crisp that it cracked like the caramelized top of a creme brulee. My main followed up with hapuka and paua creme. The only thing I felt that could improve was that it was a tiny tiny bit salty. Between the seven of us we shared 4 desserts as half of us don't eat a lot. All 4 were delicious whether they were heavy or light and ended the night for us on a high note. I left very full and happy which for me is a big thing. I find that going for a la carte in fine dining establishments can often leave me somewhat still peckish after as I'm a big eater. The mains came with decent servings of side and greens unlike a lot of other places.
I had one small problem with my experience that night and this breaks my heart that I can't give them a 5/5. We all found the dining room to be a bit cold even after asking several times for the heat to be turned up a bit. I noticed that a lot of people around us still had their sweaters or other outerwears on. Unfortunately we were seated right infront of the pass. It was fun looking through to the kitchen but near the pass is usually the coldest place in the house (as the fans from the kitchen draws away all the warm air). I didn't want to hassle the waiter again so I just asked for my coat back. I believe that if you offer coat checks, then the dining room should be warm enough for a pleasant experience. Perhaps investing in a portable heater might not be a bad idea.
I think the one factor that seems to make Clooney so successful is consistency. The dishes never failed to intrigue and excite, the plating was never dull and tired and the service was defintely near faultless. No wonder why Clooney consistently finds itself on the Metro's top 50 and Cuisine Magazine's Good Food Awards, needless to say with 3 hats even.
by Ariana Omipi @ Ari Eats
4 months ago
I actually went on a first date at Clooney's. We went on a Saturday and they were only serving the seven course degustation so we ordered that paired with matched wines. The atmosphere was romantic and with the curtains and lack of light it made it seem really private. The food was delicious although not quite something I really found myself wanting more of it. I'm not overly experienced in eating food like this so there were a few things that I couldn't identify and left me a little anxious to eat which made the experience a little daunting. The staff we were great and talked us through each meal which was helpful. I enjoyed it but I couldn't see myself going back and I can't really say anything stood out to me. For a $150 per person plus the $100 per person wine match I would have thought I would still be raving about it.
by B D H
4 months ago
THE BEST RESTAURANT IN NZ!! Been to a number of the top restaurants in NZ but Des Harris is a genius!!! Perfect,balanced meals full of explosions of flavour!!! If you ever want a perfect evening, take yourself, your loved ones and friends to Clooneys 11/10
by Jenny Da
5 months ago
Went to Clooney on a Sunday night, no reservation was needed and we were seated promptly. The atmosphere of the restaurant is very cosy with red couches and dim lighting. We received complimentary starters, which was a Japanese custard with fish roe.The entree I ordered was the scampi, was slightly on the salty side. The duck and fish mains were prepared very well, with amazing sauce and the fish has a nice light texture. The dulce valrohna was absolutely delicious as well! The staff were very friendly and attentive, always asked us if we enjoyed our meal. Nice place to go to on the weekend or an off day.
by Shaun Lott
6 months ago
I've been to Clooney before, so the ambience and the pricetag were no surprise. I find it very classy, but maybe the aesthetic is not to everyone's taste.
There is however no mistaking that you are in a place that is shooting for the top end. Does it achieve it? I would say very almost.
The service was excellent, and the food mostly wonderful. The maitre d' and waitstaff were engaging and helpful without being pushy, the food was full of very good ideas and excellently presented. When an item I ordered was all gone, I was given a couple of alternatives, and the one I chose (beetroot entrée) was probably the stand-out dish.
Why not a perfect 5? The quibbles were minor, but when you're paying top $... The mains were kind of slow to come, and when they arrived were only just hot enough. My fish main was very nicely done, but I think the design of the dish was not quite at the standard you might expect for the money paid. These are _minor_ quibbles though: Clooney remains a great restaurant for a celebration meal.
by Grant Joe
6 months ago
Great service. Perfect food. Amazing flavours.
Hens eggs on onion was amazing and creamy. Duck lamb was great figs and other parts of the dish balanced out perfectly with the duck
by Shakira Kippax
7 months ago
Perfect dining experience. Ambience, Food, Drinks, Service- could not have been better. In my opinion, best fine dining in Auckland (probably NZ)
7 months ago
Took my partner for his birthday dinner; service was fantastic, I loved the interior as well. Food on a pricey side but I was full after entree and main, so it is good value. Recommended for romantic evenings.
by Wolfie W
8 months ago
We ate here last Wednesday and even mid week it was reasonably busy, deservedly so. From our drink in the bar to the three courses we had for dinner the experience was polished and top notch from beginning to end. Our food was beautifully presented, works of art in themselves with no sacrificing taste and perfect layering of flavours. Not cheap - you'd struggle to come out under $200 for 2 - our meal was $250 - but worth it when an occasion demands excellence.
by Angelique Petersen
8 months ago
We had dinner on the 3 March @7.We celebrated my sisters birthday , we had a wonderful time and will be back.Food was amazing , service awesome (waiter was excellent )..Thank-you for a wonderful night
by Alexandra Ingram
9 months ago
Amazing service here at clooney. Also what made it stand out was that although busy, the volume was not loud and you could still hear yourself think unlike some other fine dining experiences. The food was great and presented immaculately. The speed of device was also perfect- not too slow and not to fast giving time to digest and talk. The room was a little too dark for our liking, although very romantic, we were there for a birthday and wanted to take photos etc of which it was a tad dark to do. Our waiter was super nice and great at his job, and the menu was adjusted for me - the one dairy AND gluten free guest and I also loved the food and was touched at the extent the restaurant went to, to cater for my dietary needs.
by Renata S
10 months ago
Delicious!. Amazing food and very helpful staff. Each dish was presented impeccably and the food combinations worked so well..
The ambience in the restaurant is lovely and romantic, and the food matches perfectly.. It is expensive, but that's expected with fine dining.. But it is definitely worth the money..
by Roger Dixon
11 months ago
First thing I noticed was chair had a rip on it... shabby, not a good start for a high class restaurant experience.
Food came over 40 minutes late - and portions were measly.
Beef and fish was well cooked but the flavor combinations of both meals was just salty and uninspiring.
Expensive and disappointing sum it up - can do much better at other establishments for this type of money.
May consider trying it again and asking them to hold the salt ... as there have been excellent reviews of this place and it is well known with a good reputation... (hype?)
Overall, my first experience was underwhelming.
by David Parussini
11 months ago
First visit to Clooney and we thought to try the 7 course degustation menu...the food was generally tasty, the high notes for me being the lamb dish and duck dish and all courses were successfully paired with appropriate wine, which is a fun way to dine as there were a few wines I would never have tried by themselves.
Servings I thought were ideal and we two men of reasonable appetites left nicely sated.
This is the first degustation I have had however my friend who resides in Melbourne and has dined and had degustations at a few notable establishments there, thought Clooney gave a good account of themselves.
On a personal note, though brave and different, the boothed seating and aesthetic didn't really work for me and I thought the background music could've been turned just a notch down - a plus however is not everyone is crammed together...
Service was knowledgable and warm and they take your lead on the level of formality expected - well done.
All in all, an enjoyable night out and worth a visit for a special night out.
Dec 01, 2014
Wonderful atmosphere paired with exceptional food. Clooney is a must go if you are in Auckland! Would definitely recommend the degustation menu if you are unsure of what to order.
Sep 05, 2014
If you want to have a real treat then try this place! Food is amazing albeit small portions. The key word is treat! A once in a blue moon kinda treat way as it does leave a dent on the old wallet!
Jun 01, 2014
The high ceilings, leather-covered booths, sparse aesthetic, no tablecloth on minimalist circular tables and impersonal service make Clooney seem more like more like a dark quasi-glamorous fine-dining place shoe-horned into an airport lounge. The maitre d' needs to be more vigilant, but the food provides some consolation. A kombu broth's complex flavour was inveigling, the beef main was simply superb showcasing a heft, perfect seasoning and controlled meaty fullness paired with a delicious barbecue emulsion and Jerusalem artichoke puree. A scallop tasted more of the grill marks emblazoned on it and Eel beignet keenly channeled wood smoke, however sorrel ice-cream was a bewitching concoction, complete with inspired fruity associates. Pricey at $150 pp for 7 course tasting. Better success rate in the food and warmer service would amply benefit this place. 3/5 = Good. Full article - http://www.upnworld.com/restaurant/view/id/48/title/Clooney
by Lisa Edgar
May 31, 2014
What better way to start the long weekend than to enjoy a 5-course tasting menu with good friends at Clooney.
Hidden away behind dark frosted doors, this theme is carried through to the dining area where table(s) are sectioned by black tassel hanging string partitions. I'm not sure about the practicality of these tassels, but they definitely created an intimate ambience to the dining experience. I would say, it felt almost cocoon like...
We started with hors d'oeuvre of fresh hapuka with a dollop of citrusy flavoured foam which was so dense, it was almost sorbet like. I'm a big fan of ceviche and hence this was my favourite dish of the night, the foam was deliciously refreshing and enhanced the freshness of the raw fish. Next, we were served the salmon drizzled with rice water paste and plays on tapioca. I wasn't too fussed on this. In theory, the dish had an orient component but I couldn't taste any Asian flavours and really just the salmon - which was cooked to perfection. I did enjoy the side of homemade rye and ciabatta bread and caramelised butter which was wonderfully light and fluffy - I just needed 1 more slice of bread to finish off the large portion sized quenelle butter. The following dish was the rice-less risotto made from chlorophyll grains blanketed with horseradish crème fraîche. The dish was very creamy but I thought it lacked a bit of flavour and quite frankly, it didn't look that appetising. However, all was forgotten with the arrival of the following 2 courses. Firstly, the crispy duck which was tender and packed with flavours. Then, the main - the lamb rump which sat on a bed of black garlic paste sprinkled with edamame beans. I thought the portion size was beyond generous and I loved the way the smooth dark paste was coated the juicy chewy meat and topped off with the crunch given by the edamame.
Our degustation ended with a deconstructed cheesecake, sprinkled with fresh and dehydrated pineapples. My sweet tooth husband adored this dish. He would have had it for all 5 courses if he had the choice. It was beautifully served and looked as good as it tasted. I thought it was a safe choice for dessert and ended the night on a high.
The service at Clooney was brilliant. The waiters and waitresses were tentative and faultless. They sliced through those tassels like a champ and were patient and accommodating, helping us with our indecisive wine choices.
In comparison to the likes of Sidart and Merediths, I have to give Clooney a relative score of 4/5. But I do highly recommend Clooney, a guaranteed fancy night out, perfect for group dining.
by John Davis
May 23, 2014
I only advise to go after dark, if you go before the sun is down, the place loses its ambience.
The food is top notch, the atmosphere amazing and the cocktails are exceptional.
by Hamish Caithness
Apr 28, 2014
We ate at Clooney last night - superb food and service; couldn't fault it. We chose from the a la carte menu and had three courses each and that was enough food for us. Great that they are open on Sundays too. Definitely recommend this restaurant.
by Sophie Gao
Apr 09, 2014
We have been here a few times, as our first experience was excellent, great service and delicious food.
The second time we came was less impressive, we ordered one of the same dishes as last time (because we enjoyed it so much) and it was quite different to the first but it was still good although not as good as our first experience.
Food during our third visit varied even more. I understand restaurants change their ingredients and menu to match the season but this was drastic changes for the worse. The portions were smaller. We thought we would try that same dish again out of curiosity and in hope it wouldn't disappoint, but we were wrong. The food was overloaded with sodium, to the point where my tongue and mouth felt tingly afterwards and I had to drink a ton of water.
The service was good, good atmosphere but unfortunately the food was disappointing.
I wouldn't come back here again, for fine dining and the price you pay.
Apr 09, 2014
We recently ate the 7 course tasting menu at Clooney. The service got off to a slow start, perhaps they were finishing off the first sitting, but as the evening progressed this improved and was fine. The food was very very good, with standouts being the chlorophyll (vegetarian non rice) risotto with creme fraiche, the suckling pig, wagyu tartare and the two desserts (licorice, and chocolate textures). The wine list is excellent, the pacing of the meal was smooth not too fast or too slow, all in all the food was interesting and at times excellent in swish surroundings. My wife enjoyed the meal less, simply down to the fact that some of the dish elements were not to her taste (For example the mozzarella ice cream on the amuse bouche worked for me, not so much for her, and she doesn't like licorice). It was a solid 4.5 stars for me
by Maria Van Den Burg
Mar 12, 2014
"Wow !! Loved all of it ++"
Wow! What a treat. Expensive but a special occasion treat. Excellent friendly and helpful service. Romantic setting that is lowly lit and peaceful. Loved the long tassel curtains. The wine was lovely and food superb ++. Even the delicious bread with a mouth watering burnt butter spread was delicious ++- yum!! and the best beans I have had in a restaurant. Every dish was a work of art and an explosion for the senses- loved it- thank you
by Tony Ma
Mar 11, 2014
Very well designed and discrete restaurant. Reservation made a week in advance and went in a group of six for a special gathering event.
The staff were friendly, we had a few drinks before we were seated, unfortunately the Peroni tap was out of order! But I still got a bottled beer anyways.
When we got to our table we were handed over the 7 course tasting menu, we thought that was the only option we had after 3 mins of discussion, then we found out they also had Alacarte, and a 5 course menu.
We all chose to have the 5 course menu.
1. Course One: Alpine Salmon
All the girls on the table kept repeating how it was salty, part of it was a bit too salty for me also, however it wasn't bad..at the same time it wasn't WOW either. Lots of little fine details, I believe it was a finely sliced lemon, jelly pearls, etc, however these little extra details didn't really give the taste factor a good punch...Just made it a tad bit weird. The salmon was average, I believe thinly sliced pickled onions would have worked better than lime/lemon with this dish. Ironically the mussels on the side tasted the best in this dish, our table concluded.
2. Course Two: Green Risotto
Rather interesting dish, again our girls are a little picky and didn't finish it. It had oats, veges, wasn't bland, but a bit salty, nothing really special, no wow factor, but you can feel a lot of effort has been put into it...it's disappointing we could not taste anything surprising here...
3. Course Three: Duck
Beautifully made, (tad bit chewy) but that's usually the case with European made duck. There was a black ball of mash potato, which was interesting to eat, but no one at our table finished it. The rest such as the sauce, greens, fig, felt "extra". Once again did not help the main part of the dish at all.
4. Course Four: Venison / Lamb
Very nice of the chef on the day to offer us a choice between the two, I chose the Venison. It was beautifully cooked and still red, I wish I could have had a bigger potion though! Literally it was gone in two bites! I felt the sauce was bitter, and so was the vegetables again. Maybe we should have got some wine? So the food wouldn't be as bitter? I don't know...
5. Course Fice: Brulee
Good but not great, it was the last course and I really really really REALLY wanted one dish to just surprise me and make me say "WOW" out loud! However it was kind of average again...All I felt was sigh....
Main question is - was it good? yes and no. Would I recommend my friends to go there? No. Because there are other restaurants out there that offer better taste at a better price. WBK, Vinnies, Grill...Clooney's dishes was a tad bit too salty...
I was going to give this review at least a 3/5, however I remembered how the waiter did not give me any serviettes even when I requested it twice! I guess if you have never been and wanted to see the hype, go for it. However we prepared to be disappointed since you will not find the "WOW" factor - just like Masu.
It also took 3.5 hours to finish a 5 course meal, wait time felt a little too long...
Wait time: 1/5
Food Quality: 2/5
Food Quantity: 1/5
Price range: $120+ pp
by Loved By Katie
Feb 21, 2014
I loved the interior of Clooney. Elegant lighting, round tables with black thread curtains, the quietness... The list can go on.
I started with two cocktails ($18 each) which were simple but delicious.
For mains, I had a Beef tenderloin (with sun choke, verde, veal sweetbread & fuille de brick, $46) which was simply amazing. Clooney doesn't use the common sauce with its steak. This creamy green mousse like sauce goes perfectly well with the tenderloin. Sorry the photo I took here was too blurry to show. My partner had Market fish (with amphire, horseradish, native sea weed & clam juices, $45) which was still good with refreshing dressings.
Well I was not planning to leave this place without trying their dessert so we chose Baked valrhona dulcey, popcorn, date & banana ($19). The white chocolate in the middle was simply melting in our mouth. It was a bit of shame as the date paste had a touch of ginger which I didn't particularly enjoy. But the rest of the elements disappeared quickly.
Wow, what a wonderful night. Would love to come again if my bank account allows :p
Please visit ♥ http://lovedbykatie.blogspot.com for other photos and stories.
Jan 19, 2014
We have been going the past two years for our Wedding Anniversary and must say that it is BY FAR the best food experience in Auckland. Great service (some of them waiters are chefs themselves), outstanding surroundings and just a great night of splurge/fancy dining.
A must do!
The Duck, Pork and Gnocchi top of my list.
by Amy @ My Dining Journey
Dec 07, 2013
Walking into Clooney is like entering into a secret location. Tucked away on the quiet end of Sale Street, the front door is hidden amongst dark walls and tinted windows; it’s a place that you can easily miss if you weren’t looking for it. The first time I dined at Clooney in 2010, I recall being mesmerised by the stunning interior. Dim lighting, round tan leather banquettes, black fringe curtains and high ceilings; the place screams out sophistication, and three years down the line, Clooney still has the same WHOA factor.
My friends recently got engaged, so we decided to celebrate their engagement with a lovely dinner at Clooney. As we were a big group, we were seated in the intimate private dining room and ordered from their three course set menu ($95 per person) with three options for entrée, four for main and three for dessert.
My quail and duck ham entrée was served with foie gras, celeriac puree and pieces of toasted hazelnut; it was utterly phenomenal. First and foremost, quail is not a meat that I eat very often, restaurants that I have come across rarely serve quail; this is quite a shame as quail is such a delicious meat and in my mind, a better choice compared to chicken as it has a subtle hint of gaminess. The quail was moist, tender and flavourful and although I enjoyed the duck ham, I wished that there were more quail on the plate. The luscious foie gras presented inside a delicate crispy shell and pieces of toasted hazelnut made this dish complete and the perfect course to start our meal.
For main, I decided to try something different and ordered the razorback pork. I seldom order pork at restaurants because more often than not, the meat is dry, tough and overcooked. So, to my pleasant surprise, Clooney’s version of pork is delectable. Served slightly pink, the meat was moist and slightly undercooked. The pieces of crackling were light and airy and the creamy artichoke puree was a good compliment to the flavours of the pork. Our mains were served with several complimentary sides.
My night ended with a deconstructed feijoa crumble with salted apple, rosemary and ginger. In terms of taste and aroma, feijoa is distinctive and strong, and because of this, the other flavours were not very evident in the dessert. The feijoa was prepared in different ways; the smooth feijoa puree hidden at the bottom was tart and added a soft sour kick to the pannacotta and the slices of freeze-dried feijoa provided a distinctive texture without introducing more ingredients. I have to admit, the dessert looked rather chaotic on the plate and the dust-like crumble was hard to eat without flying everywhere.
To say that I was impressed with Clooney is an understatement. All aspects of my dining experience, including atmosphere, food and service, were superb and it was a great way to celebrate this special occasion.
If you like this review, please check out my dining blog -http://mydiningjourney.wordpress.com for more!
by Kim Mohr
Dec 05, 2013
We came here for a special occasion... certainly isn't something we could do on a regular basis. And since we were celebrating, we decided to do it properly. On arrival, my partner and I had a cocktail each, as recommended by the maitre d' who must have seen something in each of us because each of ours was perfect for us individually. We decided to indulge and ordered the 7-course degustation menu. Mine was complemented by the matching wines, my partner had a couple of beers and a whisky at the end. The food was impeccable, and my partner who isn't normally a dessert person kept using expletives to describe how good the sixth course (one of the two desserts included in the degustation menu) was. We gobbled up every delightful morsel and the service was faultless - just outstanding. It was my first time at Clooney but I will be back... after a substantial payrise!
by Kiwi Food Wonders
Nov 18, 2013
If you can get past the glitzy posterior or the mail order bride demeanour, Clooney has a charm unto itself which lends it to being one of Auckland’s most intimate restaurants. Yes, the stiletto heels and jumbo leather belts clasping the red dresses of 30 peroxide blondes and their playboy partners who seem to be drawn to this location is almost alarming. Let’s face it though kids, if you are dining at Clooney, evidently appearance is to be expected in the culinary delights as well as the patrons, my darlings, what else would one expect from the Cuisine Restaurant finalist (Restaurant of the Year Awards 2007, 08, 09, 10, 11) and Metro Restaurant Finalist of the Year Awards?
Piffle aside, for starters, Smoked Scallop with Saikou Salmon with saffron & fennel pollen perfectly presented as dish number one, and Sugar Cured Ostrich served with black currant, pear, duck liver and gingerbread for dish two. I’d say the ostrich had the edge over the scallops, the combination of the duck liver which had the texture of a thick mousse, combined with the crunch of the gingerbread pieces was something that the man in the clouds himself would find hard not to make him lick his lips and readdress the limitations of the use of the word divine in his own pearly kingdom. Oh, and by the way, a word to the wise – try the wine match, the waiters are as knowledgeable as they are courteous in a refreshingly unpretentious but still formal way. The wines from start to finish are perfectly suited to each course right through to dessert and perfectly round the palate.
To read more, visit: http://kiwifoodwonders.com/2012/03/11/clooney-sale-street-auckland/
by Kate W
Nov 18, 2013
Went for a celebratory engagement meal and it really was quite magical - with chains pretty much dripping from the ceiling to act as semi-transparent walls and massive baubles hanging from the ceiling to give the room some dim and romantic light, this was a very good start to an amazing meal. Priced the same as other high end degustations at $120 a head, the food was very good...not as spectacular and lick-your-plate-clean as others like Number 5 but still very very good. Waiters come over and sit at your table while you're ordering...sounds a bit too much but actually it's very laid back and unassuming. Greta for a romantic occasion.
Nov 04, 2013
I was very disappointed to have a dinner at Clooney on 19.10.2013. I have heard and read reviews carefully as this is a very nice restaurant with delicious food. I also told my friends that this is a very nice and famous restaurant. That was why I went ahead to book a table for 3 people to celebrate my birthday. I already mentioned in an email that this was my birthday celebration and I would like to have a table in nice area to take pictures with friends. We couldn't take pictures before the meals because one of the staff members came over and told us that we had to stop using the flash to take pictures. The area of this restaurant is extremely dark, we couldn't see properly and my camera didn't work properly even we turned on the flash. So how could we capture our birthday moment if we didnt turn on the flash? After we finished dinner, I complained to the staff that other people used their camera with flash to take pictures at another other table why we couldn't? He said because of the people who sat at the next table on our side who complained about us ????
Beside that, the food was not that fancy as we expected. I ordered a duck dish and meat was just too fat and too sweet. We had to wait for very long time to get to the main meal that made us so hungry. Plus, we brought the birthday cake ourselves. After the entree and main meals we were so full to jump to the dessert so left it. The staff showed immediate unhappy face toward us.
We then took pictures with our cake and staff just came over to say to us that if we eat our own cake we have to pay an extra $20??? Considering all experiences we had and the price we paid, I personally think this is the worst time and terrible birthday night ever.We would never come back again.
by Kristy Swain
Oct 14, 2013
Clooney is my favourite restaurant, I have been meaning to write a review on here for a while. I have been twice and both times the food was amazing and the service impeccable. What really surprised me was the feijoa dessert course in the tasting menu, I hate feijoa's but I ate that course like an animal it was so good!
Oct 13, 2013
Had a lovely time and the food was very well presented. Definitely justifies the high prices you commit too and excellent service.
Hoping to dine again very soon when we are back in the country!
Feb 17, 2013
By far the best place I have been to in Auckland. Went there for my 30th Birthday and it was absolutely stunning. Great service, divine food, excellent wine. Still remember the blue cheese dessert...yum!
It is a bit pricey but it was worth every cent.
by Suzanne Tofilau
Nov 17, 2012
Went to Clooney for our 15th wedding anniversary. So to set the scene we were there to celebrate a wonderful marriage with our best friends. We had high expectations based on reviews and weren't disappointed. WOW we went for romance and got that and sexy with exceptional service. And the food was amazing. Highly recommend for any special occasion.
by The Smiths
Nov 01, 2012
This was everything we expected and more. A restaurant that really lives up to it's fine dining reputation. All four of us ordered different meals and we all rated them highly. Ideal for a special occasion.
Sep 22, 2012
I have been to Clooney twice this year together with my husband and friends and on both occassions we have been throughly impressed, not only by the fabulous decor, but by the wait staff, whose attention to detail was exceptional and explanations of the food were spot-on, together with wine matches. Most importantly the food was exceptional, each dish like a piece of art, not just great in looks, but divine in flavour - really an amazing taste experience. We all had entrees, mains, and dessert and each portion was perfect especially given we were eating a 3-course meal. Prices are at the higher end, but I think you get what you pay for and it is definately worth it. I look forward to our next visit.
by Gerard Ward
Sep 09, 2012
My partner dined in Clooney a year ago, and though she had a bad experience that time, she decided to give it another shot. For me it was my first visit and one I had been looking forward to for some time. Coming off the back of some exceptional reviews and magazine awards, we thought we would be in for an amazing experience, especially as Metro magazine had written that while this restaurant wasn't at the top of its game a year ago, it is now much improved. Sadly for us, this visit was a disappointment. The service was efficient and amiable, but the food was inconsisitent. We both had the scallop starters and they were excellent. Very tasty, although the portion was a little on the small side. My hapuka main was delicious but my partner's steak was very disappointing. We shared a chocolate dessert and a mini cheese board, which was hopelessly under-accompanied by just three crackers. We knew Clooney would be expensive, but for what we got compared with what we paid, their prices are seriously misjudged.
Apr 27, 2012
Yes the portion was small but who cares. It has the right ambient, the food was beautiful (both in terms of the look and the taste), and the waiting staff did a great job. Honestly I didn't like the pricing but it was well justified, so I won't complain. Not a place that you will go weekly, but definitely the perfect place for a romantic date~
Mar 16, 2012
Arrive at Clooney and found it to be dimly lit with dark string like curtains for dividers between tables. Was seated at a cosy semi circular maroon coloured bench style seat. Ambiance was nice, in dark décor, high ceilings and exposed concrete columns and beams. The decorative lighting is balloon like with antique style globes within. The lighting is well designed. A small unnoticeable spotlight aimed at the table, subtly allows the menu and meal to be visible.
Ordered the entrée Saikou Salmon and mains Angus pure beef fillet with a suggested side of steamed French beans.
Bread was served with and scoop of butter. The butter was beautifully soft and fluffy and a perfect taste with white and dark bread. The warm bread had a crunchy crust that perfectly contrasted with the butter.
Saikou Salmon was served with some kind of foam on top. Couldn’t work out what it was as it was tasteless. It reminded me of dish washing suds and a little off putting. Being tasteless it was not needed and visually distracted from the dish. It was like the dishwasher had plated up. The Salmon was well cooked but acidic. The accompanying sauces didn’t neutralise or enhance the taste. The scallops on the plate were very good and complemented the dish. The square crunchy seaweed pieces and fake fish eggs added texture and dimension. There was a distinct aniseed taste to the sauce which was unusual and complementing.
Angus pure beef fillet was cooked exceptionally well and was nice on the palate. Once again I was disappointed to find the same foam like substance on top. The brown sauce underneath was not very tasty as I would describe it as like liver pate – this might have been the marrow. There were a few large bubbles of black liquid in the sauce which I thought would season - but no. A gelatine substance on top of the beef was not tasty and not needed.
The side of beans were beautifully firm, not crunchy, and served at a nice warm temperature. They were seasoned well and the seasoning could be seen on the beans.
The Wine list is extensive and in fact some drinks are repeated over a number of menus. Three menus were presented, wine, cocktail and food. There seems to be too much focus on artistic presentation and not enough on taste and flavour. Overall the ambience and service were exceptional but the experience was let down by the presentation of the dishes and taste of some of the elements.
by Anita Walsh
Jan 06, 2012
We ate here last week, it was my Mum's birthday and there were four of us. We have been to Clooney before but this time wasn't such a good experience. I booked online and the website told me that the only available table was at 5.30pm, it didn't bother me but then we were the only customers there for at least an hour and even when we left at about 7.30 there were only two other groups there. I would definitely ring to book next time, because this is a restaurant that is all about the atmosphere, which is kinda lacking when you are the only ones there!
We tried the early bird menu seeing as we were there so early... It was three courses for $50, although it was a great way to taste lots of different things on the menu the portion sizes were really, really small. I really wished that the waiter had warned us, because I'm not even a big eater but I think that the only people who would be satisfied by that meal would be elderly ladies or young children! Haha.
I will definitely go back though, the atmosphere is really good, especially for groups of four or six, and the service is attentive without being in your face, the food is superb.
On previous visits I have found the portions to be larger than any other fine dining restaurant in town, although other reviews here say that they are small. You can always order a couple of sides if you are a big eater anyway. My advice is to stay away from the early bird menu!
Nov 21, 2011
Went pre-theater dinner with my partner. Interesting deco with friendly staff but pretentious maitre d'. Food very artistic looking but lack flavour, portions are ridiculously small so make you eat before you go there. Only worthy if you have $$$$$$$ to spare. Better off going to Cibo or French Cafe if you want to enjoy nice food at those prices.
by Julie Schooler
Jul 23, 2011
You do wonder sometimes if restaurants that get rave reviews by everyone really will live up to your expectations. Clooney has on all accounts - the food was superb (pork belly was amazing), the service was impeccable and the enviornment/ atmosphere with the beaded curtains was really cool.
About half way through the meal we keep wondering what this funny noise was, and peaked through our curtains to see one of the waiters up a ladder picking wine bottles from their storage space in the ceiling. The ladder can back and forth on wheels, hence the noise. That is cool.
After scrumptious entree and main I didnt feel like a dessert, but wanted something sweet and asked the waiter to recommend one of the glasses of dessert wine - the one he suggested I would never have chosen, but it was delicious - light and sweet with even some slight bubbles in it.
If you havent had the Clooney experience, then save up, make room on your credit card and go!
by Stuart Godwin
Jul 04, 2011
We went to Clooneys to celebrate a birthday and walked out extremely disappointed. we had a 7:30 booking, arrived on time only to be put in the 'holding pens' for 30 minutes until our table became available. We ordered drink in the'pen' and to my amusement they were served by a Waiter coming through the front door... Surely not I though.
1hr 45min later we were served our first course. Very poor, lacked taste, thrown on the plate...the next course had to be better. But no it was equally poor, not well bought together as a well thought through combination...salty...yuk - wholly unsophisticated. My wife order wine from the menu and was served something quite different without being consulted...
Sorry, very poor
by Mike Smith
May 07, 2011
We have only been to Clooneys a few times but it has been the best dining experience I have had in Auckland, AMAZING food, fantastic decor and setup, excellent service. Its a great all round dining experience - looking forward to going back.
by Murray Wilkinson
Mar 28, 2011
Where do I start.
This is not the first time I have been to Clooneys but it was by far the most amazing oral experience I have ever had. My wife and I were celebrating 5 years of marriage and figured where better than one of Auckland best. We chose the tasting menu with the accompanying wines and settled in for 5 hours of mouth orgasms. It's not just the amazing food, it's the decor- intimate, very cool, and not too posh to make you feel like you can be yourself. It is also the staff, they give you JUST the exact amount of care and attention you could ask for. explaining each dish, and wine and making sure you are as happy as you will ever be.
Well done Clooneys. You are the very best of the very best.
by R Schepen
Mar 22, 2011
My husband and I recently had amazing dinner at Clooney while celebrating his birthday.
Each course was presented beautifully and the quality of each dish was outstanding. My quail and pork dishes were both full of flavour and each mouthful was enjoyable. We found that our desserts perhaps didn't quite live up to the standard of the other dishes but still very tasty.
The service was lacking a little but it did not effect our dining experience.
3 courses + wine and cocktails came to a little over $300 which for this level of quality, was great value.
The decor is stunning and a real joy to sit amongst.
Jan 24, 2011
Degustation menu here gave a good chance to get the range on offer - definitely the most sophisticated dining experience I've had in Auckland, can understand why people would see it as pretentious or try-hard but I'd just say: get over yourselves and enjoy the fact that there is someone trying to step up a level from the kiwi down-home conviviality that we enjoy. The dining area and the food are spectacular, if sometimes bringing a few mis-steps/over-reaches. It's not cheap, but I think that if you are interested in food/dining then you should try it at least once for the experience. I'm not sure I'd go back over going to The Grove or French Cafe, but probably would before going back to Merediths, and if I earned more money I'd feel happy going here and getting something notable and interesting. Auckland could use more of that.
by H Weston
Jan 22, 2011
My boyfriend and I went to dinner at Clooney late 2010, we were seated half an hour late but to make up for this we were treated with outstanding service and received complimentary wine and entrees. Our meals were truly divine. Very unique and rich flavours. The location is nice and the fringe curtains give a sense of privacy. The only downside is it has a pretty sleazy feel to it, very dimly lit, there were a lot of drunk couples at tables around ours getting a bit carried away and to top it off my boyfriend caught a couple getting frisky in the mens toilets! We just had a good laugh about it and enjoyed our meal but the place definitely doesn't have a family feel! Maybe we caught it on a bad night... I would still recommend it for couples or small adult groups :-)
Aug 17, 2010
My partner and I went there for it's "romantic dining" experience and were really quite disappointed. $200 later we decided it wasn't so much romantic dining as it was amusing people watching... or people watching us. In all honesty, the food was quite good, but it was not $200 good. Another one of Auckland's pretentious attempts at becoming a world class city I suppose.
by Jooles Clements
May 21, 2010
Clooney isn’t cheap but nor is it ridiculously expensive and you certainly get your money’s worth. The service is excellent, the food is fantastic – fine dining flavours and presentation coupled with hearty portions – and the dining room delivers privacy and great group-dining experiences with equal aplomb in its cool, retro-fit interior. I skipped the entrée – I prefer to walk rather than roll out after my meal! – and had the venison main and Crème Caramel for dessert. The main was delicious and more than a little daring with pinot noir macerated cherries, chocolate soil and licorice. I know! On paper it sounds bizarre (and a little unpleasant!) but chef, Desmond Harris, has created a truly memorable and delicious dish that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. The dessert too, was incredible but good food does not always make a good restaurant. There are many excellent working kitchens out there but unless you have the efficient, friendly and, most importantly, knowledgeable wait staff that Clooney boasts, then you haven’t succeeded.
by Food Voyeur
May 19, 2010
I had the most amazing dish, which according to their menu here is described as "Firstlight Farm Raised Venison: preserved cherries, cocoa mille-feuille, black pudding & licorice".
I saw it last week described as dish of the year by Metro magazine. And wow! I can see why.
What seemed to me like a bizarre combination of ingredients, actually had 6 different flavours that contrasted and worked together amazingly well. I'm not a big red-meat eater . . . so I was quite amazed at how succulent Venison was! It was truly beautiful.
Mar 01, 2010
Wonderful dining room with a really grown up sophisticated feel. The ever changing seasonal menu makes for a new experience every time.
Without question the best deserts in New Zealand!
by Tony Buckingham
Feb 02, 2010
Food excellent service great but I hate the restaurant I suppose you either love it or not.
I have eaten there twice once last year and again in January.
The food is easily 4 star but I like to see my food.
It is a brave business man who opens a restaurant in a factory unit it can work Cibu for example.
The food and service deserves a better venue
by Mark Gregory
Jan 29, 2010
Have eaten at Clooney twice in recent months and found the food to be creative and cooked with a great deal of skill and care.
Service has continued to improve which is why 5 stars, they earned it on the basis of my last two visits.
Also it has to be said one of the most fabulous dining rooms in NZ.
by Sally Whitlow
Nov 08, 2009
Fabulous in every way. The interior is sophisticated and intimate. The service was lovely and unpretentious. The food was just divine. Would definitely recommend for a special night out.
Oct 13, 2009
Fabulous setting, very subdued, romantic and refined, food skillfully made to perfection. great wine selection. will be back.
Jun 22, 2009
Nice to go to a restaurant and be treated like a grown up. Great atmosphere, you can dress up just like you're in a real country.
You're unlikely to leave without a big-ish hole in your wallet. Chances are that you went there to impress your friends or your secretary while the wife was out of town anyway so pay up and have fun. Sneaky little bar downstairs where you can have a cocktail and a smoke in their "outdoor" area. Unusual to find something (quasi) sophisticated in Auckland nowadays.
May 25, 2009
Wow. What a great experience.
We went to dinner last Saturday night and we had an absolute blast!
We started in the bar where we asked the female bartender (cartier was her name I think) to make us some cocktails. We had a look at the list they had but we each asked her to make us something to each of our tastes. She made me a classic cocktail called a 20th Century which was JUST what a felt like. My partner had one with 42below feijoa and some other ingredients which he absolutely LOVED!
We then were then taken to our table by Guy who was out waiter. He was friendly and accommodating making the experience extra special.
I had the crayfish consumme which was so delicate and subtle = stunning! and I had the schnapper which was equally as nice.
My partner had the pork belly and the venison. THe venison was A+!!!! absolutely beautiful.
The best however was the deserts. STUNNING!
IT was an excellent night. The food and especially the service was definitely at a 5 star level.
I recommend everyone to give Clooney's a try!
by Angela Purcell
Mar 16, 2009
Wonderful cocktails, wonderful service, wonderful food. I love the decor - very gorgeous. Every course we had was mouth wateringly delicious - small portions but thats what fine dining is! Was the first time in ages i've been able to eat 3 courses so that was great to be able to try everything. Service was on the money, seated immediately, always ready to top up your drink and friendly staff. Definately a new favourite.
Dec 08, 2008
Had won a competition through work a dinner for 2 at a 5 star restaurant named Clooney's, one of my work mates had experienced dinner a week before and was telling me all about it, both negative and positive stuff and wanted to check it out for myself...
Arrived at Clooney's 5mins early for a booking at 6pm on a Saturday evening, was greeted by Matt. He was very nice.
The atmosphere was really nice, totally liked the look and style of the seating,
the ambience was very comfortable and welcoming.
We ordered x2 Poppy's non alcoholic drinks it had a combination of cranberry, pineapple juice nice citrus's flavour just to action our taste buds for what would lie ahead.
The menu's were presented by our waiter Matt, he had helped out with certain questions we had raised.
We had ordered..
First light’ Wagyu Rump Cap
with fresh spring vegetables, sweet pea puree & red wine, it wasn't very BIG on the size, although the taste was nice. My husband did really like it though phewww.
I had "Crayfish Consommé" with poached shellfish, fresh tarragon, grapefruit & lemon olive oil. I was hoping it was like some crayfish meat in the shell and some lemon, but it was far from that. It was presented in this round bowl kinda thing with 4 little things i think it was oyster, scallop, prawn & not sure of the last one, then some sauce was poured over the top, tasted different like a seafood taste but not my kinda thing.
After eating the entree we received compliments from the chef this yummy soup, it was a cold type soup which was definitely made with love, it tasted like puree cucumber, some italian spices and tomato, apparently this was given to ones on a hot day just to cool them down, definitely a perfect idea.
Prime Angus Beef Tenderloin with braised short rib, white truffle oil custard & organic miso infused kohlrabi very nice and filling my husband did like it alot the shape of the meat made it look really cool, and interesting. He says that he will buy this again.
I got Roasted Hawke’s Bay Natural Lamb
with lamb sweetbreads, sweet pea royale, savoury polenta & sweet spiced merlot jelly. I thought it was tasty, but very sweet, loved the sweetbread & jelly it was very different to what i would normally buy.
SIDE ORDERS was Shoestring Fries with truffle oil & parmesan.
Roasted Scolloppinni & Zucchinni with gremolata & toasted almonds.
The food was superb, the colours, the variety, the shapes and sizes the taste was really yummy. I give the above food 8/10, my husband rated 8/10 also.
Just one thing for improvement is the lighting in the place, it seemed way too dark. Otherwise the staff, seating, and foods was really nice.
Thanks for an awesome experience, my husband and i were pleased with the service and wanted to personally thank Matt (waiter) for making it an enjoyable evening, hope you received your tip from us also!!!
Thanks Leana & Phil
by Karen Tapper
Jul 16, 2008
We had the pleasure of dining at Clooney on a Tuesday night; it was not overly busy but the attentive service from the minute we walked in the doors til we left culminated in a first-class dining experience. We could not fault the food; presentation was superb as was the quality of the meals. The servings were not huge; we would recommend ordering a few sides to accompany the mains. The decor of the restaurant is highly unusual and works splendidly.
May 07, 2008
My husband and I don't have the chance to get out as much as we used to since having children so were excited to go out last Sat night to Clooneys. How wrong we were. While the food was ok it was nothing to rave about - and a tip - if you don't order all of the sides you'll be pretty hungry!! We were booked for 8pm and left at 11pm - it tool 2 hours to get our mains. One couple next to us packed up and left because they were sick of waiting and one other table of 4 sent their meals back twice and ended up leaving. $240 for 2 entrees, mains & 1 dessert - pretty steep. Nice surroundings but won't be trying again sadly.
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