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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!
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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~
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.
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!
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
Fabulous setting, very subdued, romantic and refined, food skillfully made to perfection. great wine selection. will be back.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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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