- Cafes, Restaurants, Bar & Brasseries, Bistros
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Reviews for Imperial Lane
by Lucy G.
6th July 2012
This business is a MenuMania SponsorOne of the Business' Favourite Reviews
Utterly superb tuna sashimi. Served with a slippery heaven of wakame seaweed, crispy fried shallots, and wasabi which was a delightfully creamy white colour somehow.
Excellent small-plates menu. I would be keen on trying the ‘Witloof & radicchio, fresh pear, blue cheese, walnuts’ next time. I was disappointed though, that they didn’t have the item I’d spotted on their website beforehand: black beans, cumin crema, lime, onions, blue corn chips.
I felt a little lost wandering in and trying to work out where should I place my order… but once I’d figured it out I was all good! (The service counter, kitchenette, etc, are on one side of the cobblestone lane, while the single row of small tables are arranged against the opposite wall. So passersby are using the centre ramp as a kind of thoroughfare … so it’s a very unique layout, and great for people-watching.)
I loved the warmth of the radiant heaters above each table (although I worried a little about melting polar ice-caps as I basked in the orange glow).
23rd June 2014
This is the best cafe in Auckland! I’ve been a regular since it opened. I love the rescuing and the beautiful restoration of what was previously a derelict movie theatre. The staff are always warm and friendly and serve my excellent coffee without me even asking. The croissants are melt-in-the mouth moments and there are many tempting items on the menu: the healthy breakfast of puffed quinoa and chia with finely sliced fruit is wonderful. The ambience is perfect for get togethers or meetings as it is not one of those overly noisy cafes where you can’t hear yourself think. The individual heaters over each table and the big comfy chairs are a bonus. The Lane is a must-visit!
by Sam C.
27th May 2014
What can I say…..I think I have found Auckland’s new hotspot for coffee lovers!!! i Can’t believe I didn’t know about this place sooner.
I went in the other morning on a friends recommendation, and boy was I not disappointed. Upon arriving I was greeted by two of the staff, and after grabbing a seat promptly served and offered a drink.
I ended up having the brioche French toast, and a flat white to match. The girl who made the coffee did a great job, and produced a perfect fern which was a nice touch
The only downfall was the constant pestering for more coffee’s, I don’t know about other people but 2 coffees was quite enough!!!
I’ll definitely be visiting this little gem in downtown again.
17th January 2014
Had a quick breakfast today, Awesome food and Coffee too , Great Staff . Will really like to try for Lunch One Day soon. Nice Place to be, Great Exterior, Menu, Really appreciate the friendly service !!!!!!!! Worth Money Spent……
by Phil L.
4th March 2013
We were on our honeymoon and the place seemed like a perfectly charming restaurant for our last night in Auckland. The exciting exterior and the well-chosen menu lured us inside.
The service was prompt and very friendly – which made up for one of the two starts awarded. The other star is for the decent drinks.
We are quite adventurous eaters and throughout our three week vacation have not been disappointed once with the amazing produce this country has to offer. However, in case of Imperial Lane, the produce was overshadowed by an overly ambitious chef. The duck liver with pear chutney and brioche was the worst of the five (!) items we ordered. The smell resembled that of spray cheese and the taste was perhaps worse. Mussels were fresh but the lack of seasoning (which was a problem in all dishes) left it to be an underwhelming dish. The duck fat fries also had no flavor – neither of duck fat nor of salt. The hot dogs looked and sounded very promising, but upon arrival, failed to deliver again. Lack of seasoning was once again an issue for both the chorizo sausage and the chili lime sausage. While the Matador Hot dog was edible, the Banha Mi Hot Dog tasted predominately of soap – not to be confused with the flowery flavor cilantro holds!
But we do have to stress that the service was prompt and friendly, and even waived our charges for the inedible duck liver. So go there for a drink – but leave before you get hungry.
by Phoebe J.
19th January 2013
Stopped by on a very hot day with a friend and even though I’m a religious flat white drinker, I could only bear an Iced Coffee. I was pleasantly surprised that I had finally found a place where Iced coffees aren’t some sugar-loaded, sickly sweet remnants of the espresso that it supposedly contains. This was real coffee, with milk and ice, and a little bit of cream. The staff were one of the most friendly bunch I have come across, stopping to chat and being very approachable. After relaxing in the beautifully designed atmosphere, we ordered the duck fat chips to share. Wicked but tasty, loved every mouthful. Prior to this I have occasionally come in for coffee either to go or with friends, every time the experience has been a good one.
by Sam A.
18th January 2013
I was in Auckland just for overnight, popped in late afternoon yesterday, staff were really friendly and helpful as I was indecisive about what to eat. Had Tokyo chicken and flat bread and hummus. It was great, Tokyo chicken was awesome! Had also a lemon tart as well which was seriously delicious. Cannot say enough about how nice the staff were and how gracious they were. If they read this then you know who you all are !
And to make it better had a quick breakfast today, once again lovely food, scrambled eggs and chives with cured salmon and who the heck created those awesome potato fritters!! nice coffee and really genuinely nice staff!! Would love another day to have had lunch!!!
by John H.
15th May 2012
I went to Imperial Lane with some business colleagues for lunch. I had a salami sandwich which was very tasty. My friends had a pies which looked good also. We all had coffee, they were nice but mine was a bit stronger than I’m used too.
The architecture of the place is very impressive and the highlight for me. The light wells going through the entire height of the building let in natural light and complemented the industrial look inside. The wall mounted lights were great and the lane being a public access added to the aesthetic of the space.
I’ll be having more lunch/coffee’s at Imperial Lane, a great place to people watch.
by Sienna P.
14th December 2011
I tried out Elske on 13th December (a Tuesday) for lunch after I’d read about it in Denizen. My expectations were high as I’d read that the pastries were made by Michelin-star Danish pastry chef Kristina Jensen.
Yes, the floor is on a slope, but it is a gentle one and didn’t bother us in the slightest. We were impressed with the way one of Auckland’s older buildings had been preserved and reawakened in such a flattering way. Anyway, back to the food…
We were not disappointed with the food. Our order was taken promptly once we were seated at a table (nice touch) and our drinks and food followed quickly. My friend and I shared an almond croissant (one of the largest I’ve ever seen) which was light, flaky and simply delicious. We also shared a ham/cheese/salad baguette – the bread was divine and the filling ample. The food plus a coffee filled us up and we were happy with the price ($20.50 all up).
I’d definitely return to Else again and I’d like to congratulate the developers for doing such a superb job on the restoration of the Roxy building and giving Aucklanders another area to rediscover.
10th December 2011
Went there for the first time on the weekend.
I didn’t notice until I sat down at one of the tables along the wall, that the whole cafe is actually sitting on a slope. The table is leveled, but the chairs arn’t, so you are constantly in an angled position which made me do some unwelcome workouts.
I was also quite disappointed that they only have very limited selection of the kitchen foods. Most of them were around $14, and I chose sage fried eggs on sourdough with cooked tomatoes on side. Sourdough was just a thin slice and two eggs were on top of it. On the side was 4 cooked cherry tomatoes. Well, it was good. But not enough to fill me up at all. If you go there on your empty stomach and expect for a normal portioned cafe meal, this place will disappoint you.
Out of all what really disappointed me, was at the end when I walked out, the manager came running down the road yelling on top of her lungs saying “Excuse me! Have you Paid?!” That was SO embarrassing. Of course, I have paid before I walked out, I just paid when she was not around. Fortunately, the girl who served me remembered me paying so I was free to go, but the other customers were staring like I was caught by eat and run and that was really embarrassing.
I will not go back there not only I had a bad experience, but most of the food there are just bakery foods which isn’t something what I expect from cafes.
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