Reviews for Merchants Of Venice
15 days ago
Amazing food and even better service! A great night out!! The beef cheek special was an absolute winner! Our waiter was awesome and very attentive. Great atmosphere!
15 days ago
Went here one night with family visiting from Australia. We were a party of 10. Upon our arrival everything seemed fine. We were asked drink orders but the waiter decided to correct my cousin on the way to pronounce Shiraz in a rude manner. After ordering mains 4 people ordered the fish which was BAD BAD BAD. Nobody enjoyed it neither did they finish it. I ordered the duck confit which was but dry and tough. The risotto that accompanied the dishes was good. The ones who ordered pizza said it was good but lacked flavour. Overall all the dishes lacked flavour, we're dry and bland. The most flavourful thing that night was the liver pate that was ordered for entree. We all wanted dessert but after been given the menu the waiter took ages to take the dessert order and by then it was too late. We were also told we couldn't order our desserts along with our mains to come out after. Over a bad experience will not be returning or recommending.
one month ago
Fabulous location in the North Wharf dining precinct which imbues the area with some much needed classic Italian charm. Had a quick stop here for refreshments, and noticed how busy (ie almost full) it was compared to the neighbouring restaurant (almost empty) so that is always a good sign. My affogato with frangelico definitely hit the spot and service was friendly, although having a new waitress at the till meant an unnecessarily long wait in the checkout queue. Will definitely come back to check out some of their dishes!
by Hannah Olivia Wadham
2 months ago
The vibe was cool and the wine was good. But my dads steak was cooked wrong twice. My meal was delicious ! Just wish there was more of it and the panicott was pretty good, wasn't a huge fan of the marmalade.
by Nikki Lockwood
2 months ago
Been to MoV countless times and every time is a winner. This is the only Italian restaurant where the whole table has always been stoked with their meal, no swapsies or FOMO! Particularly recommend the antipasti, gnocchi and the Bellini is a must have.
2 months ago
Good food, good prices, good atmosphere. Pizzas are large, staff are friendly and attentive. Very much recommended. On a sunny weekend it's really lovely.
by Rakesh Kanji
2 months ago
Cool little place down at Wynyard quarter. The pizzas were actually larger than we thought they would be, prices were reasonable and the pizzas are quite tasty. Will definitely be going back
by Janice Sam Norgrove
3 months ago
Went there for dinner on a thursday night last week. We ordered starters of bread and dips and the meat platter - pretty standard, some of the bread was a bit dry but overall ok. Then the mains came, the chicken breast of one of the dishes was very dry, duck risotto was ok but very oily and risotto was not very tasty, the most disappointing was the pizza, which was soggy, not sure if base was cooked long enough, over salty and everyone at the table thought it was a very unpleasant taste as a result most of it was left untouched. The Gonochi dish was probably the best out of four dishes but it was only ok. Very disappointing as for the money that you hand over the food is very below standard. The outlook is nice, the service was good but none of us would want to go back a second time.
by Hannah Shaw
3 months ago
A very disappointing experience.
We were actually going for dinner at Pescado next door, but after looking at the menu for Merchants of Venice we decided to have a change. What a giant mistake!
Our first inkling that this eatery might not be up to the standard the prices exude were the staff. Our waitress seemed uninterested and rushed, even though the restaurant was not overly busy.
After we placed our order our child's meal came out with breads for the table. That was perfect and we thought things were looking up. Until 30 mins later and our mains still had not arrived. When they did my partners Fish of the Day was burnt on the outside and raw in the middle. We then had to wait for another 20 mins while they made another which was better but still not cooked or what you would expect or a main costing $34.
While waiting for our food we observed around. There were numerous people complaining about food or service. All the staff seemed to be new and lacking experience. There was no leadership or organisation. The Maître'd was more interested in people he obviously knew at the bar, leaving the manager and staff to deal with the shortfalls of having inexperienced staff on the floor.
by Pamela Clark
4 months ago
An outside table on a beautiful night at Wynyard Quarter really enhanced the atmosphere - looking out over the harbour and people-watching is always a treat. Sadly the service was amateurish and the food ranged from ghastly to "OK". The cost was excessive for the experience.Our waiter was very pleasant but seemed to have started his career the night before. Our entrée orders were taken before our first drink order and our mains order taken when the entrees were cleared away. Despite being asked to remove them, a couple of empty beer bottles sat on the table for half of the duration. Clearing the plates looked like training for a circus balancing act. The entrees were nice enough, although we didn't get any bread with the whopping great dollop of very livery pate. Perhaps because we'd ordered a couple of plates of bread and dips, that was considered enough to cover the pate too. It wasn't - we'd have needed a bakery full of bread to service the amount of pate we received.The mains ordered were fettucine, risotto and turkey ballotine. The fettucine looked nice but was flavourless. The risotto looked and tasted like mushroom-flavoured clag and had a grey-coloured fried duck thigh slapped on top (and some complimentary ends of feather shafts still embedded in the skin - yum). Rather than a turkey thigh stuffed with forcemeat and tied back up, the ballotine was more a roulade that was made with somewhat dry, pre-cooked turkey breast meat, laid on top of watery kumara mash and accompanied by 2 green beans.Shared entrees, one main and a shared bottle of wine came to $73 each. It might have been worth it if the food had managed to crack 3.5/5 but the whole experience was very disappointing. NOT recommended unless you just want to sit outside for the view and have a cold beer on a hot day.
by Genie @ BunnyEatsDesign
5 months ago
A couple of girl friends and I caught up for lunch on a Saturday. With a nice location in Wynyard Quarter right by the water, we unfortunate to be seated by the toilets and had no view from our table. The restaurant was busy with a few tables free. We didn’t have a booking but that didn’t matter. Our waiter was good, friendly and kept our water topped up. We had a short time to eat and were assured that the wait time for food was 15 minutes. Unfortunately, the food took much longer than this.
I ordered the Roasted Lamb Belly because it sounded unusual. Unfortunately it was salty, fatty and super chewy. Trying to cut the meat at first, I thought the slab bone as it was difficult to cut, but turns it it was just very tough meat.
My friends had the Pork Belly Arrabbiata and the Crispy Squid. When asked for clarification of the word Arrabbiata, we were told that it meant “angry”. That might be true, but that wasn’t a good explanation for the dish. The pickles that came with the dish were intensely vinegary without much other flavour.
The prices are OK for dinner but too steep for lunch. If the food was outstanding, I might have let that slide, but $34 for my chewy, fatty meal was unreasonable.
Because the food took so long, we felt rushed and in the end the food wasn’t worth the wait. While the service is good, this place is let down by the kitchen so I won’t be back.
by Marina S
6 months ago
Have been to MoV several times since it opened and have always had excellent service - the range of food is almost too good to choose only one dish from, and everything we have tried has been delicious. The drinks menu is extensive and the staff are very friendly and attentive to any questions asked. Went there a few times with GrabOne vouchers and service still remained to a very high standard. Would definitely recommend.
by Tina Yu
6 months ago
Could be better, could be worse.
Though I liked the food we had I will have to agree with other reviewers that there was an air of pretentiousness about the whole menu.Perhaps this is simply because they wrote the menu using a lot of native terms that an expert would understand but uhm, as a much more casual diner we had trouble parsing what some of the dishes actually were? Perhaps they could sacrifice the nice simplistic menu for one with a few pictures of the dishes...?
The taste and portions relative to the prices were... eh not the best.
They did have very nice decor and friendly staff.
7 months ago
Went here for lunch - the entrée and seared tuna was yummy, also nice waiter and ladies toilets
by Robert Vanstam
8 months ago
Shared an entree of chicken liver and then had the Confit of Duck and a very nice Chianti Rufina. Like the open kitchen. Hard work competing with near by Buduzzi that was completely full. Maybe linen table cloths and some new menus to spruce up the place. Food was matched well by the wine
8 months ago
To be fair this review should have been posted months ago so I don't know what the service is like compared to when I was last there. I want everyone to bear this in mind when I give my thoughts on this place. This is just a review based on my experience there and I can honestly say that it was dreadful.
I booked a large group for a 30th party and had asked if I could bring in cake for the occasion and I was told I could so I had two cakes purchased and brought it to the restaurant.
We were all seated down and I can tell you from there on it just went downhill. The waitress was the rudest I have ever encountered. She wasn't even trying I don't know how bad of a day she was having but it felt like it had all come out while we were there. She didn't listen to any of our orders and got almost everyones wrong. When she was serving it she just attempted to stand at one end of the table and yell it down and of course on a Saturday night who can hear her? Normally wait staff have a system in place where everyone is numbered so they know who ordered what but she would stomp down the whole side of the table yelling out what the dish was and when no one would answer her she got more and more agitated. I could barely hear her and I was paying attention too. When she did serve the dish she slammed it on the table and left. My gosh it couldn't get worse could it? The food was not great for the price we paid. It was salty and meat was too chewy etc., the list really could go on. At the end of the night you wouldn't believe what happened. Everyone got served cake which was fine but when I received the bill I was charged a cakeage fee! I have never heard of this before and I understand that there is BYO and all that but it would have been nice to hear about it when I had booked and asked to bring cake rather than having it sprung on me when I went to pay the bill. It amounted to close to $200! All they did was cut the cake and put it on plates for us I could maybe have justified it if they prettied it up or something. Anyhow I disputed this as this was NOT mentioned when I booked and in fairness should have been and this had been waived due to the error on the end of the person who took the booking. I would not have had the cake served otherwise as I could have just purchased dessert for everyone instead for that price. I think he could tell I was not impressed with the service or how slow everything was as well.
Anyhow, we will definitely not be going back there and have definitely put this on out list of places never to visit again. Such a shame as it is in a beautiful location too.
by Andre Cesar Botelho Vidoto
9 months ago
Shoestring fries and their pizza are really good.
by Fairy-Anne Glenn Guiang
9 months ago
I've had Spaghetti Marinara and I find it below average. The seafood bits and pieces wasn't utilise in the dish..I've also tasted the Prawn Fettuccine and the pasta is too heavy and soggy. In the lighter note, I enjoyed the entrée.
11 months ago
Although I haven't tried much of their menu, mainly the pizzas, I rate this place highly. The pizzas are great, staff are friendly, though a little over the top sometimes, but that doesn't take away from an enjoyable experience every time.
by Ardi Alemi
11 months ago
Second best pizza in town(first is zoo keeper son)
Good vibe. Baby changing room and clean toilets.
Really like this place.
by Mina Ross
Apr 10, 2014
Great location at Wynyard Quarter, and a really lovely venue.
Pity about a) the over friendly staff (the usual rude flirty waiter problem "Bella! Bella!" No, thanks)
b) the substandard yet pretentious food
c) the ridiculous prices
The bathrooms are marvellous though. Drinks are also pretty great.
Please don't put cheese sauce on eggs benedict.
by Lani Manuel
Feb 22, 2014
They have good service, however, this doesn't excuse under seasoned bland under whelming food. The menu reads well, however this is where it stops for me!
We booked a table for 5 here last night as I had family over from Sydney. We ordered the bruchetta to start, which came on cold bread which had just been toasted without any olive oil or a special bread (nothing special about this, especially when you're playing $5.50 - $6 per piece!) Not restaurant quality for cold bread and toppings!
Then our main meals arrived. We had to send 2 of the duck and mushroom risotto orders back, firstly the duck was dry and stingy over cooked, the mushroom risotto tasted fishy as though they'd used the same utensils as the seafood orders.
They were however really accommodating and advised we could change our orders which we had done. We ordered lamb pizza and another dish. The lamb wasn't seasoned with anything at all, surely you can't get this so wrong?? It was bland with not even salt and pepper.
The general feel was that all our meals were below average in taste. You pay so much money these days to dine out, and you expect good quality tasty food.
by Ashleigh Lightfoot
Feb 10, 2014
Dined here for my sister's hens night, was very impressed with the table we booked, beautiful scenic views. We were all very impressed as well with the service, especially me as I work in an Italian restaurant as a waitress. The food was amazing and the dessert was divine! Overall very very happy with the night spent here. The meals are pricey, however, you are paying for beautifully presented and delicious meals as well as the view!! I wish I remembered to tip the waiter that served our table most of the night :) please thank the tall blonde handsome waiter for me even though he got frustrated at my drunk friends when he was trying to tell us the pannacota flavour haha :)
thanks for an amazing cuisine experience :) we will be back!
by Gina Hegarty
Feb 05, 2014
This restaurant can only be described as the most terrible in regard to food. Everything else like the environment etc was fine apart from the 40 min wait for the food. However I ordered the eye fillet which would have been smaller than a qutar of my palm. Worse it was lathered in pepper and had no flavor to it. The gnocchi was nauseating and plastic like. For $34 this meal was a rip off and I was unable to finish the meal. I would have enjoyed eating mcdonalds more than this. Very disappointing.
by Catherine Brown
Feb 01, 2014
Can not rate service and food high enough.
Thank you for a wonderful evening and taking our party of twenty at such short notice and rearranging seating to fit us all in.
Food was amazing, service great.
by Bex Hoyle
Jan 10, 2014
We just visited for diner, it was my in-laws 40th wedding anniversary and we have a 10 month old and 4 year old so we booked in for six as we were told the kitchen would not be ready for service until 6. When we arrived at 6 we walked past tables with food served to them... Hmmm. Even though we had booked there was only a reserved sign on an empty table, no table cloth. No high chair was offered, nor were crayons made available for my son to colour in his kids menu. I had to go ask for these. We were left waiting to order our mains. I was disappointed by confusion around entrees and my main, thought it was vegetarian (pea ricotta and mint ravioli) but came out covered in bacon and shaved Parmesan. I asked them to remove the bacon no need to redo the dish, and when it was brought back no more Parmesan.
Overall the meals were pricey for the amount on the plate but tasted good. Tiramisu was delicious but one tiny square does not merit a price of $16.
Service was lacking. We were served by just about everybody working there, as I often had to call them whilst they were walking past to manage to get anything. I prefer having one good wait person, not a bunch of average ones.
Shocked by the bill. We knew it was relatively pricey, however, did not expect to be charged for a glass of gin and a $150 bottle of champagne from another table! Lucky my father in law picked this up. Amateurs.
Dec 30, 2013
Great restaurant! The food was fabulous and staff was very friendly and helpful! Definitely a place we will come back to and we will recommend to others!
by Rita Lilii
Dec 24, 2013
My sister Regina L has already commented, so no need for me to carry on too long. However, my rating will be 2 stars as this waitress, jess, could have easily ruined the whole night for us but we were happy to ignore her rudeness for the rest of the night - but who behaves like this, even during the xmas season? If this jess completely turns her attitude around/turns her frown upside down, then im sure you will continue to receive good ratings. If not then im afraid you will most likely see more ratings like this.
Im not after a response as the apology has already been given to Regina, so thank you for that. Cheers and have a good one over the holidays to the rest of the team there, especially Charlie.
by Regina Lilii
Dec 23, 2013
Food was nice but one very rude waitress named, Jess had originally brought the rating down to a 2 but I have now changed this to a 4 after receiving a personal apology from the Director. It isn't fair that one person should impact an entire business so hopefully, she changes her tune.
Dined here on Sat 21st Dec with my Mum and 5 sisters - which is very rare as Mum and one of my sisters lives overseas. Great setting and menu looked really good. Our waiter, Charlie was awesome, he was really friendly and efficient with taking our orders. All was going well up until....
Our food had arrived and a very moody and rude waitress, named Jess, was delivering the last of our food. In all my previous dining experiences, this is generally the perfect opportunity to ask for a photo before all the food disappears.
Anyway, I politely asked Jess to take a photo and to my surprise, she replied with a very rude and short response saying she was far too busy and walked off.
I was shocked. I had never experienced this before and could not understand how this waitress could be working in the service/hospitality industry. She was NOT friendly or hospitable at all. Her attitude and body language while delivering the food was awful as well as her customer service - enough to never make me want to return to MoV again, which is very disappointing.
I was a waitress in Orbit in the Sky Tower for approximately 3 years where we had 250-300 customers through the doors every night (as opposed to the numbers I saw coming through MoV on Sat night) and NOT once did I respond to a customer's request with "I'm too busy". Terrible customer service.
Jess, maybe you should look at finding a new career path which doesn't include customer service, as I would hate for any tourists visiting our country to experience your so called customer service.
Luckily, MoV do have other lovely wait staff, like Charlie who happily took our photos for us and didn't put an entire damper on our evening.
by Olivia Burden
Nov 30, 2013
Went here last night for a work function.
They were easy to book with and very accommodating for a large group, it's getting harder and harder to find restaurants that take bookings these days.
We ordered pizzas to share for starters which came out quickly and were a great size to share.
Then we ordered different mains and pastas that came out in just the right time too.
When ordering drinks, the staff were efficient and knowledgeable about the wine selection.
They also didn't mind us all paying separately for what we had and made it an easy process. Our waiter was fantastic!
Highly recommended for any size group! I'm definitely going back :)
by C.c. Lee
Nov 07, 2013
Dined here on 17th October. The place was packed, although luckily managed to walk in and get a table for two. Friendly waiter tended to us although he was hard pressed to keep up with many other diners, good job and effort on his part. Pappardelle pasta with rabbit and the scallop with crab spaghetti were my dishes - no problem with either although the portion sizes are rather on the small size. Chefs obviously know their stuff. My partner had the gorgonzola sauce gnocchi, which was amazing, a lovely dish with all that cheese but throroughly recommended. Will return at some point if in the area and got 100 bucks to blow (if ever haha). The bill was $94 for three mains and two San Pellegrino fizzy juices.
by Ana Butterworth
Nov 05, 2013
We dined here on a voucher and had the arancini and meatballs for starters, then both had the beef cheeks for mains. Felt that the portions were great and we didn't have room for dessert - though we did have a side order of bread $5 which was about 6 slices. The beef cheeks were delicious and melt in the mouth - big portion. The location is great, the waitress was attentive and the food came out quickly - we were done in one hour without being rushed. It's definitely good value for a voucher - we'd come again.
by Joan Garriga
Oct 21, 2013
Went to this restaurant with voucher with my parents.
It took over 50 minutes to be served and the treatment, from the very beginning, was not very friendly. I don't know if it was that we got a good deal with the voucher, and they preferred we had them not, or they just had a bad day - I see I am not the first one to have this complaint though...
The food was alright, but the prices are too expensive and the portions are too small - pasta and pizza are not expensive foods!
Anyway, the setting is very good, shame that the service is not up to the level.
Oct 18, 2013
I dined here with some family as we had a voucher and wanted to try some place new.
Wonderful view, good atmosphere and interior design.
Extremely... slow... service. It took around 40-50 minutes for our food to arrive, and the portions were quite small, save for the pizza. There was no apology for how late the meal was, either.
Food was mostly good, I had the risotto. The first few bites were actually really amazing, but then after a while it got a bit too gloopy and bland for me. Perhaps it's just the nature of risottos? In any case, it could have done with less cheese and perhaps more seasoning.
Also, when we sat down and the waitress took our order, she assumed we had a voucher and so asked us for it. We gave it to her, and the document only had the coupon number. She went on to say that she would log this in to make it easier to calculate our bill later. We then went on to have our meals (albeit a very long time later) then the trouble began when we went to pay the bill...
A different waitress took our bill, and said that they didn't accept the coupon number, and needed a bar code to scan instead in order to confirm the voucher. However, we only had the confirmation email printed with the number (there was never any trouble at other restaurants with just entering the coupon code). This set us back another 15 minutes of having to go through my family's email online on my phone in order to fish up the QR code they were asking about.
In the meantime, we were being eyed up by the staff as if they were expecting us to not be able to pay the bill. Awesome. So I'm just wondering, in the 40-50 minutes that we were waiting for our meals to come, why did no one care to tell us that our voucher was not valid unless we had a barcode? I can't imagine what would have happened if we didn't have phones with internet access.
In short, some common courtesy and common sense wouldn't hurt. I might give it a second chance, though the service left me and my family feeling quite bitter.
by Penny Burk
Sep 29, 2013
We have returned here time and time again for pizza , fries and coffee!
Have never been disappointed, service and food is always wonderful. It's a favorite place for our family when we visit the waterfront.
by Lee V
Sep 02, 2013
Went there twice - the first time I didn't know the name of this restaurant so bought a voucher for a 2-course meal unknowingly. The food was bland as ever.
The first time I went there, I ordered gnocchi. When it arrived it was in a large plate and each piece was laid out so that there were no overlapping pieces at all. I could count the number of pieces in my plate. Needless to say, the portion size was dismal. As for taste..there was none.
The second time, we were a big group and so tried bits of everyone's meals. None of us enjoyed the food and the portion size was tiny. I was left feeling hungry and disappointed. The only tasty thing was the dessert but it was also super tiny with a large price tag. This time I will remember the name so as not to go back.
Aug 14, 2013
Had food at street eats, great street food, love your vibe and energy and nice food, simple and flavorful, well done. Guys!
Aug 10, 2013
My parents used a voucher I had la carte menu at the same time. The portion was a bit small for the deal, but okay for their a la carte menu. The flavor was average in my opinion. Good service. Somehow it's not attractive for me.
by Amy Jane Bedwell
Aug 09, 2013
What a wonderful dining experience!
I purchased a grabone voucher for a three course meal for two. I had the paté, beef cheeks and panacotta while my friend had calamari, prawn and lobster risotto and tiramisu. Everything was sublime! The only suggestion that could be made is to clarify that the "lobster" component of the risotto is not lobster pieces but instead a lobster bisque, but that was something that was quickly forgiven because of the sheer standard of the meal. The panacotta was the best I have ever tasted, and the beef cheeks were gelatinous and melting in the mouth.
The service was to a high standard and we even had our water glasses refilled for us!
Perfect for a delicious meal that isn't going to break the bank.
Thank you for the fantastic evening.
by Amy McCullough
Aug 02, 2013
We went there with a deal voucher for 4 for 3-course meal.
Overall food is not bad and the restaurant setting is nice. However, the portion size is very sad, especially for main. Two of us had beef cheek as main but we were all shocked by how small the portion size is. The size of the beef cheek is like a kids meal size, certainly not enough for an adult male.
Flavour is very inconsistent across different courses and sometimes confusing. My char grilled calamari entrée doesn’t even have any char grilled flavour which I was really hoping for.
Dessert is the best course out of the three. Good flavour and standard portion size. Well presented as well. However, it took about 30mins before it was served.
Now the worst part of the night came at check out. The lady took our deal voucher and looked at her computer for additional spending on the night. First thing she said was “oh, you guys are here LATE…” implying that we were taking up the table for too long coz we are deal voucher users. Well, we only stayed about 15 mins after finishing the food so I didn’t think we are “taking up the table for too long”.
Then she went on saying “no drinks!!! Well, you guys better come back next time to spend some REAL money!” What kind of comment is this? What do you think we used to buy your voucher in the first place? Not REAL money???!!! Don’t restaurants sell vouchers to get people in to try their food and hope they become returning customers from there? This kind of customer service will not win you any. We are certainly not coming back to this restaurant after this kind of treatment.
If purchasing additional drinks is a condition for using the voucher, maybe you should have stated that in the Ts and Cs so customers like us who just don’t drink alcohol at all knows what to avoid!
by Marcy Henderson
Jul 31, 2013
My mother in law bought a deal voucher for 4 for a 2 course meal.
Flavours were delicious, but the portions were pathetic. Entrees were small, but was forgiveable - I think my carpaccio had about 8 pieces plus some salad (and it was deliciously fresh), our other 3 had calamari which was nice and ok sized. Mains though... while my husband and his mother really enjoyed the ragu there was hardly any food on it (a very shallow bowl, I'd probably call a plate as it was not deep at all), my seafood soup/bouillabaisse (forgot the actual name of the dish) came with 1 piece of bread, about 4 mussels, 2 prawns and 4 small pieces of fish, the most sizeable was my brother in law's risotto, and it was probably only sizeable because it was risotto and you can't eat too much of it.
Service was ok, but we couldn't help feeling that we were looked down on because we used a voucher (even though my husband and I ordered a $60+ bottle of pinot gris for the table), and the food quantities certainly felt like they downsized the food to make up for the special price.
Not sure if I'll come back...
Jul 19, 2013
We dined here early on a Wednesday on the last day of a valid deal voucher so the place was busy. The service from start to finish was fantastic, attentive without being over the top. My partner was very impressed with his calamari salad and it was a lovely mix of flavours with nice tender calamari. I had the carpaccio and it was a good amount for a starter although I don't
really like anchovies (had never tried them before and thought I would try). We both had the beef cheeks for mains and they were tender, hearty and sustaining. The homemade gnocchi was fantastic too - much better than anything I've ever bought at the supermarket or attempted to make myself. My partner thought his apple tarte tatin was the best "apple pie" he had ever had and i was more than happy with the vanilla pannacotta. The portions were great - not big fat American portions but satisfying without over indulging sized. I would definitely return, even without a voucher.
by Janice Tan
Jul 12, 2013
We had a deal voucher for a 3 course winter meal. The service was great. The chicken liver pate entree was okay - not the best I've had. L'Authentique Chicken Pate from Nosh is tastier. The calamari salad was a little confusing and was left half eaten. I'm not sure what the sweet meat floss (usually an Asian thing - google pork floss) tossed in was about.
The beef cheek was delicious and so tender, the jus was a punch of rich, deep flavour and sticky with meat gelatin. The gnocchi was amazing, so fluffy and tender - you can't get this from supermarket stuff.
The servings are quite small. My partner felt he didn't have enough. There was a child's fist size amount of beef cheek, 2 baby carrots and about 7 pillow gnocchi. My pork with polenta was fantastically comforting and delicious though again the serving was quite small. A mound of pork ragu in a plate of creamy, cheese infused polenta. The main meals were the highlights.
The tiramisu was delicious but the apple tart was a complete disappointment. A circle of filo pasty with cooked apple on top ala mode. The "caramel" sauce was naught but in it's place was a sickly sweet sugar syrup. very strange. We left so much behind the waiter asked if there was anything wrong with it. We were too polite to say.
Overall some misses but some definite hits. Would come back on a voucher and would pay full price for recommended dishes.
by Andrea Lewis
Jul 04, 2013
We dined here last night & were blown away by the whole experience - absolutely faultless. Every course was cooked perfectly & timed well. The wine list is so interesting and not a supermarket wine in sight (top marks for that as I really dislike paying four times the price for wine in a restaurant that I can buy on special for $10 in the supermarket). You guys at MoV are doing an outstanding job! Thanks for a great dining experience. See you again soon!
by Wendy Gorrie
Jun 26, 2013
We recently dined by purchasing a voucher on line so we didn't have great expectations as it did not cost a lot. The food was outstanding.
My favourite was the Crayfish and Prawn Risotto the best I have ever had. The beef cheek was also amazing along with dessert.
We are definitely going back to order a large bowl of that beautiful Risotto!!
by Joe Walton
Jun 06, 2013
My wife and I recently dined here. The restaurant is in a great spot in the Wynyard Quarter and has a bustling and inviting atmosphere The food we ordered arrived promptly and was very tasty and the service we received was friendly and welcoming. We thought it was a great place to come for a casual night out and we will be back.
Jun 05, 2013
We had a deal voucher for this restaurant. We were given the set menu and expected the worst to be honest.. HOWEVER the food was fantastic! I chose the calamari as a starter and the beef cheek as the main and it was yum. The beef cheek... was so good, it was cooked to perfection. All the components on each of the dishes worked well together and the setting on Wynyard Quarter creates a nice atmosphere. The staff were great as well
by Laura Terrey
May 06, 2013
Have had a great night out with a few friends. Times for means was so quick so good to not have to wait. my main just fall apart so tender and the potato was the best uve had. My pudding was amazing and so lovely to try new things. Our waiter was so friendly and helpful. Will deffently be coming back :)
May 06, 2013
Got a voucher deal for 2 for a 3 course set menu dinner. We booked early and only a handful of people there at that time but it took ages for someone to come over and offer a drinks menu. We then approached a waiter when we wanted to order. That was the only complaint though. The food was fantastic. Paced out well. The lamb shank yum...beef cheek was the best melt in your mouth. The place filled up quickly I can see why. Would definitely go back. A great night.
Apr 14, 2013
Happy with the meal. Delicious. Good portion. Service was ok too. The food came at the right time.
Great location with a nice view. Felt comfortable sitting there; not overly noisy even many people were there at that night.
Maybe the restaurant should consider upgrating the bathroom.
by Kamal G.
Mar 04, 2013
Alright food. Terrible service.
Dined here on 24th of Feb which was a Sunday night with a group of 7, some of whom were from overseas. Mentioned when I booked that we had a gluten free diner with us and was assured there were adjustments to menu items that could easily be made for her.
We were served by a waitress from Newcastle who seemed friendly, but as we found out, was a bit of an airhead.
We ordered the antipasto platter as part of our entree, which had components missing, they were replaced when we finally noticed. We were given 5 plates for our entrees when there was 7 diners, and when we passed them out they were dirty. Literally covered in filth and grease.
We asked for two bottles of water to be delivered to our table, almost 25 minutes and another request later, we received one bottle.
When our mains arrived, the gluten free pan-fried fish was on top of a pile of fettuccine... When we complained, we were told by our server that she must have forgotten to mention the gluten free info. That diner then had to wait another 10 minutes while they prepped her another meal, by which time all of us had (awkwardly) finished ours.
The meal was taken off our bill- which was never actually given to us, as our server seemed to think that having a 10 minute long conversation with another small table was more important. We eventually went to the bar to settle our bill and left feeling embarrassed that we had made our guests endure such service.
I have since contacted the management who have assured me that changes are being made to stop this from happening again- I can only hope they do.
by Nick Koefoed
Feb 17, 2013
Food was delicious, service was good. No complaints, food came really fast.
by Des Mulvaney
Jan 27, 2013
My wife and i and two friends dined here last Friday for a birthday. It took three attempts to reserve a table initially, once via menumania, and twice by phone. The restaurant itself is in a lovely setting in the Wynyard Quarter, lots going on and we were seated outside. We were served by Jim and his service all night was very good. He had good recommendations and was attentive. Emma also gave good recommendations for the dishes. There were two items ordered, a speciality beer and entree dish that were unavailable. Food was very good, delivered quickly, tasty and well cooked, but slightly on the smaller serving size. Overall a nice nite out with good service in a nice setting.
by Beck Lauren
Jan 23, 2013
I took my partner here for his birthday using the $75 deal voucher. The food was very good, flavoursome and well prepared and the portion size was perfect. I don't know I would have been as impressed if we were paying full price, but the prices aren't steep for dining out - plenty of main course options between $20-25 and drinks are reasonable. The risotto balls, calamari, prawn and crayfish risotto and not-too-sweet chocolate tart were highlights for us.
We had a very friendly and efficient waiter, the food came regularly enough, and we had a lovely table facing the sea. The whole north wharf area is a beautiful location for a meal, though we were sorry we missed the sun (arriving at 6.30pm) and it got quite cold when the breeze picked up later on. The restaurant is fully open to the view - and the weather - so even in summer I'd suggest bringing a warm layer.
by Stacey Whitiora
Jan 22, 2013
My partner and I dined here last Wednesday. We were seated immediately and service was very timely. We had the 5 course summer tasting menu and the food was tasty. We were almost too full to eat desert but the chocolate tart and tiramisu were delicious and irresistible. The view of the Auckland Harbour was the cherry on top.
We have recommended the restaurant to our friends and we will be back.
by Jaime Yim
Jan 21, 2013
My friend and I went to Merchants of Venice for dinner on Sunday, 20 Jan 2013 and we used a deal voucher ($75 for a Five-Course Summer Tasting Menu for Two).
The location of the restaurant provided good views and the weather was lovely when we arrived. However, as we progressed throughout the meal, the temperatures dropped noticeably - it would have been a lot more comfortable if the restaurant had heaters around the area.
The first three dishes were selected by the restaurant:
(1) 2 pieces of crostini with sun-dried tomatoes, 2 with Gorgonzola, honey and walnuts
(2) an antipasti selection of cured meat with baked bread, a mix of olives, gherkins, semi dried tomatoes, deep fried risotto balls and calamari
(3) grilled calamari salad with rocket, olives, capsicum
We thought all three dishes were delicious; pity we didn't like olives though! It would have been nice if we had been given a choice, but it was not a big deal.
My friend ordered prawn and crayfish risotto for his main and tiramisu for his dessert. They were both good, but nothing exceptional. However, we both agreed my "Bianca con Funghi" pizza (White base, mozzarella, mushrooms, free range pork & fennel sausage) and dark chocolate tart were awesomely delicious and definitely the highlights of the meal.
The staff were polite and friendly, but it took a while for the food to get to our table between courses. We didn't mind as we were having a relaxing dinner, but it could be an issue for people in a rush.
The food was great value for money as we had used a voucher; the usual prices may be a little bit steep but they were very much in line with the prices of all the other restaurants on the Northern Wharf.
Jan 20, 2013
The location of this restaurant is excellent when strolling around the Wynyard Quarter. First impressions from the walk way is an attractive and airy place and that drew us to an empty table, not hard there were only about four tables occupied and we were waved to 'take our pick'. After waiting nine minutes to be offered a menu or acknowledged by one of the three floor staff present we left. If one male member with cobweb hair cut clearing a table, one female polishing cutlery, one male bar staff member arranging glasses has priority over meeting, greeting and offering a menu then we will take the hint. Sorry, we were really looking forward to dining here after the previous reviews.
Jan 15, 2013
Three of us stopped for dinner at Merchants of Venice on a balmy Auckland evening. The waiter (Jim) was friendly, helpful and generally charming.
The menu was interesting and the food selected was enjoyed by all. One small criticism of Large Plate selection - would have been great to see a wider selection of Italian dishes. They do eat more than pasta and pizza in Venice!!
One member of the group ordered pizza and it was really excellent - toppings were tasty, base was thin and crunchy as described.
Wine list was adequate, and food and wine were appropriately priced.
A very pleasant evening, the staff (Jim and Niall) added to the over all satisfaction rating. Would strongly recommend MoV for people wanting relaxed, good value, tasty Italian food, served by professional friendly staff.
by Mary Ansell
Jan 06, 2013
We were here on New Year's Eve and the restaurant was packed. We hadn't booked but they were able to take us on a set menu. Most of the choices were pasta or pizza which is difficult for me as I am gluten intolerant. The waiter (can't remember his name but he was superb) who served us arrange for something special for me and seemed unfazed and happy to do so.
The meal was slow to come but they kept us informed and we weren't in a hurry. The waiter was attentive with drinks and as the food was slow gave us a free round. Then after our meal which was delicious he gave us a free shot.
We were very impressed at all aspects of the night and in particular the way they handled the wait for our food which given the circumstances of large groups and the number was to be expected. Congratulations to the owner for hiring great staff and/ or training them.
by Jonathan Holden
Dec 17, 2012
Popped in for dinner on a Sunday night. Was fairly empty but we were well looked after. The kids demolished their Pasta and said it was "amazing". The adults had some pizzas which were the best I have had in NZ. Would go back in a flash - pizzas are fantastic!
by Liv Winstone
Dec 10, 2012
I gotta say, the whole experience was just quietly brilliant. Arancini balls (4 for $9) were the fave dish of the night by both adults and preschooler. SOOO delish.
Pizza was lovely. Thin, crunchy, flavoursome.
My rocket salad with parmesan was fresh and tasty.
Our waiter, who had an awesome Irish accent was warm and listened thoughtfully to our specific requests. He also immediately produced some fabulous drawing crayons & colouring-in pics (on the back of the Kids Menu) when we arrived. He also gave her a parting gift of marshmallows in an espresso container - awesome!)
Only shortcoming of the night was that they forgot my rocket salad till we asked about it... but it was swiftly and freshly produced within 3 minutes of reminding them.
Craft beer dominated the beer list, of which the Moa was the hit pick. Yum with those Arancini flavours.
The location was tremendous. We sat wharf-side, inside the transparent wind-shelter... so great views.
By the way, the unisex toilets were a plus, as it meant 'Daddy' could take daughter to the toilet without any problem while I paid - nice for a change for me!
by Tina Ah Chee
Dec 04, 2012
We went to MoV because we bought a 7 course degustation voucher. Thought we'd give a try with a couple of friends.
Our wait "slave" Craig was brilliant! Attentative and helpful.
We had beautiful food , just the right sized portions that came out at just the right pace. Each course was tasty, moist and flavorful.
A very enjoyable evening shared with a couple of friends, trying out a restaurant we never would have chosen otherwise. We loved it and will Return again. They did an excellent job showcasing their food.
I haven't been very interested in dining in Wynyard Quarter as it always seemed wind blown and uninteresting, but this restaurant was just great and worth braving the elements.!
by Roll Wu
Nov 30, 2012
I won’t return to that place again!!!! The time took to serve 7 course spring degustation last night was ridiculous. First 4 courses took 2 hours, which was almost half an hour between each one, and the last 3 came within 30 mins. We’ve had a lot experience of degustation menu around Auckland, and we are fairly well educated as to what is a good example of a degustation. And how much time to serve everything even when the restaurant was full. The dishes were tiny. And the portion of spaghetti they served were random, we found that the plate my friend got was only 2/3 of my portion when we both had degustation menu. After spending 2.3 hours in the restaurant we were still hungry when we left. Not to mention the food was barely average, pork belly was dry and lack of taste, fried calamari was soaked in oil and still dripping oil when picked up by forks, and pannacotta hasn’t got creamy flavour. And same green salad served in 3 or 4 different dishes. Service wasn’t attentive, with rudeness and disinterest, and also SLOW.
Nov 07, 2012
Went here for lunch for the second time. Food again average, and overpriced at $27 for a plate of gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce. Menu was two pages smaller than 6 months ago, when friends raved about the wild mushroom risotto and polenta with wild hare ragu (both no longer available for lunch, unless as a special). Not surprised that restaurant was empty, though service was friendly and attentive.
Oct 24, 2012
Used a Groupy deal for the 7 course Spring degustation last night, and had a lovely evening. Being a Tuesday night, the place was fairly empty, however the waitress was attentive but not overbearing, the food came out with good timing between courses and the food and wine selection were both very tasty. My only criticism, would be that they used this sweet sauce on three of the dishes, in various ways (one was spicier), and it's maple-like taste did make is a little bit sickly after a while, especially with red meat which would have done better in a red wine or mushroom type sauce. However, overall the food was tasty, and I thought the portions were large for a degustation, unlike some of the comments below (I don't believe they understood the difference between degustation and standard courses). The pate and the pasta were my favorites - delicious!
Oct 21, 2012
My partner and I have eaten here twice and both times were amazing. The first time we went in during a lunch time when they usually only serve pizza, we mentioned that we were hoping for pasta, and the host quickly checked with the chef who was more than happy to make pasta for us. The homemade bread was a great start to the meal, I had the gorgonzola walnut gnocchi and it was FANTASTIC. The second time we went, our starter came out immediately. The special was beef cheek stuffed ravioli (my partner had it and was AMAZING). I'm not the type to order the same thing twice, but I had the gnocchi again because it was so delicious the first time. The mains took a little longer to get to us which we didn't mind, but because of that they gave us a free tiramisu which was absolutely decadent. We'll be going back MANY times.
Oct 14, 2012
I'd like to start by saying how shocked I am to see negative reviews about this restaurant, particularly about the degustation menus!
I have been to MoV twice, both through vouchers for a 5 course and 7 course degustation, respectively. Both times I have been treated to brilliant service and divine food despite the restaurant being extremely busy. I can safely say that any 'small' portions are solely due to the nature of a degustation menu, and that I would like to see anyone finish a 7 course meal with full-sized servings of the amazing food that I have eaten there.
The attention to detail by wait staff is amazing, and plates are cleared as soon as the table has finished eating. Our waiter, Niall, was truly fantastic when I was there most recently on Friday night. My family and I went for the 7 course degustation for my father's birthday and we spent the night laughing and joking with Niall. He was a pleasure to have as a waiter and by the end of the night his cheeky sense of humour had left us wanting to take him home with us!
Any 'issues' surrounding the time it takes to serve such a menu are, in my mind, rubbish. With such a huge amount of food it is necessary for each course to take a while to come out, and in fact my family and I asked for a course to take longer than usual as we were feeling so full. The atmosphere and style of dining that you get with a degustation menu feels very authentic, and is a lovely social experience.
Merchant of Venice is by far one of my favourite restaurants in Wynard Quarter, and I will definitely be bringing my friends and family back for the great food, and excellent service.
by Debby B
Oct 08, 2012
I had read the reviews, there were good and bad ones, but went ahead and purchased a voucher deal. I was travelling up to Auckland and wanted to take a friend out to a nice place for dinner, he also knows his fine dinning and hoped this place worked out. Sent an email to the resturaunt booking a table. had a call shortly after, letting me know the time I was booked in for, a very pleasent person to talk to
Arrived on a windy night, the restaurant had a cosy feel to it and was nice and warm. We had booked in for the 7 course degustation, the first course took a good 25 minutes after being seated. I did start to wonder if we would be there for hours getting through the courses, next courses starting coming through in a nice flow. Every thing we had was devine, just yummy, the 6th course I struggled to get through, makes me wonder why there is a comment in here that states. I was still hungry after the degustaion and brought Mc d's on the way home, (must be big eaters). I enjoyed the evening, the staff were very pleasant and would go back again. Thank you for a lovely meal
by Praneel Chand
Sep 24, 2012
Me and three of my friends went to Merchants of Venice on a Monday night. We ordered and bottle of Hinton Hill Pinor Noir and I liked it. Recommended. The food arrived just soon after we finished our entree (try the Arancini). All our mains were pasta. Absolutely try the Gnocchi. The Gorgonzola cheese sauce in it was heaven.
Only negative thing I found was that there was only one waiter on the floor (maybe because it was Monday) and he was just running around. However he was very friendly. Maybe management should take note and put one more considering the price of food.
However overall it was a good experience. 4 stars.
by Dereck Welsh
Sep 24, 2012
We decided to come back to MOV because previous times we felt most welcome where we were greeted by name by our favourite waitress "the Queenslander" is the nickname my wife and I gave her, she is definitely the best by far! We were always encouraged to try new items and was always given exceptional service. This time around was quite the opposite to what we had previously encounted at MOV. We entered the restaurant of chaos so it seemed but not unusual for a Sunday lunch. We sat ourselves inside and waited quite sometime before a waitress noticed us, when she came to our table, there was no greeting or smile and slammed our menus on the table and walked away, we weren't told about daily specials or recommendations. When she came back she asked for our order, we were stunned and shocked with her rudeness that we asked if our favourite waitress was working and if she could serve us? She abruptly told us she no longer worked there (which is a absolute shame) and repeated the question again, we asked her for some recommendations and her reply was "I don't know what you feel like", I thought was quite rude, my wife and I went with some salads which are new to the lunch menu and are amazing! The food is always amazing and the service previous to Sunday was fantastic but sadly have to say that I definitely won't be returning if we faced with the waitress from Sunday. I really think management needs to rethink their current team because the experience was appalling.
by Phoenix Wang
Sep 05, 2012
We decided to come here for our office lunch on a week day. Having read all the reviews we almost gave up to go somewhere else. However, we decided to follow it through and give it a chance and we're glad we did.
We ordered pretty much all the appetizers, the soft shell crab and beef carpaccio was amazing. All the mains we ordered were just the right proportion, fresh, and tasty. Highly recommend the calamari, mushroom risotto and snapper. To finish off, we all had different desserts, the chocolate tart and the semifreddo was the best out of the bunch.
We feel they have listened And taken on board the criticism, and have really improved on their services. The waiters were attentive, and knowledgeable and extremely friendly.
Overall, we would definitely go back again with the experience we've had, and would suggest others not to simply dismiss it for the bad comments it has had
Aug 13, 2012
Do not dine at this restaurant if you have somewhere to be later in the day!! We sat down at 1pm we waited for 23min for someone to come and take our order. I had to get up and go find someone. The restaurant was less than half full. Service was bad, unfriendly faces and condescending tones. Was not warm, friendly and inviting as you would expect when you sit down with your family prepared to spend up and enjoy yourself. The food eventually came out 1 hour after being seated, along with our glasses of water that you usually receive when you first arrive. The meals were nothing special. The pizza was ok, the gnocchi was average but a far from a satisfying meal. The kids spaghetti bolgnaise meal had barely a tablespoon of mince, basically just a plate of spaghetti. Extremely disappointing especially when the manager debated the time issue. After an argument they took the drinks off the bill. This was no consolation for the neglectful service and well below average meals. I Would not return and would absolutely not recommend anyone to dine at this restaurant.
by J And M Dav
Aug 06, 2012
Having read recent reviews for this restaurant we were not sure what to expect. We had the 6 course degustation menu (deal voucher). The restaurant was fairly full with a welcoming ambiance and nice lighting.We found the food delicious - each course was varied and beautifully cooked and presented. The service was excellent with no prolonged wait at any stage and we did not feel rushed either. Having just returned from Italy we found the food very authentic and true to its origins. We would certainly not hesitate to go back and are keen to try the a la carte menu. Definitely recommended.
by Jace Hughes
Jul 29, 2012
I recently went here to try the 6 course degustation menu on a Sunday night. The meal was average at best and was full of ups and downs. It started off well with a nice cocktail and was followed by an average seafood first course (the prawns were over salted, but other things on the plate were ok). I really enjoyed the next pasta course, which while it was quite quite plain (olive oil, black pepper and Parmesan), was made with good quality ingredients and reminded me of how pasta was like in Italy. The fish course was average in taste and a little on the small side. The venison was disappointing. It tasted OK, but looked terrible on the plate and was literally a spoon full of sauce with a couple of 1 cm cubes meat. Dessert was a chocolate souffle which again was average, but without it I would have left there super hungry. Nice staff, nice location, but because I thought the food was extremely over priced for what I got, I will not be back.
by Tama Iti
Jul 23, 2012
By far the most disappointing restaurant experience I've ever had. Tried the 6 course degustation. When the 1st dish came out we were happy and it was quite nice and were looking forward to what else we were served up. However, from that point on the dinner was terrible. The taste of the remaining 5 courses was average, but it was the absolutely pathetic size or the dishes that literally made us LOL. Having tried several degustation around Auckland we are fairly well educated as to what is a good example of a degustation. This was not. The dishes were the size of canapes. That's it. 5 canapes and 1 cocktail for dinner!!!! wtf!!! I don't think so. And all for $320 for 4 people!!!! We were sooooo hungry when we left, the next stop was Wendys for a burger. Unreal. Avoid this place at all cost!!!! 1/10
by Carole Whitbread
Jul 02, 2012
Well a few weeks ago we went to the Merchants of Venice to celebrate my husbands 50th Birthday.
We were sat quickly and served . We had bought a grab a deal Degustation Meal, which was fantastic small plates of food with delightful dishes that looked fab and tasted so nice, from the cocktail to the desert the meal was very very good, the best pasta I have ever tasted, everything was great and the desert was out of this world.
the staff were very friendly and helpful ten out of ten, we will be back soon. many thanks !
by Michelle Lee-Brown
Jun 30, 2012
A large group of us dined here on Thursday night - it was a voucher deal so we were not expecting miracles but were very disappointed. It was a 6 course degustation dinner but the meals took forever to arrive. We waited an hour and a half for the first food - 2 prawns and 2 baby mussels. The portion sizes were tiny - my husband's fish was smaller than 1 fish finger. The food was okay - nothing to write home about. The service was friendly enough but the waiting was ridiculous. We didn't get out of there until 11pm, from a 7pm start, and could have stopped at Mc'Ds on the way home - if it wasn't so late! Would definitely never go back.
Jun 29, 2012
Went last night with a group of 5, we had a deal voucher for the degusation menu. Overall, service was terrible! Waited at least half an hour for the wine menu and at least half an hour between courses. By the time the main courses arrived we were almost falling asleep.
The place was impossible to find the entrance and we ended up sitting by the door which didn't close properly. I had to get up over 7 times during the evening to shut it and eventually ended up locking the door because it was so annoying.
Despite this, the food was excellent but they really need to lift their game with the service.
by Elizabeth Gollan
Jun 25, 2012
9 of us all had really yummy food last Friday and great service. Polenta was rated as the best ever tasted, and gnochettis done with either boar, hare or lamb were also a hit. Pizzas and gnocchi were great too
by Melody Sunderland
Jun 18, 2012
A group of friends and I had lunch here on Saturday afternoon and though it was nearly full on the patio, we were lucky enough to get a table with a view right underneath a heater.
I recommend you try the Pizza's, they have a woodfired oven and do the thin bases just like those you get in Rome. One of my friends pasta's gave me food envy with pretty edible flowers and she said it was 'soooo good!'. Our waitress was really friendly and knew her stuff and though they were busy our food and drinks arrived quickly. What a great spot for lunch, a stunning view of the ocean and even with a cool breeze blowing the patio was sheltered and the heaters kept us warm, thanks MoV we loved it and will be back again soon!
by Kevin Simpson
Jun 12, 2012
After a little apprehension given the varying reviews we had read of Merchants of Venice my wife and I decided to book a table and try it for ourselves as it is one of the few we haven't tried along the new wharf.
With the rain coming down we were glad it was one of the closest restaurants to the car park, and when we arrived we were warmly greeted and had our soaked coats taken by the maitre d who then took us to our table and through the menu.
The menu is certainly substantial with plenty of tempting options but we opted to follow our waiters recommendation and go with the burrata as a shared entree, wow! the creamy, gooey centre of that cheese was just amazing and worked so well with the ham and tomato we devoured it!
For our mains I had the beef cheek special, I have had this type of dish several times and was not disappointed by the chefs interpretation at Merchants of Venice, indeed it was probably the best version I have ever had, beautifully tender and the gnocchi was so soft and fluffy, a perfect accompaniment to the cheek and jus.
My wife had the Polenta with a lamb ragout which she said was devine, the polenta was described as 'wet' on the menu which is great for us because we like t almost running off the plate! it's a simple style they serve but perfectly seasoned which sets off the ragout nicely. I can't recall the names of the wines we were recommended but they were both Italian and though they were varieties I probably wouldn't normally try, they worked very well with our meals and as they say, when in Rome...
We have now tried most of the restaurants on North Wharf and would say that the food and service at Merchants is considerably better than the other places along this new strip and we will certainly be back again soon.
As for some of the other reviews on this restaurant, well if you like good Italian food and have an idea of how it should taste I would suggest you do what we did and just go and try it for yourself it was up there with the best I've had and I think many people will be happy if they discover this little gem on North Wharf, Salute Merchants!
by Anna Doran
Jun 12, 2012
Went in for dinner on a quiet Monday night and we were one of three couples in the entire place. Despite this, the service was so slow that I was close to walking out. I ordered the gnocchi with gorgonzola and walnuts which was mushy and gluggy and tasted like a glorified mac n cheese. My partner ordered the lamb with proscuitto which was overcooked and dry. The only nice thing we had was the Peroni on tap which thankfully made the meals go down easier. For the price you pay for the meals ($95.50 total for two meals, side salad and jug of beer) we expected much better than what we received. At places like this, you should be paying such prices for the service just as much as the food and unfortunately, both were lacking. With so many beautiful food places right next door, MoV need to up their game.
Jun 08, 2012
Went for coffee and dessert..
Service was unbelievably SLOW..
When or order arrived the coffee was burnt and needed 3-4sugars to even try and make it drinkable. An this was the second coffee after sending the first back.
The dessert was average and nothing that special.
The waiter was very apologetic and this made up for the experience in part.
by Elizabeth J
Jun 06, 2012
I am very confused as to how this restaurant scored 4 stars... I went with a group of friends for dinner on the long weekend just gone and was extremely disappointed. The food that was served looked and tasted awful. I ordered a seafood pizza and it looked as if the kitchen had run out of ingredients- definitely not worth the $26. I would not recommend anyone waste their time and money here- there are plenty of other great restaurants in the CBD!
by Mike Nathan
Apr 30, 2012
Service was brilliant
Made booking on line and MoV followed up with call.
Menu was more than adequate and waiter made offer to embellish meals as required.
Ambiance was perfect although we were a little cold upon arrival and warmed up during the meal.
Waiters and Staff exceed expectations. We will come again
by Karen Fisher
Apr 28, 2012
I was with a party of four that thought this menu looked great for brunch last Sat after flying up from Wellington for a weekend of shows in Auckland. The service was terrible! We were seated at 10:45 ordered our juices then as they arrived ordered our meals - all before 11:00. By 11:30 we were wondering just how long it took to cook four breakfasts and asked how long - we were told we were next - the meals arrived at 11:45! In between other than my asking the question of how long did we get any other attention. Shortly after the meals arrived I was asked did we want anything else and I said yes four juices on the house for having waiting so long - she looked surprised when I explained but they did arrive and thank you were on the house. When I went to pay (and the bill had one to many mains on it) I asked what had happened with our order and basically got told they put it in and then it was up to the kitchen front of house has no view of the kitchens sequencing - no apology. While the menu looks great until they can sort out the service I won't be back. I simple apology would have worked and I won't be writing this review.
Apr 16, 2012
First problem they ran out of the wine we ordered, secondly the beans were recommended to have with the lamb at an extra cost yet they were included with the salmon at no extra cost. The beans were ordered but forgotten and when reminded were delivered when the meal was nearly finished with no apology for forgetting them. We asked for salt and pepper and had to remind them again for the pepper. We asked for another wine glass and ended up after 5 minutes helping ourselves from another table. Unfortunately a car alarm right next to our table went on for over an hour and they said they were trying to sort it and didn't as the owner finally turned up after we paid our bill. The maitre'D never came near us and when we went to pay the bill an arrogant waitress was more interested in advising us of the philisophies of life than apologising and/or sympathising with the service and unfortunate experience we suffered with the car alarm. The waitresses attitudes both serving at the table and at the till leave a lot to be desired - their rudeness and disinterest should be addressed!
by Harriet Cox
Mar 25, 2012
Love this place!
My dad and I thought we would try something new, we ended up sitting at the bar for about 6 hours, as we didn't want to leave!
The food was exquisite, I had the most perfect piece of fish I had probably ever had from a restaurant, I'm in the hospitality business so that's saying a lot.
The staff are awesome, very friendly, and accommodating.
Can't wait to go back.
Mar 06, 2012
:) First of all thanks for making our meal fantastic.
Ate there on Saturday night, was very busy which was really nice to see, the ambiance was just what we were looking for.
But then the food, wow that was delicious, Our table ordered for entre, suppli romana, the calamari ripieni and the mozzerrella burrata, ine was the Suppli, and I have never eaten theses yummy treat since I was in Rome(well I have been in places who think they have suppli but got it wrong), they were just like in Rome, and nicely presented, my friend is big fan of calamari and she loved her entree, I pincked a piece coz it looked yummy too, even the mozzerella looked lovely, and friend was showing a smile.
I ordered the Risotto all wild mushroom, and mmmmm, the truffle was delicious, my friedns ordered, the Hare papperdelle, and Gnochetti alla crecia, and I tried all there were so tasty and full of flavour. We had a beautiful dessert, the profitteroles were the best, and the marsala wine made them just right, My friend wanted another casatta, but was too full.
The food was really good size, and I definately be going back next time I eat out, I have finally found myself a restaurant i can go to that is authentic Italian.
Thanks Chef that was an awesome meal, and thanks to rest of MoVs for making our girl's night out the best.
by Racheal McGonigal
Mar 04, 2012
A friend and I dined here on a friday night. The service was good and friendly. Help full in negotiating the comprehensive menu. I have Italian friends and enjoy good Italian food having also travelled around Italy and enjoyed eating off the tourist traps.
The food here was define and certainly Italian. I had the Venison special and it was cooked to perfection. Top marks to the Chef(s).
I also walked past on Sunday lunch time and it was packed out with people waiting at the bar. This clearly shows that in a short space of time it has become appreciated for its quality, of service, the excellent food and the ambience.
Feb 26, 2012
Been here the second time, they changed menu recently. The food was excellent executed my first time here, this time were superb.
A wonderful selection which took a long time to deliberate over as pretty much everything appealed to me. My final choice was Petti di pollo Napoli, and the Cassata Siciliana for dessert. I was in gastronomic heaven. Few course including our choice are the chef signature dish. To me a modern Italian cuisine more then a traditional. Thanks for that!!
We where one of the first table to arrive just after 6pm. Our early booking was a blessing as the restaurant was packed and getting quite stuffy and noisy by 7:30.
The staff were pleasant, attentive and unobtrusive. The food presentation was excellent. But nothing can surpass the quality and taste of the food itself. Top marks to the chef and kitchen staff!
Feb 20, 2012
After 3 days of eating at fabulous places around Auckland this was a big disappointment. Slow, 20 minutes to get a coffee and over an hour for breakfast. When I asked for our food I was told it was always going to be 3/4 hr, waiter certainly didn't tell us that when we arrived. Comedy of errors with coffee when it did arrive, incorrect order then delivered twice. Food clearly had been forgotten and was rushed through - toasted ciabatta was in fact cold untoasted sliced white loaf - nondescript origin. Pork and fennel sausage tasted more like a sizzler from a packet and overcooked. Meal was offered free of charge, I wouldn't of paid for it anyway.
Feb 08, 2012
We are a group of Italians who returned to Auckland after a few years. couple weeks ago we discovered Merchants of Vernice, Italian food as his best. We have been here a few times already, the funny thing is that I just discovered that the chef of merchants of Vernice was the chef from our favorite Italian restaurant that closed Few Years Ago, and like us he returned in Auckland recently.
Feb 06, 2012
We had dinner last Tuesday at Merchants of Venice; we had the semolina roman gnocchi, the eye fillet with wild mushrooms and truffle, Both DIVINE, also as entree with the Rotolo of pasta and perfectly cooked prawns, zucchini and saffron risotto. To us Merchants of Venice was a truly modern Italian food experience
Feb 05, 2012
The service was awesome. We had a lovely waitress who took the time to explain to us the menu. However, we did not enjoy all the dishes. My sons risotto tasted of chlorine! I did make mention of this but left soon after. The steak dish was cooked to perfection and was the highlight of the 8 different dishes we all had. MOV is not a restaurant we would visit again. A disappointment considering the wonderful reviews on here but food lacking in taste and not moderately priced for portion sizes.
Feb 04, 2012
Definitely wouldn't recommend for large groups due to the unbelievably slow service - went as part of a group of 23 and we only had one waiter attending to us (despite the fact that there was virtually no-one else in there) so obviously it took ages for him just to take our order! We eventually received our mains about 90 minutes after arriving (we didn't have a starter).
The food itself was pleasant and of good quality, and the menu was certainly extensive, but most people in the group were disappointed by the small portion sizes. My dessert was actually larger than my main!
by Giapo Grazioli
Jan 30, 2012
This is one of the best Italian food I have eaten lately. We had pizza, calamari, mozzarella, antipasto.. It was all excellent and of great quality. I particularly loved the bruschette with capisicum and the calamari on rocket salad.. Food presentation was pleasing to the eye, and the taste of everything was great. The quality of the ingredients used is clearly very high.
The coffee was also excellent and all was rightly priced.
I will recommend to friends I will certainly be back.
by Teresa Takarangi
Jan 27, 2012
This restaurant is a smash, we were greeted with warm and friendly staff members, we were seated over looking the harbour views which was superior. the menu was easy to read and has such a huge variety. We had the Bianca Pizza which was divine, good size portions for one or two people, the kids menu was simple with a few ranges that they could choose from, Home made pasta went down as a treat leaving our son wanting more, i must say our son is a fussy eater. This place has alot to offer from water to top of the range wine, we also had a cup of tea just to top this experience off and it was delicious. i rate this place very high in my books and we will definitely visit it again.....
by Geoff Lincoln
Jan 27, 2012
I enjoyed the atmosphere, real friendly staff, excellent food, the wood fire pizzas are delicious and the home made pasta was a smash with our son. The seating arrangements were excellent and the view was brilliant.....couldn't be better....HIGHLY RECOMMEND.....The music was great with abit of modern and classic sounds.
by Leanne Rogerson
Jan 19, 2012
Great spot that could only be backed up by good service and really nice food. Gorgeous Saltimbocco with a fabulously tasty Roman Gnocchi....oh my goodness. We were warned that meals take 20minutres....I like that...so ordered the bread and dips all made on the premises. Probably the only wee gripe was that the bread was a wee bit stodgy..oh no. I do love great service and it didn't disappoint...I'm still dreaming of Roman Gnocchi with sage butter.
by Craig Housley
Jan 14, 2012
The service was friendly and the food was great. They make their own pasta, which is good to see, and the steak dishes were cooked beautifully. There's a great selection on the menu with some really interesting dishes. The food is good value.
On the down side the chairs are too low for the tables and the meals were slow to arrive. We would have stayed for desert and coffee but we expected another long wait so we paid up and left.
I'm likely to go back but next time I will order bread and dips to start.
I have been back to this restaurant since writing the above and the food was just as good as the first time plus the service was excellent.
Jan 10, 2012
Friendly Staff, good food.
Nice to see a good Italian Restaurant in the city, and fantastic views with a great atmosphere.
Hope they keep it up for the tourists that a around, as well as us Aucklanders.
by Jasmine Eastall
Dec 29, 2011
Wow!! The food was absouletly amazing, only went for lunch and had the most divine gnocchi in gorgonzola and Walnuts, had a beautiful memory of Italy my friend is vegetarian, and said he was really impressed with the spinach and ricotta dish, can't remember what it was called. Beautifully presented. I saw pizza go to one table, and wow just like they do in italy. I think I found my new dining spot, will be back next week for sure. Thank you for such beautiful food.
by Alannah Hunter
Dec 22, 2011
Had a great lunch yesterday in the sun, great staff, lovely food - I had the Mozerella salad - the mozerella was the best I had ever tasted.
And a lovely Rose - the place was full and buzzing. I will be back with friends for sure.
The staff were busy but that did not stop them from making sure we had the best experience :)
So glad we have some new fresh restaurants in AKL.
Dec 15, 2011
For a place that's only been open since Friday I'd say they are doing a fantastic job. Doesn't appear to have any of the glitches the other restaurants in the wharf had on opening. Staff were friendly and professional. Service was excellent. We had a sharing antipasti platter which was more than enough for 2 and perfect for lunch. The menu is vast and I could see from other tables that portions were big. The table next to us had cocktails which looked lovely but we stuck to the plum and peppermint teas.
Definitely recommend it here - a restaurant that stands out from the crowd.
Dec 10, 2011
We had a table of four last night, I would say you wouldn't believe that it was their first night, they tried so hard. A very good first night.
We look forward to seeing the full menu once all the settling in process is sorted.
We thought everyone else was having a good time.
by John Earwaker
Dec 10, 2011
We had a most enjoyable evening at Merchants of Venice. Apparently it was their first night, so we expected that there could be challenges. We got a surprise with most attentive wait people and noting their full menu was not yet available, that their blackboard menu was very satisfying.
The music complemented the occasion and our time there went by most enjoyably.
Dec 10, 2011
Opening night wasn't perhaps the best time to have a booking, but the restaurant promised a lot, looking at their menu and the location. It underdelivered.
Food was at best bland, at worst terrible. There's a major problem with the new pipes tainting the water supply too, but that'll iron out over time. Unfortunately too late for the vegetables and tap water in the meantime. Stick to the grill.
Service was attentive, and polite, but slow.
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