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Northern Steamship Co. - Mac's Brewbar

4 star rating 34 reviews

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09 3743952

Britomart, Northern Steamship Company Building, 122 Quay Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland

  European, Finger Food
11:30 AM to 12 Midnight (Mon-Thu, Sun), 11:30 AM to 1 AM (Fri), 11:30 AM to 3 AM (Sat)


Reviews for Northern Steamship Co. - Mac's Brewbar

1 star rating
by Much2Troublesome
3 days ago

The worst customer service I have ever experienced. DO NOT GO HERE.

Booked a reservation 3 weeks in advanced, when I arrived there was people on my reserved table. The waitress told me they would be leaving shortly, but I was stuck waiting for nearly an hour before they left (and I had to ask the waitress AGAIN before she remembered to ask them to leave).

When I went to ask if anything could be done since I had a reservation, she told me she couldn't do anything because it "wasn't like you'd paid for the booking" and then told me "we're just really busy tonight and you aren't helping things". RUDE. So unbelievable rude. 

As someone who has worked in the customer service industry for over 5 years, that is NOT the thing you say to customers; you offer an apology, explain the situation, and a maybe a discount to make them feel better. People are generally very understanding when things don't go as planned if you are sincere and nice, but instead the waitress was rude and standoffish, making the situation 10 times worse. 

We has a cake arranged to be brought out as well, in the box was two sets of candles; they only used one (burned half way down by the time they brought it out), and they'd apparently thrown out the other set. They did not bring out enough plates and forks for everyone and some of us had to use napkins. 

When I asked one of the waitresses if they had any sort of take away boxes or even a card board box that I could have to take the rest of the cake home (since they'd thrown out the one I bought the cake in), they told me no they didn't. I asked the bartender not 5 minuets later and he was able to get me an empty container. 

The food was average and over priced; had to ask after many of our orders before they were brought out.

The drinks were great and the bartenders were very nice.

But overall they really need to hire and train new waitstaff who are actually competent at their jobs before I'd ever recommend this place to anyone

Food: 7/10
Service: 1/10  (Would have been 0 if not for the bartenders)
Ambience: 8/10
Value: 4/10
Overall: 6/10

3 star rating
by Shannon Tumataroa
18 days ago

Firstly, this place has a cool atmosphere and trendy fit out as with most Mac bars. That's possibly where my compliments stop. I was confused by the starter as I haven't come across anything like it before but that could just be me. My sirloin steak was either poor quality or poorly cooked because it had the strangest stringy texture. It was just wrong. The vege was so so. Side of mushrooms were yum though I'll give them that! We got a first table deal but even then I'm left wondering what we spent our money on. This place would probably be best for a few after work drinks and some bar snacks rather than a meal.

3 star rating
by Chris Fernando
24 days ago

Went here for dinner with 3 others last night. The decor of the place and the overall vibe was cool. We ordered a starter of breads and dip, 3 steak meals and one beef cheek, a side of mushrooms and some drinks. Overall the food was disappointing, the presentation was great thou and although my steak wasn't cooked medium rare as requested i let this slide, the other member of my group didn't get asked how she wanted her steak cooked and the beef seemed very stringy in one of the steaks. The beef cheek was great thou. The side of mushrooms were amazing. We got a first table deal meaning we got half price off all food, so the price we paid was good. if I would of had to of paid full price for the meaIs I would have been very unhappy. When we went to pay the server said we could split the bill and still get all discounts, then we noticed she had charged half my group the full price but told us it was the discounted price but it clearly wasn't. (Luckily we noticed), the manager then said we couldn't split the bill and it says that on our discount voucher (which it doesn't), she did end up giving us the right change thou.

4 star rating
by Ed
one month ago

I love the decor inside this place! A mix of modern fairy lights with hints of rustic and old school leather couches throughout the place.
The food is good but it's not cheap at all and the serving sizes are tiny.

Service was a bit iffy when I went which was disappointing.

Food: 7.5/10
Service: 3/5
Ambience: 4.5/5
Value: 2/5
Overall: 17/25

4 star rating
by Helena Chen
one month ago

A simple restaurant/bar with an old school feel inside; I love the antique-ish decor, especially the awesome upside down lamps and fire place. The booths are nice and cozy for dinner, and the wait staff I've had have been lovely. I've tried a few things from their menu, and have been pleased with both the portion size and quality of the meals. The soup in a bread bowl was very good, and surprisingly filling as well.

5 star rating
by Miss Charlotte Cake
2 months ago

I love going to Northern Steamship, such a great atmosphere and there are always the loveliest staff members working there. Today was the first time I have actually eaten there, and I ordered off the lunch menu - I went with the 'The Pot Pie' with a side salad. You can also choose chips if you prefer. 

It was only $17 and was SO delicious. Today's pie was mince and cheese and had SO much cheese it was amazing. The side salad and ciabatta bread drizzled with oil were perfect on the side. I loved the whole thing, especially the presentation and our waitress was so incredibly friendly, I want to be friends with her. 

I paired it with the house sauvignon - perfection for a nice, hearty lunch.

4 star rating
by BeeQueUU
2 months ago

I maybe doing this macs bar a disservice but pulled in after 615pm it was dark outside. Inside bar menu and food was hard to read. Main bar room was deliberately dark as upside down lamps are a show piece.
Had 2 pinot noir.. roaring megs for $14 each so not cheap. All the beers on tap were Macs.
Definitely owners were in it for the money. While our group of 20 or so had some bar food bundle platters $48 cant be sure dinner is comfortable as really a bar first.

4 star rating
by Julia Nguyen
3 months ago

My friend and I went around 5pm on Friday and it was so busy, hard to find a seat for yourself. However, we were luckily to get one small table near the entrant 😍 the food served very fast and tasted actually quite good for the bar 😁 and I love all the lights decorations, they are just too pretty:)

4 star rating
by Jeremy Merwood
3 months ago

Came to the old faithful after a 2hr bike ride around the waterfront and got the Angus Burger (9.5/10) so juicy and the chunky chips were cooked sooooo well! My son got the kids chicken burger (he said 9/10) and wife to be one day got the chicken caesar (she said 7/10) the gods showed up and made it snow.....more like hail.

3 star rating
by Ryan
3 months ago

Great pub but the food was a let down. The items that we tried were quite ordinary, we didn't end up finishing it. Would come back for a drink as the interior is very inviting but won't be back for the food.

3 star rating
by Victoria
3 months ago

The decor is actually really nice inside for a pub, however the food was a disappointment. It's a shame as you normally know what to expect when you order pub food, it's usually never really bad as the style of meal leans towards comfort rather than complicated.

Maybe we ordered the wrong things - we had a chicken main and a few of the small share plates. The food tasted underseasoned and a bit bland. We should have stuck with something standard like burger and chips. Would go back for the atmosphere, not the food.

4 star rating
by Stacey Jane Rainbow
4 months ago

Came here with my friend as she comes here often and love the style of the place! We chose a nice seat in the corner and a waitress came to take a drinks order and gave some food menus! A little on the pricey side but both decided for burgers! I had a jamaican chicken and my friend had the beef burger! Was a little jealous of my friends as was much larger in size compared to mine but still enjoyed mine and it tasted lovely and was something different from a normal chicken burger! Could of done with more chicken but was still nice! Great spot for looking out over the water and a nice atmosphere :)

4 star rating
by Cheyneismyhero
5 months ago

A perfect spot for a hearty winter lunch. Simple lunch menu and reasonably priced. Attentive and friendly staff. I went for the pot pie which I can easily recommend.

4 star rating
by Claudia Serra
6 months ago

Love this place! Like to go here for after work drinks on a Friday :) décor is nice and it is warm - especially great when you nab a spot by the fire! My only problem was last time I went here and ordered a vodka drink the bartender gave me the most expensive vodka without asking me first which one I wanted, so I was charged a few $ more. I thought that wasn't so great. Other than that I've always had a good experience here.

5 star rating
by Rose Young
6 months ago

We visited Macs with a Grabone voucher for three but only two of us went. The waitress was very happy to give us a takeaway for the third meal. Food was excellent and good portion sizes. One of us ordered a salad with the meal, which didn't arrive. When we asked for it we were told that we said we didn't want salad or veg...she needs to remember that the customer is always right. Other than that our meals were excellent.

5 star rating
by Jess
6 months ago

Had an awesome night and equally as good food. I ordered a medium rare steak fillet and my partner ordered a M.R sirloin steak and they were both cooked perfectly. The helpings were very generous but we still squeezed in the special dessert of the month each. The dessert was a double chocolate (dark and orange) fondant which was my highlight. The waitress was really cool and we will hopefully be back this month whilst they are still serving the awesome dessert :)@

5 star rating
by Becca Callaghan
6 months ago

We came to the Northern Steamship Co. Before a concert so it was safe to say it was really busy, but we had a staff member come up to us straight away to help us and find us a place to eat. The staff were lovely and very attentive for how many people there were in the establishment.
I have a cider with a shot of peach flavouring in it, which was delicious and for a meal and the chicken burger with fries. The fries were perfect and the burger was quiet nice but maybe a little too expensive for the price.
The place had a nice environment and cool decor

3 star rating
by Katie Stone
Nov 29, 2014

Okay, so there are lamps stuck to the ceiling. Other than that, the place is a sub-standard pub with up-market prices. I have been  underwhelmed by the meals both times I've been here.  The steak sandwich I had two nights ago was more gristle than steak, and my companions had equally disappointing fish and chips. 
Will not dine here again.

3 star rating
by Chch Chick
Sep 07, 2014

Great ambience, ok service, food over-priced and not hot enough. We ordered two duck breasts ($35), extremely overpriced. Just four small strips of meat. Would go back but only for a drink and snack, a bit disappointed...

2 star rating
by Eli A
Aug 06, 2014

Went here yesterday with a friend using a voucher and am I glad that i had the voucher!!! Otherwise would have been outraged at the quantity and quality we got for the price. Average overpriced pub grub, that's what it was. Nothing outstanding. I have to say they tired to be fancier by giving you smaller portions and trying to add fancy ingredients and flavour combinations, but the attempt fell extrememly short as the fancy flavour combinations didnt work. Example: Had the white chocolate mousse with peppers and mango. White chocolate doesnt go with pepper and mango was flavourless and scanty. The green salad I ordered was supposed to have goat's cheese, but I could only see flecks of it and couldnt taste it at all. Service was average, and the restroom was extremelt messy for a 'fine' establishment. Will not be going back here and will not recommend to anyone.

4 star rating
by Emma W
Apr 26, 2014

This place produced the best salad I have ever had. Staff were attentive but not overbearing and the food came without my group noticing the wait.

Everyone enjoyed their meals and I would have happily eaten any of them but my chicken, mesclun and Israeli couscous salad was fantastic.

Will definitely be back next time I am in the central city.

4 star rating
by Stan Stewart
Feb 25, 2014

This place has a nice atmosphere and is great for a casual dinner. Menu is a bit limited but the food is always of a good standard. Every time I've been here I've had a good experience.

5 star rating
by Where's The Food?
Oct 29, 2013

The snug leather chairs placed around a warm fireplace are very inviting on a cold winter evening. The staff are friendly and the modestly priced jugs ensure I visit very often.

5 star rating
by Disha Bose
Jul 18, 2013

OHMYGOD! That was the most appropriate thought that came to mind when I first entered this pub. We sat there for so long that I saw how pretty it looks in daylight as well as at night. The most obvious reason for this would be the floor lamps hanging upside down from the ceiling. Any photograph of the restaurant will have an ambience shot of this for you to stare at. Yes, very literally there are floor lamps hanging from the ceiling right above you while you eat your food and drink yourself silly. And yes, in an inebriated sate this does seem to give you an illusion of the world having turned upside down; just don't cut off your ear because you think you're going crazy.

Apart from this gorgeous accent for the ambience, there are hundreds of Encyclopedias which adorn the seating area in columns which make for awesome makeshift libraries (again, lovely lovely lovely!). With their fireplaces and comfy leather chairs, you may feel as though you are at home with your friends enjoying a big plate of fish and chips.

Other than the funky decor, the food is pretty good too. They serve the standard pub food which is available across Auckland and quite a wide variety of beer. Nothing much to talk about where the food is concerned, nothing really special served here. If you are however in Auckland for a few days, don't forget to walk down the Waterfront and stumble upon this pub for an enlivening experience.
Tip: They serve great beer tasting platters on occasions which shouldn't be missed!

3 star rating
by Anthony
Jun 13, 2013

Want somewhere where the atmosphere is quirky and a little different - then this is a good option. The staff are very friendly and the food is good and reasonably priced. I had the steak sandwhich, which was nice but the wedges that came with it were not really to my taste. For desert there is only three choices plus a mix of the three. The pecan pie sounded great but was smaller than expected for $12 with only one small scoop of icecream. Overall, we enjoyed our evening here.

3 star rating
by Leigh Beattie
Apr 23, 2013

Love the decor the upside down lamps, the place has a nice atmosphere, the staff were friendly and professional. The food was the average. We went last Thursday night and 2 had the fish and chips, the chips were a hit cut thick and with the skins on giving them a homemade feel, the fish was ok not bad not great. My fish pie was very odd, not the normal, it comes in a cute little casserole dish (small) it is layered and the bottom layer is like a caramalised onion so the fish taste was lost I could only taste the sweetness of the onions, so a bit dissappointing. The pavolva was very nice and a nice finish to the meal. Would come back for a drink anytime, and maybe a snack instead of a meal.

5 star rating
by Yvonne Choo
Mar 15, 2013

the best dinning experience we have had in Auckland, I and my partner just moved to Auckland, had few bad dinning experiences, but this place is absolutely great, nice atmosphere, nice music, nice food, most important extremely friendly service, we were served by Stacey,she made our weekend, she is amazing. will definitely go back their again, not just for the yummy food, but great service.

5 star rating
by Sandy R
Feb 07, 2013

This place is great, well priced with fantastic friendly staff and the best food which is just so fresh. Shared three snack plates, bruschetta, chicken pita pockets and the most amazingly tender calamari, wish we had room for more, but it gives us an excuse to go back - not that one is needed.

Quirky decor which is a visual delight with so much to take in. Loved the eclectic mixed of furniture.

Highly recommended!

5 star rating
by Leah
Oct 04, 2012

Came here on a rainy Saturday with a friend for lunch and we ordered off the snacks menu and shared. We had the grilled chicken pita, the calamari, the hand cut chips and the jalapeño poppers. All of it was so delicious and the portions were perfect. We actually struggled to leave room for dessert. Glad we did though.

We ordered the dessert platter and that was just amazing. The sticky date pudding was a favourite.

Service was great! Really friendly. We had a few different people serve us, all of them had some humour on board while we were asking questions and made some good suggestions.

Awesome atmosphere welcoming a real variety of people from families to blokey blokes watching rugby. Beautiful interiors, and of course the amazing food. I hope to be back soon.

5 star rating
by Jesse James .
Sep 30, 2012

Had a good night here last night. Great drinks, and the staff continually ensured that we had water on the table which I thought was very good hospitality.
Some of the art we thought was a bit weird (the "sholphin") but the big bookshelves and the upside down lamps were really cool!

4 star rating
by Sandy Richards
Jul 15, 2012

Nice place for a drink and the philly steak lunch dish....very tasty

5 star rating
by Food Voyeur
Apr 12, 2012

Wow. What an incredible look and feel this place has. It just had a great feeling from the moment we walked in.

From the circular, ceiling high book shelves, to the amazing split photographs framed behind the bar... and the upside down lamps stuck to the ceiling!

The food was excellent. The salted chilli calamari was the best calamari I can remember having, and made me realise that calamari is not supposed to be chewy at all. When you bit down into it, it was all flavour, and no effort.

Tempura prawn cones were also amazing - though when we first saw them, we thought they'd done them 'wrong' - as they looked to us like they'd been done in normal-old Kiwi fish & chips batter. But that was only until we actually tasted them. They were delicious. Loved the dips with them too.

We were practically forced (well heavily encouraged) into ordering the fries because it was Good Friday, and, they were strict on 'no substantial meal, no drinks'. Fair enough. But we wished we'd ordered more calamari instead. The chunky chips were tasty in their potato skins though - just a little too filling for us.

The favourite hit wine of the night was the Te Whare Ra Tonu (I think), which apparently is a blend, including their famous Gewurtz (my personal favourite wine ever). Really really beautiful.

Excellent service. We had to ask twice for them to bring my second wine... But when we went to pay at the end, (and without us complaining at all), they didn't charge us for our 3 scoops of delicious icecream (which they had put together for me specially, as there was no icecream on the menu). Hence were REALLY impressed by the service.

2 star rating
by Nicki
Feb 09, 2012

Overpriced meals - $15 for summer rolls which were tiny and not very rich in taste, and a horrible dipping sauce. I would have preferred to go to a restaurant to pay that kind of price. Our chips were very undercooked, despite waiting almost an hour for our meals. I won't be going back to eat, a nice place to have a drink though.

4 star rating
by Mathew Michaels
Aug 18, 2010

We came here for my Friends 30th Birthday last weekend and had such an amazing time. Thanks to the bar person that for the beer tastings. Well worth a visit.