Reviews for Ostro - City Terrace Bar
2 months ago
Very disappointing. Overpriced and poor service. Our waiter had no personality and was unable to explain things about the dishes apart from how big they were. Our drinks did not arrive until after we were half way through our meal. I ordered the kingfish and a side of butternut squash. The kingfish was pleasant but overpowered by chilli and I couldn't complain about the squash except for that it wasn't outstanding. My drink was pretty awful as well. However, the worst part of the evening was dessert. I had the violet chocolate fondant. The violet made it taste like dish soap and the salted almond ice cream was salt ice cream with no taste of almond whatsoever.
The only thing that made up for such a lacklustre dinner was the stunning view.
by Dining Enthusiast
3 months ago
Stunning harbor views compliment the modern interior and top notch service.
This is a favorite for fresh ingredients cooked perfectly and presented beautifully.
by Jean HH
4 months ago
We went to Ostro a few days ago - at lunchtime, to try their Auckland Restaurant Month deal. Two courses for $55. The Kingfish entree was quite superb, the Butternut Ravioli sublime, the wine excellent, the service efficient and cheerful. It was somewhat noisy when we first arrived but there was a generally calming down as the frenetic lunch time diners reluctantly left to return to their offices. We had a great table overlooking the container wharf. There was nothing not to like. We would certainly return.
by Max Borland
5 months ago
Went in for dinner tonight - i ordered the scotch fillet, partner had the chicken. My steak was ok - well cooked but a little on the cold side. I think they let it sit for to long. Partners chicken was average - nothing to write home about! Sides were standard fare chips, brussel sprouts and pumpkin. We ordered the donuts for dessert, which were so bland they tasted like dry balls of dough, sparingly sprinkled with cinnamon and served with a tiny dish of cream and blueberry sauce. Overall i would come back for the view and maybe some drinks but not for dinner and i have to say, its just missing 'something'. I cant quite put my finger on it though! Its missing a bit of soul - the decor could do with some warmth.
by La Grizette
5 months ago
Fantastic service and sophisticated but unpretentious food.
We came to this restaurant having been turned away rather rudely from Cafe Hanoi. Although we'd been hankering for Vietnamese, we were delighted with the quality of the meal and the service. It was fully booked on a Saturday night, and a private function took up half the bar. The wait staff still managed to accommodate us in the bar area.
The Canterbury lamp rump was delicious, although served just slightly too cold. The pork belly was fantastic - beautifully tender and crunchy at once. Desserts were also fabulous, especially the creme brûlée.
The service was the perfect mix of unobtrusive and knowledgable. Our water glasses were kept full and our plates removed without fuss. Out waitress was happy to recommend particular wine matches when asked.
The only reason we'd give 4 stars, not 5, is because some food was just slightly too cold and the music was a little too loud for comfortable conversation. This is the perennial problem of many Auckland bar/restaurants which try to be all things to all people, especially those in reclaimed industrial spaces with echoey acoustics.
Nonetheless, highly recommended. This must be one of the best bistros in Auckland. We will be back to try the raw bar in future.
by Juliet Trevethick
6 months ago
Went to Ostro for the first time on Sunday for lunch. We booked a table and arrived to the smell downstairs of rotten fish. The restaurant was packed and the service was slow. It took over an hour and 20 mins to get our food. The band playing was so loud we couldn't hear the waitress. I had the roast chicken and it arrived raw and pink inside, the accompanying veges were cold and ordinary, the kind of thing I could've made at home without too much effort. Very disappointed. Very poor service too. After approaching three different members of staff I was finally able to alert someone to my uncooked meal. I was given a full refund but left very disappointed and won't be returning.
by Rodger Anderson
6 months ago
What a shame. A great site for a superb view out over the harbour. Every 'second' item on the menu is exceptional. I had the Oysters- brilliant, then the risotto arrived with pastry cooked just right but hardly anything inside! The kawhia was very good.
If you want to have a disco, have a disco, but if you want to have a classy restaurant enjoying a $130 meal with a beut outlook then don't spoil it with a venue so noisy the waitress had to talk to 2 at a time at a table of nine because the noise was so great.
We were sitting on uncomfortable bar stools at a bar table- we were booked but were not given a proper table!?
I know it is June but the place was freezing- what is it that architects always go for concrete floors these days everywhere.
I will take my noise cancelling headphones next time and a heater- oh I forgot, I am not going next time.
by Chris Fitzgerald
6 months ago
A little bit hit and miss
The outlook from Ostro is special; we often bemoan the lack of Auckland restaurants that let us see the harbour, and Ostro maximizes the view with floor to ceiling windows looking straight out over Quay Street. It was my wife's second visit but my first and she highly recommended it. So why hit and miss? The hit was when my wife wore some broken glass and spilt bubbles when the glass was dropped onto the table as they delivered it, the miss was when the steak knife landed beside rather than on my foot as another waiter cleared our mains. Oops. They did take the bubbles and our entrees off the bill which we felt was a reasonable compensation. To the good, the kingfish crudo (sashimi) and pumpkin ravioli were two excellent starters. The fisherman's soup as a main was nice but not special, the steak was cooked perfectly and the presentation great - béarnaise in a tiny saucepan plus jus in a porcelain jug plus beetroot and baked shallot. Didn't stay for a third course - might have been tempting fate on this occasion. But I do have to go back another time for a second try
by Anita Wolfgram
6 months ago
Such was the disappointment that was our dinner experience at Ostro last night, I felt I had to write this review. The service was shockingly bad. For a $500 dinner for four people I would expect some decent service but there was NO service. We had an 8.30pm reservation, and the table was not ready. That was fine but when they did come to get us, they sat us down at a dirty table that had not even been set yet. It still needed a wipe down from the previous patrons. They then proceeded to set the table with us sitting there which I thought was rude and unnecessary.
No one came to take our order nor explain the specials or answer any questions. When our bluff oysters arrived they were plonked down on our table with not even an excuse me. We had to ask for service three times, and felt like we should be pouring our own wine. The straw that broke the camel's back, was seeing our so called waiter sit down at the table next to us for the remainder of the evening and chat with some ladies instead of serving us or introducing a new server to us if he had finished for the evening. Terrible service Ostro... Extremely disappointing and totally unnecessary. The food was all lovely, but hard to enjoy as we felt so disregarded. I hope Management listens to these reviews about the service, it truly is shocking.
by Scott Macindoe
6 months ago
Outstanding menu - at last some great taste sensations at a reasonable price. Lamb shoulder for two was as good as any I have ever had - superb touch with the anchovy
Agree, the brussel sprout side is a winner.
Could not fault the service.
See you again soon
by Chris H.
6 months ago
Having looked at many reviews I wondered if Ostro was going to live up to my expectations of Josh. To start we tried the web site booking system which didn't offer a time that suited, but I really wanted to try Ostro so called and left a message. They called back promptly and offered a spot for our party of 8 at my preferred time. The moral, call them.
Arrived and got a fantastic table overlooking the harbor, what a shame our City fathers fail us miserably and allow POA to unload and park cars on the edge of one of the best harbors in the world. The sooner POA are moved out (or squashed towards the east) the better for us all.
On with the meal, we all had a range of entrees, mains and deserts. Without exception the food was great, one hungry teenager was disappointed that the King fish crudo was not the whole fish (he is still growing). The Pork chop was to die for, and do get the Brussel sprout side it is fantastic. Two of my party had the Savanna feast, big appetites and both left happy. Don't want to explain every dish in detail, give Ostro a try.
Wines, chose a mid range Seresin Pinot Gris, very nice two bottles between 3 of us. Wine list was not massive, but had a good range to suit most pockets.
Our waiter was Collin, he did a great job running through the menu giving us the run down on most dishes, made us very welcome and was part of the experience. Not overly involved in the meal, but playing a supporting role. Did not see Josh in the kitchen, but his team did him proud.
by Mellissa Fatuamaka
7 months ago
Nice appetizers, mains and dessert were good. Cocktails however were terrible, ordered 3 different cocktails (Gundeck Love Affair, Clover Club & the Grape Ciroc) all 3 were awful. Waitress was nice after we sent the 1st cocktail back but could not be bothered telling her the next 2 were worse than the 1st. Disappointing as you would expect the drinks to be knockouts in a place such as Ostro. Please get some decent cocktails on your menu or bartenders who can actually make them properly and taste before serving.
by Mark Goodacre
7 months ago
When we arrived I asked if we could sit next to the window and was told they were pushing the tables together for a big group. 10 minutes later they sat 4 people at that table and the tables were not pushed together.
Ordered a 2011 bottle and they gave me 2012 then told me that was what was on the menu. I checked the menu and it was 2011. They informed us that they forgot my wife's main meal and when it arrived 15 minutes later it was too salty to eat. My meal was just ok.
Charged us for a bottle of wine we didn't have.
I am fortunate enough to dine at the finest restaurants in NZ with overseas suppliers and I can honestly say this was one of the most disappointing restaurants I have been to. I will not be recommending this place to anyone.
by Neil Sparksman
7 months ago
I was so looking forward to going to Ostro. Particularly as Rata, Queenstown, is one of my favourite restaurants, in the country.
I am afraid I was a bit disappointed.
The food was fine, a reasonable standard, but difficult to enjoy in a restaurant that was so noisy and frenetic! The bar area across from the restaurant created a huge amount of noise that echoed and bounced around the room. Also, being told we had to vacate the table, because they needed it for the next sitting was in excusable in my eyes.
I'm sorry Ostro, I won't be returning.
by Jenna Roake
7 months ago
I organised my graduation dinner here which was obviously an important occasion. Our table was in the best location of the resteraunt, our waiter was amazing (happily accommodating and seamlessly explaining for one of our guests who was gluten free), making sure we all were happy with meals etc. When I had friends join me later we occupied the outside brassiere area where the waiter continued with great service , desert outside and let us stay a little longer to continue celebrations. Thank you Ostro & team for going over and beyond on such a special occasion for me, it was perfect :-)
by Lara Wills
7 months ago
I feel like rating this a five and a one star for two different reasons, but will go in the middle. We just had dinner at Ostro tonight. Beautfiul restaurant, with beautiful food and lovely staff. Couldn't fault a thing on any of that. My only gripe is paying a $10 surcharge 3 glasses of wine at the bar before hand followed up by paying a $45 surcharge on a $310 meal. $55 extra because we dined on Anzac Day evening is steep and in this day and age unnecessary I think. You can factor in extra wage costs evenly across the year without hitting up patrons for that kind of money on an evening when the joints packed out. That left a sour taste in my mouth after what was otherwise an amazing evening. I future i'll patronise restaurants that don't charge surcharges sorry
by Tracey Edmonds
8 months ago
Food & setting spot on. Service was the most arrogant I've ever experienced in New Zealand. Could not in good faith return to encourage the culture that's being fostered there. Such a shame.
8 months ago
Well If I could explain our night as a game of 2 halves?
We went with some friends from Australia who are big time foodies and wanted to try the master chef judges restaurant.....
1st half. We were looked after, shown to our table (which required booking 3 weeks in advance). Some tasty pre dinner drinks, good conversation and some great banter with the waiter as he set our night up.
2nd half. The wine list was very good.....but super pricey, the food seemed to be somewhat reasonably priced, especially for the reputatation of the chef, but as we went through the dinner, we were actually disappointed with the flavours, and size of the various dishes. Our friends were not really smiling as we left..... Its a great spot, harbor views and we were actually looked after, but the kitchen in our opinion kinda let the side down
by Angela Lina
8 months ago
Starting with some advice.
Drinks from what we saw was quite expensive, pre made cocktails in the bottle were cute but personally preferred freshly shaken. Did not try any of the mains but from the other tables it looked like some of them seemed rather disappointing in size. Also could work on attention to people just arriving at the restaurant who could be standing quite awkwardly as they try to get floor staff attention.
Amazing experience here, hitting the par for food, drink, ambience and service. We did not have to wait long for our table as it was only 4 in the afternoon and was fortunate to be seated close to the sea view. We were taken care of by a super amiable waiter who was very apologetic with small mistakes he made and made it no fuss to fix up any problems. Service throughout the night was very consistent even when his shift was over and another waiter attended to us.
Menu was explained to us very intricately but not condescending.
My friend and I ordered the seared tuna and the beef carpaccio which were both divine.
Ambience of the whole set up was great, at first we thought having two separate kitchens was strange but effective as dinner time rolled around and people could enjoy different experiences.
Would come back in the near future.
by Linda Harrison
8 months ago
The staff were friendly and helpful but we were disappointed. Neither of us could really decide what to have as the menu did not inspire. Our choices in the end we rated as average with our desserts even more average. I had the Black Forrest Eton Mess which was so deconstructed as to be boring. Just mini meringues, cherries and a blob of cream on an oval dish as far as I could tell. I say as far as I could tell because it was so dark neither of us could see. My main course came on a rectangular wooden board which rolled around on the table, there are no table cloths or mats and the restaurant is VERY noisy so it was hard to hear anything our waitress said. The portion sizes are small and all sides are priced separately. The wine list is expensive with few options by the glass. Overall expensive for what you are getting, we would not return.
by Mike Davies
8 months ago
To be honest we were very disappointed. As a bar it seems to be the place to be but the good really let it down. Two of us had risotto, one as a main and one as an entree, we both agreed is was terrible and if Josh had presented that at Masterchief he would not have made the cut. The steaks where ok but very expensive at between $50 and $56 without sides. Three out if the six of us dinning would not return to this restaurant based on the food served
by Carol Clausen
9 months ago
We had our parents 50 wedding anniversary at Ostro Restaurant, we had a fantastic evening overlooking the harbour with a balcony seat. Our waiter was excellent and very attentive and patient with us explaining menu options and meals. Very happy with our choices and meals were top quality, great setting and service. Thank you Ostro team you made our night special
by Kerri McCabe
9 months ago
We had dinner with our friends who were up from the South Island on Sunday night before Bruno Mars concert. What an experience! the staff were fantastic, friendly (as were we, I always think this helps) and extremely helpful in recommending food choices. Great atmosphere with beautiful views. Felt thoroughly spoilt.
by Julie Grapengiesser
9 months ago
Had been there 2days before for lunch enjoyed ourselves food was great and what we expected.
Came back for dinner with friend completely different experience. Asked to wait at bar and order drinks while outside table being prepared. Bar staff busy talking amongst themselves, had to find our own wine list, eventually spoke to passing staff person to order a bottle of Chablis, the waitress collected us but returned later with our bottle of sparkling water and to advise no Chablis so we ordered a bottle of cable bay Chardonnay which took some time. Ordered our meals and then had our sparkling water glasses topped up with tap water....
Meals were well presented and what was expected, when plates taken away asked for a wine list for our mains. Mains arrived no wine so asked if they could speak to the mitred about a glass wine match for each main. After we were 1/2 way thru our meals and no attention I left the table to remind someone about the wine. They returned with 3 glasses and dumped on table with no explanation as to suggested match.
Overall poor service for a Wednesday night. When paying I explained our displeasure only to be told that a VIP table had also found 3 wines not available to them on the wine list. Gee makes me feel so much better.....
by Natasha Mccomb
9 months ago
We visited Ostro to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We went for lunch, at 12.30 had a great table over looking the harbour, I recommend this time to enjoy the views. The place was packed after a very short time, service was friendly helpful and attentive. Food was great! Atmosphere buzzy and nice, not noisy due to no trendy concrete floors. We were fortunate enough to meet Josh which made it a fabulous experience! What a lovely man!
Tried Ox Tongue at his recommendation, was enjoyable entrée, had seared yellowfinTuna gorgeous, scampi, bluff oysters and Fillet Steak. Great menu and difficult to chose. Amazing wine list, for us, an outstanding experience!
by Janet Macklin
9 months ago
We didn't have a meal but did order some bread with seaweed butter with our drinks - it never arrived. Very uncomfortable stools to sit on in the bar area. I thought the décor would be really sharp and add to the experience, but it was already looking a bit shabby and dirty. Attention to detail in every aspect should be the aim for someone like Josh Emett. Generally disappointing.
by Brent Matches
9 months ago
I visited Ostro, 21/2 2014, with my son (10) and arrived at 6.30 on a Friday night and no booking and asked for an outside table. The place was busy with drinkers and lively. We waited only a few minutes and given a table overlooking the harbour, a balmy night. Service was good and brisk and my beer arrived ($9) and a lemonade. I ordered the bread with a seaweed butter, the butter weighed more than the bread which was( $9) and while I liked the bread which was light and had a salty sugary crust what do they do with all the leftover butter? Lets be honest here I had no illusions on price as someone has to pay for the set up of the place. Moving on we took selfies and decided to order My son wanted fish so we took the steamed snapper but without the mussels as he is too young to meld these flavours on a medley of green veg ($33) and I ordered the Beef Brisket burger and chips($26) on a Brioche bun with a pickle and chips and Aioli and a side of shoestrings for the fish. We waited maybe 15minutes and I threw back another corona enjoying the ocassion. The fish arrived and a nice portion skin on and plenty of vegetable medley. It also had a mussel emulsion/ beurre blanc in a sauce jug. It was light and tasty but happy they presented it but my son tried it, however not his thing yet! The beef Brisket burger, now to be far they did say was served medium rare and i thought mmmm okay lets give it a go. A dog ! Absolutely no flavour and like eating a half cooked Merguez Sausage as you know your eating meat. It was warm. What happens here is when you have Brioche and a liquid from meat you end up with a wet bun and so I thought do I send it back which would mean my son would be eating alone or deal with it and tell the waiter after. I chose the latter as the former would have destroyed our night out. The probably twice cooked chips were fab and hot and had less Aoili than my bread? We were asked if we wanted dessert and declined. The Bill came to $99 and so I informed the waitress of my complaint and she came back after forwarding info to the kitchen and I received no response from Maitre d, so I left it at that. My advice Josh Emmett, as I have been cooking longer than you have is you have failed on that dish big time as Brisket should have plenty of flavour and not be lumpy and for a burger to cost $26 it had better be good because there is many establishments that do a superb job for half the cost, like Burger Fuel. I left a tip( $11) for service and offering us the outside table. Iguasu was far superior under chef Peter Bekker as a Brasserie. Maybe look up online how to cook Brisket.
10 months ago
Went there with some friends passionate of food. The environment is stunningly designed and the view is great.....but food, is another story. Overall a mixed experience at best. My tuna entree was fresh, nice, nothing innovative and husbands oysters fresh as any oyster you expect in NZ. Husband went for risotto with scampi, and it was hopelessly overcooked. We are Italians, and from Milano, so saffron risotto is our thing...the Chef explanation from the Kitchen was " I know it's wrong...but here they like it like this." Husband was astonished and speechless.The name on the front is a Michelin starred chef!! I had the doughnuts as sweet...and were totally tasteless by themselves unless you drowned them in chocolate sauce. Our friends were luckier, lamb and Ox tongue were ok. A good wine selection...very few by the glass. Overpriced.
10 months ago
Could not score a seat at the main dining area so the group of 6 of us settled at the bar table. The environment was vibrant with beautiful modern architecture.
Food quality was good, but overpriced for the portion size. Staff are friendly but disappointingly lack of the knowledge of the food that they were serving. One girl does not know what are the type of meat serving on the meat platter, and another told us different serving size for the platter.
Overall beautifully presented food, but be prepared to pay for the upmarket environment and not very well trained staff.
10 months ago
I had read the varied reviews for the restaurant before tasting for myself. After the experience I would have to side with those who had positive experiences.
The wait staff were friendly and professional, although there was the odd time where the wait was getting close to too much.
The Stewart Island oysters we had from the raw bar were as good as any oyster I've tasted; firm flesh sweet yet salty with sharp metallic aftertaste mmmm. I followed these with the kahawai omelette, which was soft and creamy balanced with the salty fish. Around the table the prawns were tasty, the kingfish crudo was elegant and the scampi risotto was exceptionally light and flavoursome. Most of us had steak for main, my scotch fillet done rare was juicy and very tender well cooked and I do love a nicely made bearnaise sauce. My vanilla pannacotta with mixed berry sorbet mixed berries and muesli was a light zingy finish to a very good meal. Don't expect cutting edge innovation, but head to Ostro for a tasty meal executed very well in fine surroundings
by Jeremy Palmer
10 months ago
Took my family there for a celebratory dinner and could not fault the experience. Great space, attentive and friendly service and the food was very, very good. Standouts were the smoked kahawai omelette, the kingfish crudo, the steamed snapper but all dishes we tried were admirably understated and packed with flavor. Sure, it's a little pricey (wine list especially) and noisy (what do you expect, it's a big concrete room) but the atmosphere, view, food and excellent service more than compensate. Will definitely return.
10 months ago
Great atmosphere and lovely food. Totally let down by our awful waiter (I think his name may have been Gethine) who argued with me about what we has ordered for dessert. We were discussing two desserts with him (one was the Eaton Mess and the other was something with an odd name like rumbas bravas or something that included a grilled pineapple and a brandy snap). In the end I said we would go with the brandy snap one that we had been discussing.
When our dessert arrived we took a bite but it looked just like plain brandy snaps (which were also on the menu). I called the waiter over to clarify. He said they were the plain brandy snaps. I said that we had ordered the other dessert we had been discussing that included the brandy snap. He said that I just said brandy snaps so that's what we got. I asked him to get the menu and showed him the one I ordered with a brandy snap. He said I did not order it by the correct name. I can't believe how rude he was and all over the cost of some $9 brandy snaps. After that he just ignored us for the rest of the evening.
I had taken my husband out for his birthday and the waiter put a dampner on the whole evening. Very disappointing!!
by Chris Rider
11 months ago
Fabulous lay out and we did get a window table as requested, clear night so gorgeous views.
Could not fault the service, systems working very well and friendly wait staff.
I don't mind paying for a top quality meal but 2 steaks out of 4 were not cooked to required liking, a fundamental of good cuisine. Starters were all good especially my Scampi on Saffron Risotto.
I am not a dessert person but everyone complained about the lack of choice and disappointing presentation. We had to wait a long time for the desserts and nobody was impressed, all different choices(5).
Wine was very pricey and beers are exorbitant. Extremely noisy but I don't mind that. I feel it is going to be a while before we venture back there, a shame when it is such a perfect position.
by Jane Greensmith
11 months ago
This was our first visit and we were really looking forward to a really nice meal and a very cool fit out and location.
It began badly by being seated at barstools right by the bar on a very busy night. There were so many people around us and the volume so loud we couldn't hear ourselves talk! I hate barstools full stop and just about walked at that point. So we asked to be moved which they grudgingly did. Having booked a table we didn't think it was too much to ask to be sitting on a chair.
So now happily seated at a table on a chair, we ordered our meals. From there it went badly downhill. My risotto was terrible and his pork pie was so salty it was hardly edible. We would have complained but really didn't think anyone would care.
The other shocking thing is the state of the toilets - he said that the mens were so shocking that any woman would be horrified. Beer bottles everywhere, whiskey glasses, rubbish, just disgusting and that is a comment from a bloke. I didn't use the ladies so can't comment on that.
The location is second to none and I really hope when the crowds dissipate, it becomes a great restaurant and not a rowdy bar posing a restaurant! Or just ditch the food and be a great bar but the two things can never sit well together.
Oh yes view is to die for so just go for a drink and save your money!
by Garyn Hayes
11 months ago
We thought the restaurant and bar was very cool but were disappointed by the service. When we finished our main meal we sat with empty drinks and plates for 20+ minutes so eventually just got up and paid the bill and left. The food was average for the location and price.
11 months ago
We grabbed a table for two on balcony on a sunny day. Friendly waiter. The food is not particularly complicated but is certainly cooked and presented well.
by Olive M
11 months ago
Delicious food, portions are quite small but as expected of fine dining. Service was amazing, there was a small fly in my glass of wine and when I informed the waiter, he immediately topped it up without hesitation. Highly recommended!
by Olia Madigan
11 months ago
I was a bit worried to try Ostro after reading bad reviews, I am glad that I tried this place! Food, service and views are amazing! We had steak and lamb and all was delicious and cooked as we asked. Definitely will recommend this place!
by Jenni Doherty
11 months ago
Walked in Sunday arvo at 1.30 , had to wait for a table outside .... Saw at least four available on arrival .... Sent to the bar ... Waited and waited and ..... 20 minutes later we were shown our table ( which had been free since we arrived ) . Come on guys.... Love your food but the unexplainable wait which was not necessary ! Guess you wanted us to spend at the bar while waiting for our table that was there available all along ! Might work for you ... But pissed off me !!
by Jacque Dagg
11 months ago
Beautiful location. Lots of staff, service was good but we were there at 5.30pm for our booking so not super busy you would expect to get great service. I had the tomato salad as a starter & the duck pasta for a main very disappointing serious lacking the wow factor. Ten of us in the party and every one agreed the food was very average. Very expensive restaurant, I would go back but only for a drink.
11 months ago
Costing $150 per head for our new years eve dinner we were more than disappointed.
Staff unorganized, slow and unprofessional service.
The food was terrible and every course came with ice berg lettuce as well as it being a side, chocolate mousse was solid and not smooth and creamy as you would expect .... I believe some more creative thought could have gone into this very expensive 4 course meal. To top it off the comedian came on for 5 mins and couldn't be heard at all ?
Maybe Josh Emett should stick to TV instead of putting his name to restaurants that are well below the normal great standard of food we get in New Zealand.
by Jan Codyre
Dec 24, 2013
This is the first time ever in eating out that I have left my table to try and get service, both for drinks, water and food menus!! One of my dining companions waited 35 minutes for her glass of red wine to appear, and her comments are they ruined her night for her, she will not return, nor will I or the others that were at our table. The food was good, but the service levels were way behind what is expected and the worst crime of the night was in clearing our table while one diner is still eating!!! We were given 2 bottles of French Champagne to make up for what was a shocker - however too little too late
by Herman Z
Dec 22, 2013
Lunch on Sunday.
The food was outstanding, we had great expectations after having had dinner at RATA in Queenstown, a sister restaurant.
Marinated king fish, a great tuna entree, superb main courses.
And fabulous dessert.
Like others have reviewed the service was a let down, friendly but untrained staff spoils the experience.
And the wine list was a tad over the top price wise.
The setting very nice with harbour views.
Sugest to immediately hire a full time trainer to train staff on a one to one basis
by David Boshier
Dec 19, 2013
The most perfect location for a restaurant/bar over looking the inner workings of the port and harbour. We found the service to be ok-ish.. After taking us through to the bar because our table was not ready, they rang our mobile looking for us as we had not turned up.
The food was well priced and we all enjoyed our selections, I really liked the pork pie. However the wine list was over priced and the selection very limited.
Worth a try if you want to check out the location.
by Geoff Lawson
Dec 18, 2013
Well we finally managed to get a table at Ostro last Saturday night after booking 4 weeks ago! So our party of 8 fronted to Josh Emett’s latest offering in the Britomart precinct on Saturday night at 7 o’clock high on expectation based on what we’d heard.
We were one of the larger parties and scored a great spot in front of the glass wall which allowed the first 4 to arrive the get the seats with a view out over the wharf area/car storage area!!! Gorgeous early-summer evening and with the gentle breeze zephyring through the open panels on the glass wall we were set for what turned out to be a most enjoyable night.
Service was prompt and in fact pleasantly attentive throughout the evening.
To the menu. I hate it when there are about 3 items for each course that you’d love to have. Normally I then spend the night looking longingly at other people’s plates and thinking “I wish I’d had that”!
I started with the SMOKED KAHAWAI OMELETTE with hollandaise and watercress while others had the OX TONGUE TWO WAYS with mustard, cornichons, sauce gribiche and grilled sourdough, MARKET FISH CEVICHE with meyer lemon, avocado, red radish and cucumber and the ‘CURIOUS CROPPERS’ TOMATOES with fresh herbs, compressed watermelon, avocado and cucumber. All were declared very tasty. I particularly liked my omelette which was light and flavoursome.
I was dying to try the two way ox tongue and tried to put the evil eye on Tom but there was no offer forthcoming. Had it been Deb I’d have nicked a bit off her plate; but she’d never have had it in the first place. Al wanted me to specifically refer to his curious croppers tomatoes – curious choice is all I’d say!!
For mains we covered a fair bit of the field. The ROAST SCAMPI RISOTTO with Marlborough saffron and parmesan was one of the dishes that I could easily have had but I felt like a steak so went for the Grain fed, 250g WAKANUI SCOTCH with béarnaise and a jus which I just loved. Others had the HONEY-GLAZED GRILLED POUSSIN with harissa and blackened tomato, the BRAISED DUCK AGNOLOTTI with parsnip, pickled pear and duck crackling, RICCOTTA & SPINACH TORTELLI with Tomato, basil and parmesan and the LINE-CAUGHT TARAKIHI with Candied grapes, fennel and toasted almonds.
We shared sides of MIXED LEAF SALAD with lemon and avocado oil, FRENCH FRIES with fresh herbs and STEAMED ASPARAGUS with picada – all passed the test.
Verdict. Well I’ll leave that to my fellow dinner guests. Tom said the Scampi risotto was scrumptious, Marie said the fish was gorgeous, Deb declared the poussin “perfection on a plate”, Lena loved the rissotto, Murray said the duck was excellent, Juls rated the tortelli really nice and I can’t remember what Al had haha. Ah yes I can after texting him, it was the tarakihi which he pronounced very nice!
For dessert there was a fair bit of couple-sharing going on with the BOMBE ALASKA with Orange & mascarpone parfait with lemon sorbet and CHOCOLATE & COFFEE MOUSSE with Hazelnut beignet and milk sorbet. No sharing for me though!! I had my own Bombe Alaska and it was gooood. Of course with me not sharing there was no chance of getting a taste from anyone else!! Both desserts were declared very yummy.
So all in all it was a most enjoyable evening and Chef Cobus Klopper and the team at Ostro did a fine job.
by Carol Hiku
Dec 17, 2013
Bittersweet for me.
It has to be said that the decor, location and view are all very pleasant. I had the pork Belly Pie with a side of Truffled Mushrooms. The pie was nice, but a little under seasoned for my liking - nothing that a dash of salt couldn't fix! The mushrooms were divine, but could have done with a bit more truffle oil on them. The food highlight was the Pannacotta and funnily enough, the seaweed butter that came with the bread!
The service was a bit sporadic. It was either really good, or a bit average depending on who was serving.
The lowlights for me were the revolting state of one of the toilets. Even after mentioning their condition to a waitress, 90min later, they had not been cleaned. And the espresso martini...yuck! Not the way that I'd hoped my meal would end.
So yeah, still a little way to go guys. Thank goodness you have the business of the Christmas season to start you off well.
by Ed Hayes
Dec 16, 2013
It's a great spot and it has the right atmosphere.
Full with Christmas bookings it was hit and miss of getting a good table even though I had booked more than a month ago.
The food was not spectacular. And in Britomart and the city at the moment it needs to be. The competition is tough and these guys aren't quite up for it.
The service was poor. The staff were new, inexperienced and flustered.
We had an earwig in our salad. Wouldn't get away with that on Masterchef!
Usually there would be an apology from the maitre'd and something done about it. But I had to bring it up when settling the bill.
A long way to go.
Hope they get it right eventually. Nice setup and great location.
by Ian Wilson
Dec 16, 2013
Bit of a mixed bag and judging by recent reviews it was to be expected. Location as everyone has attested to is great, although walking through an empty cafe to start with isn't a good look.
Service was a mixed bag our waitress was great but the guys from the bar delivering our drinks need a good sorting out. Dour look on his face and mumbled something before spinning on his heel and departing. Probably in embarrassment of what he was delivering. I always order a Mojito to start the night and this one was below average. The other halfs Margarita was equally bad both tasted watered down.
Onto the food - Ox tongue done two ways was tasty enough as was the wife's Ceviche. I had the Pork belly pie which again was ok although the accompanying salad was very bland, I've seen better between the buns of a Big Mac. But if I thought that was bland then I only needed to taste the wife's Steamed Snapper to understand the true meaning of the word. Severely underseasoned to start with and totally lacking in favour. Very disappointing.
There is a consistency in the reviews now that would indicate something is amiss at Ostro. I sincerely hope they're addressed quickly the location and star power of Josh should be a great combination that adds not detracts from the Auckland dining scene.
by Denise Burt
Dec 06, 2013
Our visit to Ostro on 29 Nov was a very disappointing experience and we would not recommend eating there.
We chose Ostro expecting a high standard from Josh Emett but the food was just not up to scratch.
Entrees chosen were OK
Eye fillet steak had a chewy membrane and the scotch fillet to thin.
Asparagus side dish overcooked but the french fries were nice.
Desserts chosen were OK but nothing spectacular.
While the wine list was extensive it was so overpriced with us having to pay 3 times the retail price.
Nice venue but we will not be going back
by Ralph Chang
Nov 27, 2013
We had a 6pm booking for 2 on a Monday, was a great evening so we asked to be seated on the rail outside to take in the sun.
Restaurant and bar looks great - fantastic location over looking the harbour.
The food was glorious. We had the ceviche, some oysters, ox tongue, scampi risotto (the best) and shared savannah bone in scotch which was great. Food came out fast and was presented well. High standard
Service was average at best. They weren't very busy at the start of our night but at around 630pm it looked like they were getting busy - which i can appreciate as it was pretty new. Despite this, we still expect a level of service, nothing flash but its the simple things that need to be done right. For example, finishing our entrees and then waiting 20 mins for them to clear, no water for 15 mins or drinks for that matter (I had asked for wine list but couldn't get anyone to take our order). Perhaps all the new / quality restaurants in Auckland has put a strain on the supply of quality service staff. It was good to see that another service person (neighbouring section) saw our plight and cleared plates and refilled etc.
I enjoyed the environment and food, service needs work if they want to compete. Recommend Ostro as I'll be back but hopefully to some better service.
Nov 26, 2013
We were excited to dine at Ostro as have had amazing experiences at Rata (both food
The view and setting is stunning but was let down by the service and food. The service was average at best and definitely below par for this kind of restaurant.
The food once again was average. The 'seared' tuna was not seared but looked like it had been poached. The scotch steak was okay and little over cooked (probably because it was paper thin). Came with a béarnaise (waiter forgot to ask what sauce I wanted) The burger was okay, a bit dry but the brioche bun & pickled courgettes were nice. Donuts were dense and came with a 'chocolate sauce' that tasted like milk mixed with cocoa powder. Bomb Alaska - was okay, Milse definitely does better.
Overall a disappointing experience as we had high hopes for Ostro Restaurant. I don't mind average service if the food is amazing but that was definitely not the case here.
Would not recommend going for dinner but would be good for drinks as the setting is spectacular.
by Jim Archibald
Nov 26, 2013
Interesting, the problem for celebrity chefs when they add their name to a restaurant is that they can be judged as they judge the cannon fodder on Master Chef. To whit, Ceviche, average, no explosion of flavours, just basically raw fish with specs of avocado etc. The seared tuna dish, OK, but what you'd get in any brasserie and as for the Kawhai omelette! If mine was the standard, Avoid! A flat circular dish arrived with a beautifully browned egg crust about 2 mm thick and the rest was a thin soupy thing the maitre D called a Hollandaise sauce with a few bits of bony Kawhai swimming. I'd love to see the other judges comments if this dish was served on Master Chef! Hollandaise as a Soup! The Maitre D dismissed my comments, (bad move), as really misunderstanding the nature of the dish. Possibly in my ignorance and time in the provinces I've missed the reconstruction of the omelette. I hope the French don't find out!
Service, very good, setting great.
Nov 26, 2013
Amazing food great service, this will be my new local, and I cannot recommend Ostro to enough people.
Oysters were beautiful and massive, Eye fillet done to perfection, and the mousse dessert and alaska bomb we perfect.
Definitely 5 stars
Nov 21, 2013
Our night at Ostro did not begin well. It was my husband's birthday and we'd ditched the kids to stay at a hotel in the city. We'd dressed up and we were excited about checking out Auckland's new hotspot.
How disappointing then to be barely acknowledged on arrival,
then ignored, left standing awkwardly at the entrance, waiting... and waiting... and waiting... in spite of having made a reservation a week earlier! We were not invited to have a drink at the bar or ushered into a waiting space.
Eventually, after complaining to the girl on the till and flagging down the maître'd, we were seated. The maitre'd, to his credit, was extremely apologetic and swiftly arranged for complimentary bubbles to soothe our indignancy.
I began to wonder if my initial expectations for Ostro were a little too high. The view is amazing, without a doubt, but a couple of things confuse me. The wait staff are dressed in t-shirts with silly salty sea dog phrases and Converse Chuck Taylors (why?). There are no tablecloths. The bar area was filled with young scruffy guys wearing sneakers and hoodies. My husband joked that a pool table and a jukebox would not have looked out of place. And it was really loud.
Anyway, we resolved to get over the frosty reception and enjoy ourselves. The food is (mostly) sensational. The smoked kawhai omelette might quite possibly be the most delicious thing I have ever eaten. Pillowy soft, rich omelette with generous morsels of smoked fish buried like little treasures. With a side of asparagus and glass of something cold it would be the perfect summer lunch dish.
The slow cooked rib for two was everything we imagined - deliciously unctuous, meltingly tender beef. Half the fries were cold, but those that were hot were delicious, though a rip off at $9. On the other hand, the petit fours represented excellent value at the same price, with macarons, marshmallows, fudge and strawberries, which proved a delightful little end to the meal.
Sadly, the service didn't match up to the excellent food.
We anticipated that the maitre'd would check in with us and he did, which was good. But it was little things that let them down - our table was not wiped between courses which meant we spent the evening in the company of a rather sorry looking prawn leg. Somehow I ended up with two entrée forks and one was left with me during the main. The cold fries.
The view, the food and the celebrity chef will mean that Ostro Restaurant does really well, and I'll probably be back - although not for a special birthday dinner.
by Glenn Town
Nov 21, 2013
This is novel and totally right up there with the very best restaurants in Auckland.
A superb location with stunning views across the harbour.
Excellent space very well designed and fitted out.
The food was quite amazing.
Service perhaps a little patchy but overall fine.
Fans of top restaurants need to visit and soon.
Loved it to bits.
by Chris T
Nov 11, 2013
Went there unexpectedly. Finished work late Friday evening and was feeling like a bite. Headed along Tyler Street and walked past a friendly well dressed doorman who invited me in for something to eat. Was a bit hesitant as it looked nothing but an empty cafe but the doorman assured me that the view upstairs was amazing and the food would be the same. I got upstairs and the place was buzzing. Restaurant was full but I got a table at the bar. Service was a bit slow but was made up for with the delicious food I was served. View was absolutely spectacular! I enjoyed the vibe so much that I invited some friends to join me dinner and drinks the following night. I was impressed with the doorman downstairs who remembered my name and made my friends and I feel like special guests. We have already made plans to go there next week. Fantastic location with stunning views and Josh Emmet's food was divine. Thank you to the Doorman for inviting me in.
by Lance-a-lot Rance
Nov 11, 2013
The wife and i have been looking forward to coming here for weeks and last Saturday we managed to get a booking and was very excited, when we arrived outside the entrance on Tyler street we were surprised to be met by security and that you have to walk through a cafe to then get into the an elevator to then take you to the next floor where the restaurant was situated, when the elevator door opened the place was busy and buzzing, it was fantastic, it looked elegant and sophisticated and the view overlooking the port and the harbour was breathtaking, we were seated up at the kitchen pass which was fantastic so you can see everything going on in the kitchen, overall the food was sublime offering great flavors throughout, but what lets this place down to me is value for money first of all side dishes portion sizes did not equal the cost charged, tiny little tin of fries for $9 and also a few mushrooms again for $9 also the wine list is very good yet very very inflated in price, waihekei island wine that we ordered we later discovered had well over a 100% mark up that you could buy it on-line for, we both came away enjoying the food and the service, we do not however feel we got value for money, there are plenty of other places in Auckland that can offer food and wine just as good at better value
by Georgia Mccreadie
Nov 09, 2013
We went for lunch on a Saturday as we wanted to check it out. The service was good, view amazing and food very average.
We had the kingfish and the tuna to start which was delicious.
The mains were very poor.
I had the scampi risotto and my husband had the pork belly pie.
The scampi was fine but the risotto had no flavour and very disappointing, couldn't eat it!!.
The pork was bland, pretty dry, tasteless and was served on a wooden board which kept spinning around on the table. My husband ate it because he was hungry, but otherwise he would have left it. Needed a yummy sauce.
We both thought it was like pub food at best.
We didn't have to pay for the risotto after we mentioned our thoughts.
Loved the atmosphere - cool place just really have to work on flavour, as you would expect a lot more for your money.
Food was really disappointing that is why we give it a 2 star rating - the rest was a four star!
Nov 09, 2013
The views and location are amazing. The staff less so. On arrival I had to wait 3-4 minutes for the staff to stop chatting... one waiter even asked the maître de to assist, but he carried on chatting. The table service was good but not exceptional at all. The tables are all very close and have a bar feel. The food was good and the value about right. It's a nice place to go for lunch or dinner because of the good food and awesome views. Other restaurants might have better service or food, but you can't go past this place when you add in the location and views.
by David Pacey
Nov 07, 2013
A fantastic experience. The restaurant was fully booked when we tried to reserve a table at 3pm for this evening. The staff were great to fit us in. The food was amazing: fresh, creative and wonderfully packed with flavour. The space is really well used, although the entrance through a cafe is a bit bizarre. Beats Euro hands down for modern flavoursome food served in a vibrant lively atmosphere.
Nov 06, 2013
6 Nov 2013. Without realising this was the first night open to public, we'd decided to check out Josh's new restaurant, Ostro. Well, what a treat! The food was simply perfect. Couldn't fault anything & we're pretty fussy. Service was excellent too & the new staff were very attentive. Wine list was comprehensive without being overwhelming, with a nice selection of NZ & international wines. And the venue - OMG - fantastic location to cater for everybody. Great water views overlooking Auckland Harbour from the elevated site looking across Quay St.
Josh has really excelled here & we plan to return frequently to work our way through the delicious menu! Highly recommended and likely to be a very busy & popular place. Nick, Auckland NZ.
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