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Squid Row Gastro Bar

4 star rating 42 reviews

Telephone 09-379 9344

224 Symonds St
Grafton
Auckland City

Cuisine:
New Zealand, Seafood, Fish & Chips, A La Carte
Hours:
Mon - Sun 11am - Late
Provided by business

Overview

Squid Row serves fresh seafood catches in a laid-back atmosphere is what we do best. Squid Row Gastro Bar are committed to providing you with New Zealand’s freshest and most succulent seafood at affordable prices. Welcoming staff and a unique city location make Squid Row the place to be.

Photos

Photo of Squid Row Gastro Bar
Salt & Pepper Platter
Classic Fish & Chips

More Information

Categories:
Restaurants, Bar & Brasseries, Bistros, Pubs
Takeaways:
Yes
Parking:
Pay & Display
Price Range:
Moderate, $15 - $25
Attire:
Casual
Good For Groups:
Yes
Good For Children:
Yes
WI-FI:
None
Alcohol:
Cocktails, Spirits, Wine, Beer
BYO/Corkage:
No BYO
Wheelchair Accessible:
Yes
Takes Reservations:
Yes
Dietary Restrictions:
Vegetarian, Gluten-free
Meals Served:
Dessert, Dinner, Lunch
Payment Types:
EFTPOS, Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Diners
Seating For:
150
Outdoor Seating:
Yes

Reviews for Squid Row Gastro Bar

4 star rating
by Rahul D.
4th June 2014

Great place to chillout. Great service and good selection of alcohol. Maria the manager makes one feel totally at home and is a great host. Will recommend anytime.

4 star rating
by Albie H.
12th May 2014

We dine at Squid Row once or twice a week and always enjoy the food and the service, especially Maria, she’s always happy to see us and greets us with a big smile on her face. It is kind of our local favourite for a quick bite and some drinks after a long day at work.

Overall, good food and attentive service and we sure will become regulars at Squid Row :-)

4 star rating
by Dan
17th April 2014

Have been here a number of times and always enjoy the seafood. Nice atmosphere and friendly staff

4 star rating
by John W.
12th February 2014

My wife and I had two vouchers for a platter and we went last week and Tuesday of this week.
Had excellent waitress (Maria) who was very helpful on both occasions with her suggestions, consequently we had great service and we thoroughly enjoyed our meal.

2 star rating
by Merryn T.
11th February 2014

If you enjoy deep fried food and drinks, then this is the place for you.

Been here twice and left with feeling of being over charged and oily.

On a positive note, the service has been good each time.

5 star rating
by David C.
11th February 2014

Had a voucher for a squid or calamari platter and a side of chunky chips or salad with either wine or beer.
It was a Tuesday evening so wasn’t very busy.
A delightful waitress from Argentina took our order and suggested we could half and half the squid and calamari, which we did. The chips were our choice. I had a beer, my wife had a wine.
It arrived promptly, and yes, we agree with all the other positive reviews. Good portions, plenty of sauce, and nicely cooked fresh food. Great service. We enjoyed!

5 star rating
by Bruce J.
30th January 2014

One of the best seafood restaurants, the squid and sauce were delicious, and came in different sizes to choose from.
Excellent meal, went with my family last week.
The staff there were really friendly and took care of us well by checked upon our table constantly offering more drinks or “anything i can help you with”.
The service was really fast, and it even came in good quantity despite the fact there were no pictures on the menu and we were also using a voucher.
I recommend the mixed seafood selection which were delicious with fresh shellfish, along with a quantity of fish and squids.
The pizza there were rather nice as well, however the kids meal seemed to be over-priced and tasted poorly, this however maybe due to us trying the other exquisite dishes first.

Strongly recommend, and a comfortable atmosphere too!

5 star rating
by Teresa
18th January 2014

We came in last Sunday with some friends and were quite pleased that the outside area is now more comfortable. We had a jug of sangria at $25 to start with. Delicious! The boys ordered 2 for 1 mussels, which are now $15 instead of $22 as they used to – but are still the same size! Us girls decided to share few small plates: ribs, garlic prawns (yummy), salt and pepper squid and seafood pizza. Although quite full we shared sticky toffee pudding afterwards. Everything was very tasty and a good value for money. The service was attentive. Big plus is the free parking on Sunday next door!
We will definitely be back to try other dishes on the menu!

4 star rating
by Catalina E.
15th January 2014

Had a lovely lunch here – salt and pepper squid was delicious, the service was prompt, friendly and helpful. Maria our waitress was a star and we will definitely be returning soon to try other dishes on the menu!

5 star rating
by Mike S.
11th January 2014

We came in for a quick bite in the afternoon. We ordered the seafood selection and a side of fries and it arrived shortly after. The food was beautiful presented and it tasted even better. The seafood selection came with fresh oysters, tuna, mussels, prawns, smoked salmon and salt & pepper squid (my favourite). Great value for money. Will be back to try the rest of the menu.

5 star rating
by Bex P.
9th January 2014

I’m so lucky that Squid Row is down the road from my work! Delicious salt and pepper squid, $12 pizzas at lunch and the Wild Rocket Salad is amazing! Our server, Maria was absolutely adorable. We felt very looked after and happy. We will definitely be back.

5 star rating
by Penny
1st January 2014

I’d seen this restaurant many times over the past few years on my way to Galbraiths (next door, over the car park, great beer). I love seafood but my other half can’t eat it and prefers his meal to have previously mooed, oinked or baarred. I noticed that the menu accommodated for both. I asked around and got very mixed reviews good/bad/pricey etc, so left it alone. I saw a deal voucher online and decided to go for it as, after checking first, the restaurant was actually open over Christmas and new year. Now all I can say is WOW! We were told by the lovely Maria (fabulous waitress who should be giving a lot of the Auckland hospitality set a much needed training session) that the ownership has recently changed and the ‘previous chef’ re-instated, which perhaps explained why there had been mixed reviews previously. Voucher in hand, we really went for it. We tried the small plates of Ribs, Salt and Pepper Squid (for me, not him) and salmon cakes. They were absolutely delicious, the squid being the best I have eaten. The portions were very generous for ‘small’ which we appreciated. We followed with Stuffed Eggplant and a Side of Fries. All of our dishes arrived promptly, were beautifully presented, absolutely delicious and very generous in size. Extremely good value and quality. Squid Row is set up for lovely courtyard dining, groups, families and, like us at the time, couples. ALSO, on Sundays, they offer two for one, 1kg pots of mussels (with 5 sauce choices) for $15!!! We are already planning our next visit back with our daughter and friends…well worth the trip over the bridge. Fantastic food, fantastic service, brilliant value. Great experience all round.

5 star rating
by Fran S.
24th December 2013

Have been eating here for over 3 years and a few months back the chef left:-( Food was not so good……
The chef is back the menu is new and improved and the food is back up to his superb standard. Our party had Venison Burgers (new on the menu), Ribs (also new) my 4 year old had the Salt & Pepper squid and I shared a platter of tempura fish goujons with my 2 yr old and 9 month old.
All of the food was superb and great service. Can’t wait to go back again:-)

5 star rating
by Ben W.
25th November 2013

I live close by and have been eating/drinking at the Squid Row for years now. I have always enjoyed the salt and pepper squid (absolutely melts in the mouth).

In the last couple of months the new owners have refurbished the property to a really funky bar/restaurant. It has a really nice vibe about it now, they have done a great job of pulling the old decor with modern/retro feeling.
The Salt and Pepper squid and all the favourites are still on the updated menu as well as some new options. The pizzas are such good value.
Great space for a group with large tables as well as intimate spaces for a more romantic night out ;)
Love it.

2 star rating
by Dave G.
5th August 2013

About a year back we had a great night here but tonight the second (and last) time, service was terrible. We waited for well over an hour for our mains despite three other tables who arrived after us being served before us – when we asked why staff seemed disinterested although offered free dessert which we declined (did they not get that we had waited too long) there are plenty of restaurants much better than this

5 star rating
by Tom O.
30th July 2013

Casual Monday night, we ordered a scallop entre, tom yum mussel, squid row burger and the apple crumble. Everything was beautiful, service was casual and honest, scallops melted in your mouth, burger patty had the perfect texture with a mediterranean-feel sauce accompanied with english muffin buns (supreme combination), this tom yum soup for the mussel was so good we picked up the bowl and downed it. Dessert topped it all off, fresh out the oven apple pie with oat crumble bake accompanied with ice cream, the oat calmed the sweetness of the pie filling and the ice cream cooled down the temperature. Beautifully balanced.
Would definitely be back, recommended for a casual night out or a relaxed first date :)!

3 star rating
by Mikayla A.
9th July 2013

Went to Squid Row with a voucher on Sunday night. I had heard great things about the restaurant however after visiting, I find it highly overrated. The entree’s are very small and overpriced. My partner ordered the Panko Scallops but said you couldn’t taste any flavour over how highly crumbed they were. I got the Fish and Chips as we had ordered the Salt and Pepper Squid for an entree. The fish was definitely well cooked.

Ordered a $9 glass of wine (cheapest they had) and found that it was Corbans! I could of bought the whole bottle at the supermarket for that price!

All in all, food was good but as I have said, highly overrated and expensive restaurant for what you get. Won’t be hurrying back there anytime soon.

2 star rating
by Paresh L B.
9th July 2013

Had dinner there with friends, service was good but the food wasn’t worth for what we paid. Fish and chips was good, pepper salt squid was good, but other dishes were not as good as expected, the dish John Dory came in a small portion charged $31up with poor taste. We will not go back.

1 star rating
by Michelle E.
3rd July 2013

Went there for dinner tonight, had known about Squid Row for a long time and was told they did great seafood.
Unfortunately the food was of poor quality, the menu is looks like the restaurant can’t decide what kind of food they want to do and service is almost non-existent.
Oysters are definitely not fresh and came with a horrible ginger oil which I’m pretty sure was used to disguise the fact that they wernt fresh.
I also found it strange that their menu had entree, main and platter of salt and pepper squid or calamari which seems like they ran out of things to put on the menu.
On the service side of things, the staff didn’t seem to have any sense of urgency in looking after the tables or even bothered at all to be honest.
There are definitely better places to go in Auckland then here.

2 star rating
by Olie L.
23rd June 2013

Definitely great food but very poor service!
Just nicely asked to be seated in a better seat away from sun heat and the girl gave me an ugly grin! Totally unacceptable.
Just hope management can improve on customer service to compliment the good food.

4 star rating
by Jacqui B.
5th January 2013

First time and it was so delicious I can’t believe I have never been here before. There were 5 of us and everything we had was wonderful. I had tuna sashimi on grated dakon with wasabi, friends shared the salt and pepper squid and oysters. Oysters were the small ones and the salt and pepper sqid was really good. Mains were swordfish, fish pie, salt and pepper squid, snapper and john dory. All were great. Table next door ordered the whole baby snapper and it looked amazing – I will have that next time. I ordered affogato for dessert – huge scoop of ice cream – yum. Good wine list too. Will be back for sure and will have that squid again – so good!

4 star rating
by Jade L.
5th December 2012

No doubt the best place for squid in Auckland! Nuf said.
Squid Row is our favourite Sunday Squid hangout place. haha..

4 star rating
by Judy L.
3rd November 2012

Great atmosphere, cold wet day but warm and cosy inside, nostalgic viewing on the big screen always entertaining, excellent friendly service, yummy food. All round very pleasant experience which exceeded expectations and we will return.

5 star rating
by Marie S.
3rd October 2012

Very Good, staff were wonderful ,even turned the heater on where we were sitting on a cold and blustery day and when a gust of wind from an opened door blew my paper napkin off the table quickly replaced it. The fish and chips were delicious and there was no problem changing my sons mash to chips with his steak.The place has ambiance with its lighting and choice of old time pictures. In all a great experience. Well recommended…

5 star rating
by Julie
29th December 2011

AMAZING! Went for dinner tonight. Service was great! Lovely staff and very friendly! Food was outstanding! Recommend the John Dori fish and salt and pepper squid and languini! Atmosphere was great and amazing decor. Service prompt. Will def be returning very soon! Highly recommended! (:

2 star rating
by HJM
21st December 2011

I have been a semi-regular cusotmer of Squid Row over the past three or four years. I used to go there with friends for the $6 cocktail happy hour, we liked the decor, the little outdoor area, and it was just a fun new place to go to. But I’m sad to say the quality of the food and the service has declined steadily over time. My last visit will be the last indeed. To put a long story short, I sent my meal back – the first time I have ever sent a meal back in my life! – because I was not about to pay $32 for an inedible plate of food. The staff are plain disinterested. There are much better places to eat and spend your money in Auckland. But the happy hour margarita’s are still pretty wicked.

Comment from Tom W. of Squid Row Gastro Bar 22/12/2011   
Hi there. Sorry to hear your last experience at Squid Row was…    More »
4 star rating
by Wilson
19th December 2011

Risotto…..my mouth is watering… with one of the superb wine’s on your menu…..heaven

2 star rating
by Verity S.
12th October 2011

I’m actually not that impressed. I have been twice now at lunch time, eating from the $12 lunch menu. The first visit I had spicy bean burritos. Not spicy and not terribly warm either.
So, today I decided to give it another go – try everything twice I say! Again, I’m afraid it wasn’t that great. The waitress was a little self obsessed, the penne carbonara that I had was horrible. The sauce was very thin (not a hint of the white wine it promised) very scant on the bacon and mushrooms and not at all seasoned. The sauce was so thin I actually had to ask for a spoon :-) I was with two work friends, one had the mussel fritters and the feedback was they were quite tasty. My other friend had something from the main menu – Salt and Pepper squid. She is a big fan of squid – feedback, too expensive for what she got, bit bland and the chips were soggy! The man who brought the plates over did slam it down a bit hard and send a squid flying onto the floor! (They did replace it though) I really don’t think that the quality should be compromised just because you have a special lunch menu. Quite honestly I would have preferred a microwave dinner.
Ross Burden was in the room today so I guess they were thinking he was far more important than us!??

I’d go again and give them one last chance outside of lunch hours but only if someone else pays! :-)

4 star rating
by CelesteReviews
28th August 2011

We recently celebrated a birthday with dinner at Squid Row.

It has a great atmosphere, and we really enjoyed the fun decor of old-school surfing photos and memorabilia.

I can highly recommend the mushroom risotto. It was a huge serving, and very tasty.

You can see photos and read more on our experience at http://celestereviews…..

We will definitely be returning.

4 star rating
by leigh b.
11th July 2011

We liked the relaxed warm atmosphere, we had a deal voucher and the squid was devine, cooked to perfection. Great prices. We liked the food and atmosphere so much we have booked a big group lunch for a birthday in a few weeks.

2 star rating
by Jen
28th June 2011

very disappointing, tiny oyster that doesn’t seem that fresh, crowded and noisy, size of meal tiny, flavour too simple. Snobby staff. Not a good experience, will not be back.

[I have just been contacted by the owner of this place and I am impressed with how he dealt with the issue. Hence I will be giving Squid Row another visit when I get back from overseas and update my review accordingly.]

3 star rating
by Tinker
5th May 2011

Service was good, except for the very end when we went to pay. He couldn’t find our bill from the table we were at. Food was average but reasonably priced. The salt and pepper squid was great, would definately go back for the squid.

4 star rating
by Margaret
29th April 2011

Always good value, tasty fresh food, good service. Have been at least six times and we often go for Sunday lunch on the spur of the moment. A great place to take overseas visitors to show them our great seafood.

3 star rating
by Danielle F.
11th April 2011

The food here is gorgeous, loved that it was obviously fresh and made with care.

What a pity that it is let down by the service, the staff seemed completely disinterested in being there and agree with others that there appears to be enough staff to offer table service.

3 star rating
by PMI
11th February 2011

Nice place but could be better with table service

Have been a few times and had Mussels, Calamari & Chips, Salt & Pepper Squid

Pluses:
– All seafood is very fresh
– Szechwan pepper and salt flake on Salt & Pepper Squid is yummy!

Minuses:
– You have to get out of your seat and walk to the bar to order drinks and food even though waiters were free
- Salad is too small

Interesting:
- Each visit we would have spent another $30 on drinks if they would have taken our order at our table

Verdict:
– We will go back again

4 star rating
by tony c.
11th February 2011

most enjoyable experience. salt and pepper squid was really good. Great service, staff and prices. We will definitely be back

5 star rating
by Jessica
1st February 2011

I love Squid Row!! We looked through the entertainment book, and thought we would give this a go. We have been back atleast 10 times since, I even celebrated my birthday there.

The food is amazing, and the service is fantastic!

If your looking for a great meal, great atmoshphere and great service then you wont beat Squid Row!

4 star rating
by David
2nd October 2010

I am a regular at Squid Row for lunch. The food is always consistently good and it is hard to go past the fish & chips.

If planning a lunch make it at 1 when the place starts to become less busy and there is always the option to sit outside. They have a good range on their specials menu.

If you are on foursquare there is a great battle for the mayor and they run a number of events through Twitter.

5 star rating
by Steven B.
5th September 2010

Been here several times and always enjoyed the food.
Nice relaxed evening out.

3 star rating
by Ian
3rd September 2010

Went here for lunch food is well presented and of good quality especially if you like seafood.
Service was good, but we were the only ones there so I would hope so.

4 star rating
by Lillian K.
15th February 2010

Relaxing seafood & surf restuarant. Varying service tho – one time we ordered at the table and another we waited ages to find out we had to order at the bar (both for dinner). Their garlic bread is super awesome and best thing is cocktail happy hour 5 – 7pm for $6!! Food is good but sometimes has an average component (e.g. boring shrimp with a good steak). Good place to hang out casually too.

4 star rating
by Mitch B
8th May 2009

You know sometimes you just want to go for a meal. Not an experience, not an earth shattering moment, just a meal and a beer. With old 50′s style surfy decor this place fits the bill perfectly. We had a beer first at the bar then sat down, setting up a tab was easy, ordering was relaxed from young but smiling girls, and the food was perfect. I had the squid which was amazing, then my son and I shared the platter with all sorts of yummy treats of prawns, mussels, squid, lobster, bread, and dips. You can’t put this place in to a particular category, it’s where I will choose to go when I can’t really decide what I want, but when I know the meal I do get will be fresh, good quality, and the place is cool and relaxed.

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