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St. Heliers Bay Cafe & Bistro

4 star rating 77 reviews

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387 Tamaki Drive

  Cafe, European
7 AM to 11 PM


Reviews for St. Heliers Bay Cafe & Bistro

5 star rating
by Jaya Soma
4 hours ago

Was in St Heliers with one of my friends during the day today so we decided to pop into this neat complex. She had seen photos on Instagram before and said that the food and place looked really good - so we googled and decided to give it a go.

We walked in and it was buzzing. It was around 3ish so seemed as though it is quite busy pretty much all day round! There were a lot of people catching up for meetings and a couple of people having a glass of wine or 2.

As soon as we walked in a table freed up for us to relax at and we were quickly handed a glass of water and menus. My friend and I had just walked up to St Heliers Point lookout so we were in need of something refreshing and the smoothies looked enticing! We both ended up ordering the rhubarb and vanilla smoothie - such a good choice, it was amazing! 👌🏽 Our waiter was very good with selling the food on the menu and talked us into getting the hand cut fries as well! Another good choice though as they came with roasted garlic aioli on the side - the best I have ever tried. It was literally to die for!

We both said that we would definitely be coming back to this place, with all our friends, for a bigger meal! It was a good way to end the afternoon.

5 star rating
by GideonMarisa MasterchefNz2015
12 days ago

Immaculate establishment that sets the standard in fine dining, the view from this place is amazing! The eggs benedict and salmon I had here were magnificent! the staff were friendly and very much attentive! wonderful spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner! #g1

5 star rating
by Julie Tran
18 days ago

Love this place in the first step of entering. The whole interior is soooo lovely. The view to the bay is pretty and relaxing. Staffs are very welcome and friendly too.
I fancy my ice mocha!! When its landed at the table i felt like in chemistry class :)). Although i might not make the right mixture but i love the taste and the sweetness i can control. I had the omellet with smoked fish (seems like i hav this everywhere i go..). I cant finish as there is sooo much eggs. But the seasonings are nice. Smoked fish is lovely. The only down point is my bread is really hard! My boyfriend had poached eggs with mushroom. I tried a bit, love the mushroom!! The eggs are perfectly poached, runny york when cut open

Love the experience here. Will come back

5 star rating
by Julia Nguyen
one month ago

It's a really busy and nice cafe. Love the food and environment here ♥️ Staff are really friendly. I've got Egg Benedict with smoke salmon. It tasted so goooood. I think it's one of the best Egg Benedict I've had. Two other friends ordered the maker fish, bacon & sausage and they were all really happy with their choice.
Overall: 4.5/5 (bonus: it's at beautiful location, right by the beach 👌)

4 star rating
by Mary Smith-Underwood
one month ago

Met my friend here this morning. Luckily already had a table by the window. Seating a little too cramped for my liking but you got used to it.
My friend had the porridge with the rhubarb and chose the hotcakes with apple and toffee sauce. Not sure the sauce was a sauce. More like a sugar syrup. Also the apples tasted like they were out of a tin, but tasty nonetheless. I found the breakfast pretty average but couldn't fault the service. Considering it was father's day it was pretty busy but service was excellent. Sparkling water constantly served.

5 star rating
by Chrissy Low
one month ago

Went there this morning for brunch with my best friend from welly. I had the granola with the poached pear and a flat white. It was a nice light and delicious start to the day. The ambience in the restaurant is always very vibrant.

4 star rating
by Superrfoodie
one month ago

One of Auckland's lovely new delights. The interior design is great and the service is outstanding. Attentive, friendly patient staff real enhance the wonderful experience. The good comes quickly, and sparkling water is constantly topped up. The granola is amazing 8/10 and I would definitely recommend it. #yum

5 star rating
by Emily Pavey
one month ago

Came here recently for brunch and was overly impressed but thought I'd give dinner a go... Much better! Monday night, restaurant was about half full and we had an awesome seat by the window looking over St Heliers. Had a lovely glass of red (good wine list) and the lasagnette for main. Was a vegetarian dish recommended by our awesome waitress and it didn't disappoint. Gorgeous fresh pasta with kale - so fresh, just lovely. Trusted the waitresses recommendation for dessert too and ordered the chocolate tart with poached pear. Not something I'd normally order but one of the best desserts I've had in a long time. My friend had a hot chocolate that you can see in the pics which looked pretty special too! Can't stress how fantastic and friendly the service was!

5 star rating
by India Shores
one month ago

Love this cafe! Service has been brilliant every time I've been and the meals are always excellent. Love the atmosphere and friendly staff. The images are from two separate occasions.

The first time I went, I ordered the eggs benedict which was so tasty and filling. The next time I went I ordered the mushrooms and eggs and it was an equally tasty and filling dish. Highly recommend both meals.

The set up is fresh and modern which is super appealing, and has a wonderful view. The only downside is that it is extremely popular and there can sometimes be a slight wait for a table but it is normally not long.

Would love to come back again to try more of the sweet dishes on the menu!

4 star rating
by Isi
one month ago

This seems to be an 'in' place at the moment and came with good recommendations. I had the hot cakes with apple and salted toffee sauce - the latter of which I barely tasted, let alone saw. The Mascarpone on top did make up for this though, but the meal didn't quite stack up to the race reviews.

5 star rating
by Joanne Chiang
one month ago

Yummy! Good atmosphere and good food! My partner ordered the smoked fish and i got the smashed eggs. The combination in our food sounded a bit odd but after we have our food, we had no complaints. It suprisingly worked well. We also ordered a small pizza to share. By the end of it. We were satisfied and full!

4 star rating
by The One With A Nut Allergy...
2 months ago

Great Sunday brunch to start the day. We were a group of 4 adults and a 7-month old and though it was very crowded the morning we went - they managed to accommodate for space with a carriage and seated us within a 20-minute window!

Waitresses were patient when I asked multiple times about which items could be made nut/peanut free- it can be a bit deterring to ask on busy mornings when you see waitresses stressed running around- but they took the time- thanks!

I ordered the wagyu burger which wasn't particularly jumping with 'difference' to other burgers I've had but the fresh cut fries were well seasoned. My 3 friends were happy with their choices but not jumping! 

The restaurant itself is a pretty sight overlooking the beach! Great assortment of take out items as well! Will come back to try on a less busy morning! 

Peanut-Nut Friendliness: - YES - Extra points for patience with my questions! !
Environment: 6.5/10
Taste: 6/10

5 star rating
by Bri DiMattina
2 months ago

Weekday brunch siting by the window overlooking the bay with coffee and the paper is probably one of the best spots in Auckland... and a completely spoilt way to start any day!

The menu is really fresh and bright - brimming with great seasonal combinations - brussel sprouts (I know - not everyone can do a brussel sprout) broccolini, tossed in butter and almonds with 'smashed' eggs on top - It was really a wonderful 'winter' version of a salad.

Agria potatoes layered with bacon then eggs and topped with a perfect hollandaise - again a winter version of eggs 'bene'.  Really felt seasonal versions of brunch.

4 star rating
by Helena Chen
2 months ago

I've visited a few times for a quick ice-cream stop while at the beach; the flavours are true to the names and so delicious, while the texture is always very creamy and smooth. I love the location of the cafe, and it's so nice to sit by the open windows on a warm summers day. As with the other HIP group restaurants, their service is always very professional & friendly, but they do have the option to add a tip at the till, so sometimes it can be a little bit intense..!

Sarah Reynolds #challenge

5 star rating
by Ashleigh Jacobs
2 months ago

Oh how I love this place ! The food is beautiful and seasonal the view is great it never fails to disappoint. I've brunched here more than once on a Sunday morning with my girlfriends and everything always sounds amazing, looks amazing and more importantly taste amazing. The coffee is always great too! Would highly recommend for a Sunday brunch catch up with the girls

5 star rating
by Brittany Montana
2 months ago

Mmmm the hip group know how to do cafes right! It's on the expensive side, however your paying for quality food and service! I never leave disappointed. There is an art to great scrambled eggs, and St Heliers Bay Bistro have it mastered! Highly recommend. Great for Sunday brunch, however I must warn that it's popular, so it may take a while to be seated.

4 star rating
by B D H
3 months ago

Good food, great,stylish fitout and yummy food.the sparking water is a nice touch! Great menu selection! Like many of its sister restaurants (Rosie and Takapuna Beach Cafe) it's a stylish venue! Only quam is the number of people that are crammed into and inside space in winter. Great tho and a purge cut breakfast or lunch choice -best of the bays!

5 star rating
by Anthony Ellis
3 months ago

Always delivers good food and a great environment. Definitely recommended, get their apple and rhubarb crumble and their affogato, it was delicious.

5 star rating
by Jacob Black
3 months ago

The best thing about this place is the staff. So professional yet so friendly at the same time. Such a great location
Oh and then theres the food! Such a great selection and great flavours! Loved the lamb Pizzette
And then theres the cake deli... the jam doughnut WOW love love love

you must try this place

3 star rating
by Gem McLeod
3 months ago

This was my second visit to St. Heliers Cafe & Bistro - after a fairly average first experience, I decided to give this place another chance. Sadly it was an overall disappointment, particularly in comparison to their sister store, Ortolana, which I had a delightful visit to last week.

Service upon arriving at the restaurant was great - the waiter was attentive and immediately brought us to our table. The atmosphere in the restaurant is nice, with soft lighting and blankets too. I did feel however that the tables weren't spaced apart very well and it was not much fun when one table next to us decided to watch YouTube videos while the other chatted on her cellphone.

Things went downhill when I asked about the vegan offerings - I don't think this place should have "vegan and vegetarian friendly" listed in its highlights! I was told that the ONLY thing on the menu that I could have as a vegan option was the beetroot salad minus the feta - I had this dish at my last visit and found it less than impressive, so I declined this and asked the waiter to ask the chef what would be arranged. He came back and forth, told me to "make up what I wanted out of ingredients on the menu," and made me feel rather awkward about my dietary requirements. Not that he even really seemed to know what "vegan" meant - "do you eat dairy?" He was a lovely guy but just really wasn't too skilled with his job.

Eventually I managed to order a salad with roasted potatoes, brussels sprouts, broccolini and some very odd looking (i.e. black) walnuts on a pumpkin puree. It was very dry and incredibly bland tasting - something I could easily make at home for a fraction of the price (it was $22).

My partner ordered the beer-battered fish and chips, and comments "their version at creating flair with this dish was adding a lump of dry coleslaw on the side."

This joint really needs to work on becoming more veggie-friendly and seasoning their food properly.

Not somewhere I am likely to return to for dinner.

Food: 2/5
Service: 2/5
Value: 2/5

Instagram: @recoveringraw

5 star rating
by Jonathan Towers
3 months ago

I come here nearly 5 days a week.. The service is second to none... They are really friendly... The food is just amazing... They really care about you and how yiu feel... I have been to every single cafe in St heilers and mission Bay.... Look no further... You have found your utopia... The only problem is that when you try another place to eat at... Yiu always comparing it to this place...

4 star rating
by Muesli.Lover101
3 months ago

Went on a Saturday afternoon for coffee with friends. Coffee was really good! Service was good and was to nice to have sparkling water, staff also really onto it with re filling - would definitely come back!

4 star rating
by Olivia Round
4 months ago

Amazing gelato (when it's cold, horrible when melted and should not be served). Great range of award winning flavours. Average coffee and weird hot chips. Great place to go for dessert though, my friends and I love getting the knickerbocker ice cream sundaes. Great how they service sparkling water. Service can sometimes be a bit overwhelming and come across a bit fake, but still nicer than snobby waiters!
Taste: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Value: 4/5
Must try: coconut choc chip gelato

5 star rating
by Gaetano
4 months ago

Great place I go there every day for coffee and pastries the staff is very friendly.
I recommend this place to anyone.
When you are in St Heliers that's the place to go. Nowhere else in St Heliers

5 star rating
by Brian Chan
4 months ago

Perfect Saturday brunch, even on a rainy day. Not the best for kids but faultless food and coffee. Would definitely come back. Even had Almond Milk for my dairy-free toddler!

4 star rating
by XX_Mystery_Reviewer_Xx
4 months ago

Great place great food amazing service

Location - 10/10
Food is yum
Gelato > Food (sorry)
Service is amazing
Sparkling water 
Don't have to wait that long
Prices are worth it
Good for breakfast
They open the door for you  

Seats and tables are slightly small and cramped ( if you're big )
Tables are obnoxiously close making it awkward when you eat (e.g. someone stares at you as you eat)
Limited Menu

5 star rating
by Aniva Huang
4 months ago

I love st heliers cafe and bistro!
The food is always delicious and fresh.

You can honestly taste the quality ingredients they use. There is always a perfect balance between the flavours of the meat, veggies and sauce. It's never over powering !

If you're feeling extra hungry I recommend the duck fat potatoes to share or a small pizza to share!

4 star rating
by Maheen M
5 months ago

Been here several time for coffee and a few times for lunch and dinner. Food places in St Heliers has really improved over the last few years. This place is probably the best in the area. Service is always top notch. Highly recommended.

5 star rating
by A.w
5 months ago

Fantastic food, well priced. The presentation and care in presentation is certainly noticed. Service staff very attentive and patient and would highly recommend.

5 star rating
by Chin And Prony Powichitkul
5 months ago

Just love everything about this place!
Have been in for both lunch and dinner and have never been disappointed.
Well thought out set up with a nice ambiance. Lovely quality decor which often gives that cosy feeling but still manages to give the professional feel too.
As for food- always perfect both sweets and mains!
Their market fish dish is always lovely for dinner.
For brunch, we normally grab the pancakes or order from the cabinet which is surprisingly still fresh. Coffee is consistent and up to standards.
Service is 5 star. Attentive, polite and professional. Hard to find this whole combination!

5 star rating
by Chloe Mae Repia
5 months ago

This is our local- great coffee ( as per the store in Kohi) amazing selection of food, love having a sneaky vino with lunch when coming here plus there take away selection is good to get a sneaky brioche in the side

5 star rating
by Nat C
5 months ago

We did a low key Valentine's Day and got lunch at St Heliers Bay Cafe, we didn't have to wait too long (yay!). Our waiter was really helpful with the menu, he recommended the chicken cotoletta which was delicious. My bf had the haloumi salad. It is a bit more expensive than your average cafe but it's definitely worth it.

5 star rating
by Sheena
6 months ago

this place is amazing. the interior is warm, inviting and the ambience is perfect. the iced mocha was great as well. i loved how it was customisable — you could add as much coffee or milk as you wanted. the hot cakes were fluffy and the flavours mixed well together. aaaaargh!!! definitely coming back here again.

0 star rating
by Renata S
8 months ago

Very disappointing.... The smashed eggs were a big let down.. Two tiny eggs on a bed of lettuce with some beans and zucchini. It was plain and boring..It was drowning in dressing but lacked any flavour.. The portion size did not justify the price..
The atmosphere was nice and looked inviting, but the menu did not compliment it at all. We will not return..

4 star rating
by Two Dark Coffees
8 months ago

Starting the New Year how I mean to go on, I decided to drag myself out of bed last Saturday morning to join my sister on a run around the bays.

We ended up at St. Heliers which is a lovely suburb to be in in the morning. But I think it's best appreciated sitting in St. Heliers Bay Cafe and Bistro being poured their very own sparkling water with a view of waves lapping the shoreline.

We were stopping in to get a healthy juice or smoothie mid-run but I couldn't help myself ordering one of their sliders and a cinnamon brioche...oops.

In my defence I picked up a healthy juice as well.

The juices had a smooth texture and were very refreshing. I'd recommend trying out a couple of the flavours as there are a few to choose from and they were reasonably priced as well.

The Slider was egg which I'm not generally a fan of but this was good. Nothing out standing but the price wasn't ether so no complaints.

I would closely compare the cinnamon brioche to the one I had at Cafe on Kohi which is a compliment. Both soft and sugary!

This place has the sophisticated, modern vibe down to a tee. Although it's a bit out of the way for me, the beach view and excellent service is worth coming back for!

4 star rating
by LizzieB
10 months ago

Mmmm. Gorgeous view, better menu. Yay for the fish and chips - chunky wedge style potatoes, fresh sea food. Reasonably priced. I liked the presentation too. Batter on the fish was not too oily, sufficiently crisp - well salted but not overwhelmingly so :) I can't wait to try more.

5 star rating
by Jen Hilford
11 months ago

Generous portions and fantastic coffee, the view is lovely too. Great breakfast spot, eggs benedict and pancakes in the morning is the way to go, shame about the delicate wobbly tables.

5 star rating
by Laura Hunt
11 months ago

Today I came here with my sister for brunch. It wasn't busy (being a Tuesday morning) and we got greeted and seated immediately.
I ordered the 7 seed granola and house hot chocolate and my sister ordered the hot cakes and iced mocha. I was pleasantly surprised to find out they had a big range of different milk, so I chose to have almond milk! My granola was awesome! It was crunchy and the rhubarb and yoghurt that came with it was delicious. The hot cakes were also delicious. The pear and mascarpone that came with was so good. They were also perfect sizes! The drinks were also really nice. I love having deconstructed drinks so points for that!
The food, service and atmosphere were all great, I can't wait to go back.

4 star rating
by Frank
11 months ago

Great location looking out over the water at St Heliers, nicely laid out with seating and an internal courtyard where you can wait and order cabinet food to takeaway. Even though the cafe was chock full we didn't have to wait long for our buzzer to go off. Table size was a bit small, but then it's probably necessary considering how popular it is here, and did I mention how amazing the cabinet food / desserts and gelato looked! I had the smoked fish omelette which I couldn't fault (although I don't think it's necessary to serve omelette with toasted bread), and the service was super friendly, so can definitely recommend this cafe!

5 star rating
by Steve Harvie
Oct 14, 2014

I've had breakfast an lunch here numerous times because it's a great place to eat! The menu has lots of very good food, you really can't go wrong with any choice and the coffee is good. It deserves its reputation as one of Auckland's best.

4 star rating
by Monica
Oct 10, 2014

What bumps this cafe up that little more for me is the location and design. It's a delightful view of the waterfront, especially if the weather is being kind and the modern, comfortable interior gives it that feel of sophistication while dining. Food is simply yum, with prices and portion sizes fair - bacon was in the right amount unlike other places that often skimp out, I also like the different combinations offered on the pizzettas. Service good, with a lovely atmosphere, what's not to like.

4 star rating
by Des Shinnick
Sep 10, 2014

Food outstanding - Coffee poor.

We stopped in for Sunday brunch. The wait wasn't long for a table. We ordered the smoked fish omelette a clear 5/5. I enjoyed every mouthful. My wife had the hot cakes. She loved them. Coffees were a bit of a let down. Her small flat white coffee was incredible weak. 1/5. We let the wait staff know and they proceeded to explain with excuses. "It's weaker because it's one shot. Would you like two shots?"  Actually it was very milky and clearly the barista was out of their depth. It tasted like a 1/4shot. My large coffee was better but not great. 2.5/5. My wife explained to the waiter that the problem was not a single shot. She's a top barista. She said it's just weak. No offer of a replacement coffee. My wife didn't finish her coffee. When we paid we let the person taking the payment know. They asked what was wrong with the coffee and again we explained and again no offer to drop the price, or no apology just an acknowledgment of our comments. 

So why the 4.0. Well the smoked fish omelette was an easy 5. My wife rated the hotcakes highly. The coffee and response to customer complaints is weak. We've had coffee here previously and it was fine. If we get another dud coffee we'll probably bail on the place for a while. Oh and definitely send it straight back.

5 star rating
by A Food Awakening
Aug 08, 2014

The Hip Group brings St Heliers Bay Cafe & Bistro. This place is a winner! My cousin and I dined here for lunch. 

The decor is beautiful. Its very modern but warming at the same time. All though there a lot of tables and all quite close to one another it's not too over bearing. This place is done right. The food was delicious and those fries, so yum! The one little let down was that my fish was slightly over cooked, but I was too hungry at the time to send it back, however they were happy to take constructive criticism when I mentioned it after the meal.

You get an awesome view of the water whilst you eat and are served by lovely people. If you are in a rush they also have a takeout menu on side. Def recommend and come for a visit! Good food, value and service!

3 star rating
by Marty C
Jun 16, 2014

The most variable restaurant I've ever visited. From the time it first opened my wife and I have been regulars, averaging around 2 visits a month. Even so, no one ever recognises us and welcomes us back, even after spending over $700 on a lunch there once, then dining there the very next day.
However I can say that the food is fairly consistent and the house wines always good. Service can vary but mostly it's very good.
A little crowded and noisy at times.
Worth considering though.

3 star rating
by Jane Sewell
May 04, 2014

I agree with other people that there seems to be ongoing issues here in relation to the balance between style and substance. Well-presented wait staff are never likely to be the deciding factor in the overall experience. I went for lunch this week with a friend and was more than happy to pay decent money for a good quality experience. Sadly, the meals were disappointing. I gave half my lamb - slow cooked and tasty but insufficient moistness in the pumpkin purée and chickpeas made it too dry a combination to really enjoy) - to my friend who had chosen the beetroot and feta salad. This tasted good at first, but at $22, it was largely just beet root, with a few meagre crumbs of feta. Underwhelming, to say the least. The service was attentive, but still a few unnecessary slip ups. Stylish for sure, but only average food wise.

5 star rating
by Jenny J
Feb 07, 2014

Its always good to hear from locals when reviewing restaurants and locals we are. We love this place and frequent it from dawn (after morning run or swim) to dusk (catching up with friends, family, work colleagues). We love the staff, the coffee the sparkling water, bar selection and menu. Its great bistro food, always fresh and well presented without being fussy. Favourites include the lamb, pine nut and tomato pizzetta as a starter and the lamb shoulder with labneh sultanas and lentils as a main. Finishing dinner with affogato is never a bad move. If there is a wait for dinner, enjoy a craft beer or prosecco at the in-house bar and enjoy the magnificent view and ambience, or as an alternative, take your lobster buzzer and wait at another bar or on the beach until you are buzzed for your table. This place outshines anything else the bay has to offer.

5 star rating
by Jason Henning
Feb 02, 2014

Great food and friendly attentive service.. Love your entrees, the breads were very tasty and a real surprise. First time visit to this lovely little Cafe and it certainly won't be the last. The lamb shoulder was excellent, the best I've experienced in a long time.. Cooked to juicy perfection and topped off with a harmonic blend of fresh and subtle flavours.. Another highlight for me was the Hallertau Pale Ale Number 2 beer.. wow.. that is awesome.. I'm planning to visit the brewery in the near future.. Thanks guys, great job, impressed.

2 star rating
by Jane Hirst
Feb 01, 2014

We have enjoyed the Bistro since it opened as well as Cafe Kohi and the cafe in Takapuna, staff and food 1st class. However, last night we went down for supper and were greeted by a very pleasant young man who told us there was a wait. He thought about 30 minutes so we decided to stay, he was true to his word and it was just under the time he had said when we sat down. We ordered and received our starter very promptly but then had to wait an hour and still no sign of our mains. We told our waitress who apologised profusely but still no mains course. We then noticed people around us who had not been there long getting their meals and told another member of staff. Eventually a female who appeared to be management and rather unpleasant brought our meals and made a sarcastic comment of "have you been waiting"!!!!! There was no attempt of an apology from her and her attitude suggested she couldn't care less.
On leaving my husband told the young gentleman who was extremely apologetic and said he would report the incident. Will we be back, not sure, as the menu is very limited and seldom changed plus the attitude of one member of staff is appalling, for one who seems to be in a managerial position.

4 star rating
by Loved By Katie
Jan 31, 2014

It was a Saturday night but we were there to avoid disappointments. The atmosphere was modern and simple.

We started with a Hearth Breads with seasalt & rosmary ($10) and a Wood fired baked clams, passata & sourdough($12). Generous amount and the clams were tasty with a tomato-based sauce. Price on everything seems to be reasonable here which was a plus.

I had the Char grilled flat iron steak, wilted spinach & creamed oyster mushrooms ($25). I've asked for a medium but this was more like well done-medium which was a bit shame. Everything matched to each other perfectly though. Mushrooms, spinach and the potato croquette...

My friend ordered fish of the day which was grilled snapper with salads. Salad tasted fantastic with lightly cooked capsicums, but fish was too bland. I guess our expectations were high. I didn't know exactly what those cubes were - maybe a cheese and potato croquettes? This didn't go well with the rest of the dish so my friend left them out.

We were super full but I had to try their dessert. Tiramisu ($9.5) is one of my favorite so I was really looking forward to this but... It was touch too creamy for me. I enjoy a light and puffy ones but the creamcheese here was very solid. There were only small portion of the sponge cake which made it harder to eat... Damn it, I should've gone for the rhubarb & custard crumble... Not to worry, there is always a next time. I would love to come back and try other dishes.

Please visit ♥ http://lovedbykatie.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/st-heliers-bay-cafe-bistro-st-heliers.html for more photos and stories.

2 star rating
by Lee Jones
Jan 27, 2014

After having enjoyed excellent meals in the past, we were very disappointed with our selections from the recently revised menu. The romano burger was underwhelming, and the accompanying small portion of chips was almost inedible due to the fact that an excessive amount of salt had been added prior to serving. Hopefully a blip in the otherwise high standard that we have experienced previously.

3 star rating
by Sue
Jan 22, 2014

A friend and I eat here for lunch recently. I have been to the other cafes in this chain before and always have been impressed by the staff and the individual attention and friendliness that is given. But a packed out restaurant does not mean that the food is fabulous. Expectations are very high now for restaurants to give us something a little different with the wow factor, because we are now cooking very nice food for ourselves at home in the style and quality of recipes from Jamie, Libby Weaver and Nadia Lim. It is so easy to be disappointed now when eating out.
Why are places so stingy with vegetables? I want to see and taste zingy crunchy vegetables, mixed with fresh herbs and made in house dressings; colour, texture, crunch and innovation (how about spiraled carrots).
The fresh squeezed juice was served in a cold glass but the juice was warmish having just come out of the juicer. A bit of ice would have helped. The chicken liver pizette was different but the livers were dry and there was just a sprinkling of micro-greens on top. At least they weren't those ghastly stringy pea-shoot things that get stuck in your teeth and throat that I've had at Ortolana.
The chips and agria potatoes were good and generous.
I feel this is a place for people to be seen with the food not so important.

1 star rating
by John Langham
Jan 12, 2014

Meet and Greet, sparkling water - Great!
BUT the food far below par!
The smallest menu in town.
Fish and Chips, Burger and Chips, Pork dish.....
I selected the pork dish.
What a disappointment!!!! Dry as.... Tasted like cardboard!
My wife had the Burger.
Just another disappointment. No lettuce, no tomato, no nothing but yesterdays bun.
We are local, but we will never be back.
(And of course will tell our friends about this bad experience)
What a disappointing evening.
Desert was pony camp food.

BUT the service was great!

4 star rating
by Elizabeth Dichter
Jan 05, 2014

Excellent spot for waterside dining, either a lighter fare to a great meal....From the table service with complimentary sparkling water to marvelous fish dishes with lovely veggie presentations, this is a treasure on Mission Bay where the real estate values can overshadow the quality of restaurant dining...Definitely will be a regular there.

3 star rating
by Lara Wills
Dec 30, 2013

Popped in on the weekend for a coffee and brioche to take away. Service at the counter was lovely and friendly. A bit of a wait for coffee, which was fine given how crazy busy the cafe was. Just a shame the coffee I was handed was luke warm and the brioche i asked to be heated was cold. I could have complained and asked for another coffee and for the brioche to be heated, however the place was so busy, and I didn't have time to wait around for another hot coffee to be made. A cafe that can't get the basics right really needs to lift its game given the competition in the area. I may give it another shot if I'm in St Heliers again and won't write this place off just yet, but disappointing visit thus far.

5 star rating
by Maggie G
Dec 30, 2013

First of all, just to be picky. St Heliers Bay Bistro and Cafe is on the waterfront at ST HELIERS not Mission Bay and is in the new modern glass building on the corner of Tamaki Drive and Maheke St not halfway along that block as the map shows. Once found though, it's a great venue - classy and modern with great views out to Rangitoto and offering something for everyone at anytime of day. We went for brunch and though very busy the service was friendly and efficient and we got our meals quite quickly The Big Healthy is popular and lives up to its name with plenty of veg and healthy grain toast. Eggs Bene was delicious with bacon and the wood fired mushrooms divine.The coffee is good but there's a huge selection of other drinks, teas and shakes and smoothies, a comprehensive wine list and several cocktails on offer. There's a lovely courtyard if you have to wait for a table and also a servery for muffins and pastries and cakes and ice creams to take away The two preschoolers with us were welcomed and enjoyed their scrambled egg and lashings of bacon!
I'd like to go back soon and sample the lunch menu.and after that maybe dinner! The menus looked great

5 star rating
by Richard Goodall
Dec 18, 2013

Went to St Heliers Cafe and Bistro for dinner tonight. Fantastic food and wine and a very good waiter. The fish of the day was Blue Nose which was cooked to perfection and we also had the lamb which was easy to pull apart and cooked and presented beautifully. The desert menu is highly recommended. A great night out and very reasonably priced. Highly recommended.

4 star rating
by Carmella @ Easy Food Hacks
Nov 26, 2013

St Helier’s Bistro is well set up as a neighbourhood restaurant. It’s open all day, 7 days of the week, it’s smart casual and the menu offers everything from breakfast to supper and everything in between, even ice-creams for those walks along St Helier’s Bay.

It’s in the middle of the range of the HIP Group range of restaurants. It does not have the sophisticated range of Ortolana, but is more upmarket than Café on Kohi. The desserts come from Milse, the bakery and dessert restaurant of the group.

I have visited several times; for lunch, dinner and for a supper snack. St Helier’s Bistro comes alive during lunch; watching the passers-by on the beach, sinking onto the comfortable cushions, and sipping on their marvellous ice teas (Mango star is my favourite). They have the most innovative menu of non-alcoholic beverages I have ever seen; there’s sodas (try the rhubarb & apple), juices (there Kumeu red pear juice on offer), smoothies (even a dairy-free one), a list of hot chocolates and iced teas.

At dawn and sunset however, the sun’s glares hits the bistro, and you are offered sunhats. Best to bring your sunglasses if you are dining at sundown. The service is what St Helier’s Bistro does best. Service is genuinely friendly and efficient. You really feel you’re being looked after.

The food is tasty, and most of the offerings are quite traditional. I do like their presentation; it’s inviting, rustic and colourful. The menu, or the flavours didn’t excite me, but this isn’t really a place to be wowed. This is a place to stop by for an easy meal in beautiful, relaxed surroundings and be taken care of.

4 star rating
by Andrew R
Nov 06, 2013

My wife, son and I went there today for lunch. We got there early so no wait but it quickly filled up. The food was very tasty - My wife and I had the market fish which was pan fried Hapuka with the skin on, served on Pearl Barley. The fish was delicious and had a very nice green pea reduction with incorporated flavours of mint and lemon, that was drizzled around the outside of the plate. It seemed to complement the fish very well. My son had the Fish and Chips which he enjoyed. We also ordered a side of the Agria fries which were very good. Once it got busy though the service did slow down a fair bit. We all had a Pear and Hazelnut pie with Mascapone for dessert. Overall we were very happy with the food but would recommend you get here early. We intend to return to try some of the other offerings on the menu.

0 star rating
by Rosely
Nov 05, 2013

Lovely cafe by the beach. Service was excellent and the juices were lovely. The handkerchief pasta with zucchini, asparagus, feta and pine nuts was a standout and a beautiful light dish for summer. A definite local favourite on this visit to auckland.

1 star rating
by Peet
Oct 27, 2013

Me and my family decided to check this place after reading the review in metro. We drove down from shore, but the host was very rude. She seemed to be not wanting us their. We left without eating.....I won't recommend St Heliers Cafe to anyone.

3 star rating
by Fiona
Oct 05, 2013

Friendly staff, excellent service . Food was average, lacked seasoning ( we nearly used the whole dish of salt ) .

1 star rating
by Lynn Josephine Lim
Aug 30, 2013

Changed our mind about this place. Duty manager/maitre d not professional with dealing, kept telling us it is ok to eat pink chicken and that's the way it is cooked and the meat itself is naturally pink even after cooking. Sadly the other dish - hamburger is lacking in seasoning and tasted bland. We were blamed for making one of the wait staff upset with our initial complain hence I deemed this very unprofessional and uncalled for. Again, eateries should always bare in mind that some of your customers are in the hospitality industry themselves and would have firsthand knowledge on appropriate and professional complains dealing.

0 star rating
by CoffeeCafeTime
Aug 06, 2013

Wow! What a cafe. Great staff topped off with excellent good and not bad coffee. Well done.

2 star rating
by Kate
Aug 06, 2013

Terrible service!!!
We were at the Bistro on Sunday afternoon with a group of 8 and were given the full menu while waiting for our table. We all agreed the menu looked good so decided to eat there.
When we were seated we were given a smaller snack menu and were informed that is all they have at that time. We questioned the waitress about this menu and the limited availability of items on it. She was unbelievably rude to us and spoke to us like we were idiots. We couldn't believe how blatantly rude she was when we only asking reasonable questions about what was available and at what time! We were shocked and embarrassed and ruined the experience.
I am really disappointed as I used to like this place.

5 star rating
by Angela Nicholson
Jul 14, 2013

My self and 3 friends went there for brunch. Great place - very busy but the staff were so onto it. The food was fab and the portions generous. The waiter was very attentive and entertaining. We will be back !

3 star rating
by Ccameron
Jun 29, 2013

I am a local and have been a fan of St Heliers Bistro from the beginning. ...However - my last visit in early June was disappointing.
The eggs benedict was still perfectly flavoured and balanced but half the size of previous visits.
Obvious cost cutting and defensive waiting staff is hopefully a one off.
The view,the atmosphere,the interiors and excellent Maitre D's still top class. The kitchen needs to pull its socks up to match.

3 star rating
by Vicky Mcloughlin
Jun 23, 2013

I know this place is busy, but having to wait outside in the cold and rain mid June is pushing it a little. It would be nice to to be able to book a table if you have 4 or more so that you are not 'literally' left standing out in the cold with friends and family.

The smoked fish was on the bland side and the pulled pork burger is missing a 'wow' factor. However, mostly an enjoyable meal with great service which was nice and prompt.

A booking system for group diners would allow for a more pleasant experience - at least for busy times or winter.

4 star rating
by Florella Keen
Jun 11, 2013

St Heliers Cafe & Bistro has become a new regular of mine. From the excellent food, to stunning views and great staff, if you are in St Heliers for a meal, look no further. For brunch I would highly recommend their Fried agria & caramelised onion hash with rocket & a poached egg. Simply delish!

3 star rating
by Margaret Webster
Jun 07, 2013

We were looking forward to visiting but maybe we both picked the wrong meals and had too higher expectations. The pulled pork burger was okay, a bit dry and tasteless. The chips were great but was expecting the tomato sauce to be made in house. It seemed to taste like Heinz.
We also didn't like the fact you were just given fizzy water...
Great view and very proactive service but it almost seemed fake.
Not sure if we will be back...

3 star rating
by Rae Froggatt
Jun 04, 2013

Great location. Great views. Great staff. Been there a few times now. The staff are always fabulous - well informed, friendly and helpful.
For our last visit, over the weekend, we waited nearly an hour for a table. We sat outside in the sheltered courtyard under gas heaters - this we were happy to do given the staff are so nice and the food to date had been pretty good.
So we were finally seated when they were getting near to the end of their service - the tables around us were finishing up their meals. The entree was fabulous - but our two mains were disappointing. I had the slow cooked lamb - it was raw - not rare, RAW. There was no evidence of cooking at all save a quick seal around the edges. Slow cooked should imply cooked, succulent, tender, melt-in-your-mouth etc - it was none of these. It was raw, grisly, and cold. My partner ordered the roast pork that was advertised with a number of things including crackling. There was no crackling. The pork was delicious - but no crackling :-(
The only conclusion I can come to is if you arrive or are seated near the end of their service you are likely to get food cooked or prepared hurriedly - and you are likely to be disappointed. Unfortunately, they do not have a booking system in place, so if you want to get a table and GOOD food that is actually cooked, go early to improve your chances.

2 star rating
by Karl
May 26, 2013

The location is really good an up until now we were regular guests. The food seems to be getting more average and no longer up to standard. We had a "slow" cooked lamb which was still uncooked and fatty and a very cheap cut.

Other meal qualities and quantities very too much.

Wine is being served not as cold as it should be and it looks like we are getting the same excuses as other guest,e.g "the wine has just arrived an is not chilled yet".

One other point is that whenever we visit we get either rushed to order or rushed to finish to make room for the next wave of visitors. The tables are too small to eat comfortably.

Not really acceptable. Will not go back in a hurry.

5 star rating
by Katherine
May 24, 2013

My friend recommended this place and my sister and I wanted to wanted to take our mother out for a special belated mothers day lunch. We were not disappointed at all, the service was excellent and my sister commented "slick, they just have it so sorted" while it was busy we didn't feel rushed, or stressed. I was a bit concernd bringing in my 4 year old boy but they made him feel just as welcome as us, offered a childrens menu immediately and asked if he wanted smaller cutlery. The waiter even took him to the freezer to see what flavour gelato he wanted. Our meals were all wonderful, eggs benedict, pulled pork burger, salmon salad (lovely to see lots of salmon) and a fish and chips meal for my son.

We will definitely return, and I will look forward to working my way though the menu.

5 star rating
by F Cube .
Apr 28, 2013

Had lunch , table for 2. Good feel in the restaurant, busy, but not overwhelming. A bit of staff overkill, but better that than the contrary. Waiter was good, with a sense of humor!
Ordered the tomato salad, and livers with bacon. Livers were cooked to perfection!
I liked the sparkling water - nice change from the usual plain water. A nice point of difference with other places. Very European idea.
Price is fair for quality and portion size.
They serve Allpress coffee, which is always a bonus.
Definitely recommend this place. Chef Marc has done a great job with this place.

5 star rating
by Stuart Ross
Apr 21, 2013

Awesome food! Great service! Great coffee!

Always greeted nicely with an offer to sit down, a glass of sparkling water, and the paper! The owners of this establishment have just plainly got everything right!!

5 star rating
by Noelene Walker
Mar 10, 2013

We have been regular diners at this lovely restaurant since it opened. We couldn't fault it on the first night and haven't on subsequent visits (generally one night a week). The menu is simple and the food beautifully executed, in fact we haven't ordered one thing we haven't enjoyed. Also congratulations to the owners as they have kept their prices where they are affordable to everyone old and young. Great friendly staff, superb views, what more can I say!

2 star rating
by R Winder
Feb 26, 2013

We visited this cafe on the spur of the moment, for a drink, hearth bread and chips. It was so enjoyable we returned with others the following weekend. Our visit was a roller coaster of good and bad. Waiting staff were nice, service good, BUT the Roasted Beet salad used tinned beetroot which was totally unacceptable, our bottle of pinot gris arrived warm (after complaining, we were told the wine order only arrived an hour earlier so wasn't chilled; funnily enough, two days later a friend got told exactly the same thing when her wine was warm! Not good), other meals were average, but the final straw was, the second we finished our coffees were asked to vacate the table as a group had been waiting for a table for 30 minutes. Totally unacceptable and something that ruined what had been a pleasant but disappointing lunch. We are reluctant to return.

5 star rating
by Loulou
Jan 10, 2013

We had lunch here a few weeks ago and it was outstanding. All of the staff there were attentive, friendly and the service was fast! We took our 5 week old baby (first lunch out!), so we didn't want to have to wait too long. Even though the restaurant was heaving, our meals came very quickly. There were other kids and babies there, a mixed clientele of all types and the atmosphere was welcoming, buzzing and friendly, as well as professional. The menu and food is divine, we were very impressed. All in all, the food, service, decor and location are all fantastic. We're really excited to have a really quality cafe & restaurant in the area, with top notch food & service to match!