Loulou N. said: "I love this new eatery and Oyster Bar! A great Kiwi theme done with style rather than tacky. Al Brown is one of our best chefs who specialises in local and wild fare, the food was divine and a great laid back yet still stylish…" read more »
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.
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.
Friendly staff, excellent service . Food was average, lacked seasoning ( we nearly used the whole dish of salt ) .
Both hubby and I had the pulled pork burger. Great for hubby but too salty for myself. Maitre d/head waiter very professional – listened, took in my feedback and dealt with it well; offer to prepare another meal or ice cream/gelato. Because of their professionalism, will most certainly return to try other menu items.
It’s not the place for a big group – Bistro means SMALL people , wikipedia below:
“bistro /ˈbiːstroʊ/, sometimes spelled bistrot, is, in its original Parisian incarnation, a small restaurant serving moderately priced simple meals in a modest setting.”
Bugs me when people say “we went there and they couldn’t take 8 of us for an hour…” anyways, rant over, some people are idiots and this place rocks !
NOVEMBER UPDATE: Still my favourite place, have tried most of the menu but never ordered the Romano burger until lat week. Seemed a shame to order a burger when the rest i=of the menu is so much more interesting , but have to say this was a fantastic burger. Cooked MEDIUM RARE which I love and nobody in NZ seems to do. It is beef Rib meat which they grind themselves , sear it on the hot plate and then finish it off in the blistering hot pizza oven. That gives you a nice crust on the pattie and the middle is tender and pink but also hot all the way thru. Some places try offering medium burgers by just cooking the pattie less (ahem, Citizen Park) but this just makes the outside hot and middle raw and cold. Hot plate, then oven is the way to go – the bun is also their own concoction , just fantastic – it $24 , but you can get it takeaway with their amazing fries for $16!
The main thing I like about it, (along with Ortolana) – it’s always open. No matter when you are hungry, you can go there. Must have been about 20 times by now, the Hearth Breads with Anchovies, the Crab Toasties , Roast Chook sandwiches to go are a fave. Gelato in the summer of course as well. Have a look at the menu, it speaks for itself – in fact I am off there right now. Bye.
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.
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 !
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.
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.
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!
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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!
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.
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!
Powered by menumania.co.nz