Reviews for Vinnies Restaurant
by Susie Waiste
12 days ago
My husband and I are self-proclaimed foodies but I have to say “Vinnies” was a totally differently level of culinary skill and was the most excellent meal we had on our trip through three different countries and continents. I was sent a wonderful recommendation to dine at “Vinnies” and we did our last night in Auckland New Zealand. I can only say it was an incredible dining experience. I didn’t realize until my husband I sat down what a wonderful dining experience was to come. The Chef came out to greet us and tell us of the delicious options to choose from. Every mouth full was a taste bud delight. It was well worth the price and would highly recommend. The menu showcased the local meats, fish and veggies. Kumara a New Zealand sweet potato was a wonderful surprise and truly delicious, as I have never been a fan of any sweet potato. I felt slightly under-dress but the staff were excellent and poo-pooed me when I brought it up, very experienced and professional.
Don’t miss out on the experienced to dine at “Vinnies” a 5 star experience, where every mouthful is a delicious experience. I wish we had have selected the five course dinner, we only did a three course but it was still amazing. I think I will dream about your smoked infused butter. Truly a “ Fine Dining” experience.
one month ago
I came here for my birthday dinner in August. My parents had been here before, but a long time ago. So we thought we’d try it out! It’s a nice fine dining restaurant. We had a waitress who I think must have been new. She wasn’t bad, there were just little things that we noticed. However, there was another waitress who seemed to be running the place. She was really friendly, genuine and attentive.
We were first served a fresh warm bun each, as a complimentary starter. There was olive oil, salt and butter to have with it too. Then we were given another complimentary dish, which was a pumpkin soup in a cute little milk jar. It was to be drunk through the straw, which was a fun way to drink the soup. We were all laughing towards the end of finishing it because you could hear us make loud slurps, trying to suck up every last bit. Not the most appropriate sound in a fine dining restaurant.
There was an option to do their degustation, but we all decided to have their a la carte menu as we all wanted different things. Unfortunately they had no oysters, which was a bit disappointing. So I had the vegetarian entrée instead. It was called the “cauliflower cloud”. This consisted of a cauliflower cream, balsamic balls, cauliflower and hazelnuts. It was so light and refreshing! I especially loved the cauliflower cream.
For my main I had the fish, with a parsnip puree, and some potatoes. The fish had a nice crispy side, and a tender center. The puree was so creamy and delicious! I’m loving these creamy sauces!
We got duck fat roasted kumura as a side. They were nice and crispy! We also got green beans, pistachios and kaffir lime as a side. It was nice to add some greens to our meals!
Before dessert we could a small pre-dessert. It was a tomato shaved ice. Interesting, but refreshing! For my dessert I got a burnt mandarin, salted caramel ice cream and a sorbet. It was nice, but by the time our waitress finished explaining each and everyone’s desserts, it had melted ☹ this made it really hard to eat, as there wasn’t much of it left. My brother got the wonka tonka dessert, which had a popping candy surprise, and my dad got the classic pavolova.
To end the night I was given a marshmallow petit four, with a candle, and “happy birthday” written in chocolate sauce. This made me feel special. My family also got some petit fours to share between them.
Overall it was a great way to spend my birthday night. Great food and presentation. I also liked how they explained each and every person’s meals, except for when it came to dessert.
by Jessica Callistus
2 months ago
Vinnies was one of the best places I have ever been to for some quality fine food. The ambiance was divine and the hostess was nothing below amazing. Besides the food, the service was spectacular, the waiters and waitresses knew a lot about the food and drinks, would give us all our food at the same time and spend about a minute or so explaining what was in front of us. The chef and owner himself even came out during the first meal and introduced himself and talked about the food a bit. Very professional and very welcoming!
Now the food, we had booked for the 5 course degustation menu and although the portions look rather small, it was super packed with flavour and had me wanting more and more.
Everything was presented beautifully and made it almost impossible to eat and demolish such stunning pieces! Everything that was on the plate (down to the micro greens, the edible flowers and the 3 slices of red cabbage) had its purpose. It all tasted so beautifully together. I couldn't rave more about this place.
There was also 2 palette cleansers in between every second meal or so to get our palettes ready for the next dish. They were also very refreshing and delicious!
Take your loved one or family out this place and you seriously won't be disappointed. Will definitely be revisiting the next time we have a special occasion!
by Bri DiMattina
4 months ago
I have been to Vinnies twice recently - yes I know - decadent!!! But let me explain ... The first was the everyday menu - oh - you know, oysters done three ways as a starter - natural, cooked and foam with caviar shooters, a little prosciutto and fresh fig, and whitebait - all gloriously simple but sophisticated at the same time.
The second visit was a special menu to celebrate the 'Tour de France' and Geoff, both a keen cyclist and a chef with a very strong french accent to his style - it seemed the perfect opportunity. Entree of PERFECTLY poached - melt in your mouth salmon - on pea puree, Duck with tea poached figs, glace orange and smoked celeriac puree, Tarte aux pommes (apple tart) vanilla bean ice cream, peanut praline and caramel, lemon marshmallows.
The food really is a showcase of great New Zealand produce, done with finesse.
by Dan Norton
4 months ago
An excellent night! I had visited here before and left somewhat under whelmed, but tonight couldn't have been more different. I received the meal as a birthday gift from my in laws and my wife and I had an amazing night. Our waiter (who unfortunately I didn't get the name of) was friendly, fun and attentive without being over bearing. The food was what you would expect from this calibre restaurant but coupled with the wine matches made it a journey for the palate. I am hard pressed to find anything I didn't enjoy about this evening. We will certainly visit again and any disappointment felt the first time round has well and truly disappeared!!
by Emma-Jane Bates
5 months ago
We had a grab one voucher for the tasting menu. First up we were sat at the very back of the restaurant even though it was pretty much empty. The waitstaff were great and the food was nice, however the portion sizes were really small and I had to raid the fridge once we got home.
5 months ago
Vinnies is a technically competent fine-dining restaurant but the food's flavour leaves a lot to be desired. Service is superb by Auckland standards, and the space is compact but cozy. Of all their meats - run-of-the-mill lamb, slices of great-looking but average-tasting pork, standard issue-snapper - I enjoyed the duck here the most. Sauces lack body and no great pleasure awaits vegetarians. Desserts are rather ill-conceived ,but I concede that the staff's eager to please assiduity redeems the restaurant somewhat. Vinnies is a technically competent fine-dining restaurant but the food's flavour leaves a lot to be desired. Service is superb by Auckland standards, and the space is compact but cozy. Of all their meats - run-of-the-mill lamb, slices of great-looking but average-tasting pork, standard issue-snapper - I enjoyed the duck here the most. Sauces lack body and no great pleasure awaits vegetarians. Desserts are rather ill-conceived ,but I concede that the staff's eager to please assiduity redeems the restaurant somewhat.
by Machine NZ
6 months ago
Have eaten here a few times now and was in on Friday for dinner with two of our friends. Food it extremely good and services is next to none (Maria and the team know what they are doing). Geoff the head chef really cares about this place and it shows. Itis very common for him to pop out and chat to the customers. Well worth the visit. You won't be disappointed.
7 months ago
I recently came here for the "7 for $70" special where the chefs experiment with the menu. Boy I was not disappointed. This was an amazing experience and each dish was beautifully presented and bursting with flavour. Some dishes were stronger than others. A standout for me was the roasted duck with beetroot and chocolate sauce and the rhubarb panna cotta. Service was brilliant and friendly. I would highly recommend Vinnies for a lovely intimate evening.
by Andre Cressy
8 months ago
Went to Vinnies last night for dinner. Superb its one way to describe it. I ordered the bluff oyster served 3 ways. The tempura coating was amazing. For main i had Hapuka and chick peas chips. and desert I Had the Chocolate hamburger. The service was very very good. The Owner/Chef came out to describe what the meals were we were having. The care taken to make the food and the presentation was amazing. There are few restaurants in Auckland that can match the quality and service. Everyone at our table would give Vinnies a 5 out 5 and there were 6 of us. I had food envy with the desert and wish i had ordered the going to movies which was a popcorn ice ream compilation. All in all it was great.
Went back a second time for my mothers birthday. Service again was just as good. This time however they didn't have enough oysters to fulfill our orders. Also the oysters that were available were pacific oysters not bluff. This is an inferior product. The cost of the oysters was the same. Which i totally disagree with. Its like ordering snapper and getting hoki at the same cost.
by Eat Pray Love
8 months ago
Tried Vinnie's for the first time on Valentine's Day with their 9 course Valentine's day menu and enjoyed all the courses as they came out.
The menu was thoughtfully designed with each course sounding better than the previous one and all the dishes cooked really well, with heaps of flavour and obvious love on the plate.
The wait staff were really friendly, attentive and accommodating especially since we were 30 minutes late to our reservation! I liked the ambiance of Vinnie's a lot as well. It wasn't over the top, just plain and simple and the surroundings made you feel at ease.
Loved the dessert course the best out of my experience. It was called "Going to the movies" and consisted of home made caramel popcorn, popcorn flavoured ice cream, peanut brittle and chocolate and caramel sauce. It was perfection!
Would highly recommend Vinnie's for special night outs or just to treat yourself and your dining companions :)
Aug 10, 2014
Visited Vinnies early this year and found it unexpectedly excellent. Geoff Scott’s menu is diverse and exciting, making it difficult to select only just three course from the a la carte menu. The atmosphere is elegant, luxurious, warm and intimate. The service is polished, knowledgable and efficient. The watermelon soup amuse bouche starter, warm bread with caramalised butter, and L&P granita palate cleanser were special touches that truly made this a true fine dining experience. There is a seventy for seven courses tasting menu available on Wednesday evenings which I hope to return and sample in the near future.
by Samantha Minny
Jun 21, 2014
I won a competition and the prize was a dinner at Vinnie's for two as well as a master class with Geoff Scott. We ended up having 9 courses and couldn't have been happier. Geoff and his team were so professional and calm in the kitchen and his front of house staff were amazing. Each plate was paired with a wine and it really made the meal.
I would suggest a trip to Vinnie's for any up market occasion.
The individually floured whitebait is then fried in butter and served with a vodka jelly. It's an amazing dish that I would pay for again and again.
by Erxin Shang
Jun 10, 2014
Been to Vinnies 3 times now, every time was a surprise as they do the experimental kitchen on Wednesdays. Food was beautifully presented and the service was lovely. The chef came out to see us (and all the other customers) on all 3 occasions which I think shows his respect towards his patrons. The interior is also lovely, was told it was done by an architect who now works upstairs. Keep up the good work Vinnies!
May 23, 2014
Fantastic!! Everything you would expect from this fine restaurant! Thanks Geoff and the team for the Best night. Thanks for the best service/food you could ask for! Friendly and just out of this world. Can't wait to come back and will promise to go easy on that Rosé Champagne 8-) !!! All the best to you and your team A1. 10/10 Top Auckland Restaurant!
Rick And Sina.
May 02, 2014
Wow! We had our first meal at Vinnies last night and the whole experience was amazing. We had the 5 course degustation and the food was absolutely beautiful - innovative, beautifully presented, perfectly cooked and presented and not to say the least - so tasty! The service was impeccable. We were served by a wonderful young French Waiter who was polite, friendly and very attentive throughout the whole evening. We couldn't have asked for a better dining experience and although expensive, it is worth every cent for a special wonderful night out. We will definitely return again. A highly recommended Restaurant.
Apr 06, 2014
We visited here for the first time a week ago.
The food is expensive, but it is exquisitely presented and all our meals tasted amazing.
The service is great. We had a minor issue with one of the mains which they resolved exactly how they should have with no fuss at all - issues can happen, but it is how it is resolved which really sets a place apart.
Recommended for that special night out!
by Kate W
Mar 12, 2014
This was my second trip to Vinnie's and it was a big improvement on the first. The service was much better...still not as effortless as other places in Auckland but definitely an improvement-the first visit was a combo of one waiter who was ridiculously nervous and over chatty and a waitress who didn't even look us in the eye because it seemed like we were beneath her. So service aside, the food was lovely...nothing mind blowing but definitely special. We had the 5 course degustation and my fave dishes were definitely the salmon and the rabbit which was packed with flavour and a decent portion size for a tasting plate. We also got a chance to have a chat with the chef whilst waiting for the toilet and he even gave us some pointers with our cooking! Great for sitting outside while you still can.
by Nick & Jayne
Aug 17, 2013
We were lucky enough to be given a gift voucher by my out of town parents to treat ourselves to a meal at Vinnies - and what a treat it was!
We chose to have the 7 course tasting menu as we felt that this would be the ultimate way to experience all that Vinnies is renowned for. We had had a tasting menu at Clooneys earlier in the year and while also lovely I would have to rate Vinnies overall, an altogether better experience. From the sublime food and exquisite presentation to the wonderful friendly and informative service it really could not have been a more lovely evening out. I would thoroughly recommend Vinnies to anyone wanting an unforgettable dining experience - we will definitely be returning. Well done to Geoff Scott, Vinnies is a credit to you and your lovely staff.
by May Wang
Jul 31, 2013
Vinnie's is one of our favourite fine dining restaurants in Auckland. Without fail they have delivered innovative, palette pleasing dishes. I highly recommend wine pairing with their degustation menus.
by David Dromer
May 26, 2013
A Beautiful Experience: We were a group of 6 - 3 couples. We try to make a regular visit to Vinnies- at least once a year, then push for more if we can (Friday lunches have been tried and are good value for money) - I've also experienced few of the 'themed' menus in the past - always enjoyed the creativity around the produces or the drinks (whiskey night, Champagne night etc...). This time around I hadn't been for a while, and Geoff (the Chef/Owner of Vinnies) changes his menu with the seasons. So I decided to try 4 of his entrees:
I had to begin with 3 seasonal oysters - served three ways _ the crumbled one was delicious. The fresh out of the shell (Bluff Oyster) was simply fantastic. Added to that the Whangamata scallops with fried tomatillos, roast cherry chilli puree were a treat to taste and look at.
I had for main the Suckling pig timbale & rillette with fresh beans and it was really out of this world: Love the memory of the rillette back home and the pig timbale was moist and sumptuous.
The king salmon fillet with prawns was also delicious. My wife chose the Basil crusted lamb, with mushroom soil, young carrots, potato mousse. As she doesn’t like mushroom, she asked for the ‘soil’ to be put aside for the rest of the table to taste. It was something really special – roasted with almond and reduced into a ’soil’ effect. Nice and sweet! She finished with the Russian fudge crème brulee. It was perfect. Well balanced, not too sweet! The wines were good, also by the glass. I preferred the Alpha Domus Merlot on the night. An enjoyable evening in good company, genuine service and delightful setting and great flavours! Recommended: Just take your time and enjoy!
by Janice Tan
May 17, 2013
My review is marred by the $5 per piece bluffies that were ruined by not having the shells wiped down before serving. I know Vinnies prides themselves on opening up fresh oysters to order but please wipe the lip of the shells.
I am not a fan of having to freeze my mouth, lips pursed and wipe the small, gritty shell fragments off.
But on to the rest of the review. The restaurant itself is beautiful and the service was very attentive. Sadly I was too much of a chicken to mention the oyster thing when asked how was my entree.
The home made bread is delicious and our amuse bouche was a leek and potato 'milkshake' very cute and equally as tasty.
I know a lot of work goes behind each dish and the multiple components which warrants the high prices but I was still wanting to be blown away or leave feeling "definitely want to come back and try more".
The food was good, but good isn't enough for a $27 entree.
Creative and whimsical dishes which look fantastic, but I feel I didn't get value out of it or at least an experience I was wanting to repeat.
Mar 23, 2013
Wonderful food and service. Fabulous food. Could not recommend a better place for people to go for dinner. The children loved it too. We had a gift voucher but were treated with the utmost respect and care.
by Emma Kippenberger
Mar 12, 2013
Went for a family dinner with eight of us. We had such an amazing time, it was a real dining experience; the food, wine and service completely blew us away. VERY special place, we will definitely be back, thank you so much for having us at your beautiful restaurant!
Emma & Family
by Tony Ma
Mar 04, 2013
Dined here yesterday evening, have also dined at Vinnies on Valentines day.
Walked in and was greeted extremely politely by I believe Rachel, the Maitre D'. We were seated and ordered our meals, with help from Rachel explaining all dishes and what was recommended.
We started with what I believe to be "home made" Bread and Dips, the butter was incredibly soft and the olive oil made the smell of the bread stand out further.
Our entrees were quail and a mix platter of Bluff Oysters. My partner enjoyed the shot glass oyster which I found excellent as well, and I - myself enjoyed the raw oysters as the flavours were great already. The quail was cut amazingly, I was literally really impressed at the knife work.
For mains we had the venison and the fish. If you are a arty/scientific person, I highly recommend the fish. The presentation and taste mixed very well. (Got the most likes on my facebook photos also). The venison was cooked just right and the presentation of the bok-choi was the first time I have seen in New Zealand, perfect mouth size pieces.
For desert we had creme brulee with strands of yummy candy floss, and the cherry pudding/pie, nice and flaky on the outside, soft and melts in your mouth when eaten.
Overall it was a fantastic experience, the food did not take very long to arrive and I know we will definitely be back sometime really soon :)
Wait time: 5/5
Food Quality and taste: 5/5
by Diiya McCaw
Dec 12, 2012
What can I say, fabulous. The Russian fudge creme brulee..I know it won't be on the menu the next time I visit but damn.....It was amazing and everything in between us walking in to us walking out was fabulous. Keep it up and keep it going and keep the Russian fudge on the menu but then again I'm sure you will come up with some other incredible dessert to tempt me. Yay can't wait. Love love loved it.
by Janine Carlson
Oct 26, 2012
Superb food matched by outstanding service. Everything was outstanding. Really enjoyed being able to have a tasty vegetarian starter. The wagyu eat done perfectly and the fish fell off the bone it was so tender. As for the chocolate fondant and alaskan bombe - divine.
Will recommend and return.
Oct 10, 2012
Outstanding experience, fantastic food, superb service. Like many Aucklanders, I've known about Vinnies for ever... but I didn't realise what I was missing until tonight.
Vinnies gives you exceptional access to the world class - delivered with a fundamentally Kiwi point of view. Expect relaxed expertise, unpretentious recommendations and food that delights.
By delight I mean - award winning honey from 800m (that's metres not miles!) down the road to accompany a Puhoi blue cheese from a clever man located just 2km from the famous pub. The Chef's own Dad's quince paste - superbly accompanied by outstanding French cheese. Manuka smoked salmon, treated with a touch of Sweetened Condensed Milk Mayonnaise - just like my mother (and yours) used to make. Oh, and an olive oil that will have you breathing Italy like you couldn't have when you were there!
It's better than excellent, it's damn near perfection! Try it soon.
by James Morrison
Sep 17, 2012
My wife and I dined at Vinnies for a significant anniversary dinner, and it was excellent. The staff were friendly, helpful, and got everything right. There was enough space between tables to feel comfortable having an intimate conversation, without having to whisper (or shout). The presentation of food was superb. I wanted to take a photo of the oysters. My main (the wagu beef) was good, and a large enough portion, although I'd probably ask for "blue/rare" next time as "rare" was more medium rare. The alaska bombe desert was a highlight, especially the chef with his fire warnings. Thanks for a great evening.
by Areena Sahay
Oct 07, 2011
Fantastic service, food, environment. We just walked in and they had a private function but still welcomed us and provided a table.We will be visiting again thank you Vinnies :D Beautiful restaurant with beautiful people.
by Janine Raine
Jun 27, 2011
Two weeks ago we had dinner at vinnies, a real special night out. Best fish of the day I have had in ages! Service is fantastic at vinnies.
by Alex Landon-lane
Jun 11, 2011
Last year, we were lucky enough to receive a free degustaion menu matched with wines as a bonus from our Air New Zealand points. As it was free, I wasn't expecting too much but boy was I wrong. Lovely restaurant, great staff, beautiful and comfortable decor and the food...just excellent. Defintely recommended. Happy to pay for the experience next time.
Sep 09, 2010
Went to this place about 15-16 years ago when a friend was a waitress there. Was great then so had high expectations again this time round. Werent let down, the place has changed with the times and kept its menu top notch.
Mar 29, 2010
Fantastic food and service, and a really nice ambience. The locally-produced olive-oil is amazing!
by Mark Gregory
Jan 18, 2010
It was my wife's birthday and where better to go than Vinnies. Upon walking through the door it lets you know your in for something well and above much of whats on Ponsonby rd area.
We enjoyed a gloriously delicious degustation menu together with a tasting selection of French wines - It was refreshing to be reminded just why French wines are so very much enjoyed by so many citizens around the world. At home in NZ normally drink and much appreciate NZ wines - I guess it was the difference that contributed to making a the evening as special as it was.
Service proved as elegant and finessed as the restaurant itself. Vinnies degustation menu is not inexpensive but ultimately proves great value with so many course all beautifully served. Will we go back - unquestionably a resounding yes
Dec 05, 2009
fabulous service - fabulous food - fabulous atmosphere - fabulous wine.
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