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The Zookeeper’s Son

4 star rating 31 reviews

Telephone 09 625 7550

715 Mt Albert Rd
Royal Oak
Auckland City

A La Carte, European, Gastro Pub Food, New Zealand
Mon - Wed 11am - late
Thur - Sat 11am - 2am
Sun 10am - late
Provided by business


Welcome to The Zookeeper’s Son! Dave Catchpole and his team welcome you to the newest bar in Royal Oak – and one we hope you’ll soon be calling your ‘local’. We’re proud to offer you a modern, stylish and relaxed venue for meeting up with family and friends to enjoy a refreshing cold Heineken or other fine NZ beer (we’ve got 15 beers and ciders on tap), or a glass of wine (we offer over 30 wines by the glass) and a range of good value meals – wtih something for all the family. Try our Carving Boards – why cook a roast at home when you can come here and enjoy one (and no messy dishes to wash up!). We’ve got pub quiz nights, live entertainment, and a few great spots for you to relax with family and friends over a cold drink and tasty meal. Upstairs we have a fantastic private function room – Tree Tops – perfect for your next celebration or meeting. Or hire out the Mezzanine Level – an open plan space suitable for a range of set ups. Our chefs and team will work with you to create a successful and memorable event.


Photo of The Zookeeper’s Son

More Information

Restaurants, Bar & Brasseries, Bistros, Pubs
Free Off-Street, Free On-Street
Price Range:
Moderate, $15 - $25
Smart casual
Good For Groups:
Good For Children:
Beer, Wine, Spirits, Cocktails
Wheelchair Accessible:
Takes Reservations:
Dietary Restrictions:
Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten-free
Meals Served:
Brunch, Dessert, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Payment Types:
Seating For:
Outdoor Seating:

Reviews for The Zookeeper’s Son

3 star rating
by Gastronaut
26th May 2014

Our party of four ate here on a busy Friday night.

The service was very attentive and friendly, and the big screens showing the Blues game were an added bonus (ignoring the result).

The food was ok, but not great. The ribs came with a tasty BBQ sauce, but were a bit dry, and the accompanying “wedges” (i.e. massive chunks of spud) were undercooked and raw in the centre. The spicy chicken wings were commendable and the fish n chips weren’t too bad.

Due to the game being shown, the place was heaving. This might explain the feeling that the meals were a bit rushed.

We’d come back, but probably just for a pint and some of those chicken wings.

4 star rating
by Ardi A.
4th May 2014

Other than a time I had to wait for the food for about half an hour to forty five minutes for the food, the place has nice vibe, good live music, awesome pub food and best pizza in Auckland. Oh and chorizo tomato soup is awesome!!

5 star rating
by Belinda L.
10th March 2014

I went here as part of a group of 6 adults and 2 kids on February 1st. For the first time ever, every member of our group was highly impressed with the quality of the food (including the fussy diners), and the excellent service.

There is a wide variety of meals and drinks to choose from, and everything was extremely tasty and fresh. The highly attentive wait staff went out of their way to entertain the kids and make sure they were happy, which is something you don’t get often in more adult oriented dining settings.

The restaurant’s atmosphere while a bit on a noisy side is really nice and comfortable, with spacious tables.

I would highly recommend this place to anyone – definitely try the beer battered chips and salt and pepper squid!

4 star rating
by Keith
17th February 2014

I celebrated my recent birthday here with a small group of friends and I was very impressed with both the food and the venue.

The bar itself is spacious with ample seating and has plenty of interesting visual features to go with the impressive liquor selection. On very warm summer evenings nearly the entire shop front opens up to allow plenty of cooling airflow.

Upon arrival it turned out we had been booked for the wrong night, but it was no trouble for the staff to quickly arrange enough table space for our group, despite being a busy Saturday night.

The extensive menu resulted in some difficult and lengthy decisions on meals but the waiting staff were patient and gave us plenty of space to make up our minds. Once the orders were all in the kitchen staff did a fantastic job of getting them all out together and I can highly recommend the yellowfin tuna from the grill menu. The beer battered fries served alongside are about the best I’ve ever tried and my girlfriend was well impressed by the regular fries as well.

Pricewise the menu is on a par to most other suburban Auckland pubs, there is plenty of value to found depending on your tastes.

I will be back again soon to explore the many menu options and enjoy the friendly service and fresh atmosphere.

4 star rating
by Kerensa R.
16th February 2014

A good local, with friendly staff, mostly reasonable food and a reasonable price and a good selection of drinks.

4 star rating
by Tony M.
9th January 2014

This place is the closest decent bar to where my parents live. I love popping by here and catching up with my mates.

There uk imported ginger beer is excellent!
I always go for the jug of Tiger too!

Buffalo wings are yum yum yum, pizza is average.

Overall best bar in the small neighborhood

Service: 5/5
Wait time: 4/5
Environment: 4/5
Food Quality: 4/5
Food Quantity: 4/5
Price range: $30+ pp

5 star rating
by Cara J.
6th December 2013

I absolutely adore The Zookeepers Son. I have been going here since I moved to New Zealand. Have always gotten to know the staff so always go there with a very warm welcome. The food menu is so much better then before. A lot more gourmet stuff now such as the twice cooked duck. Very big variety of meats and seafood. I’m not a big fan of the cocktails. The are a pub so cocktails are not something they excel in but that is the only thing I don’t like. I’m used to cocktail bars where cocktails are the main drink of choice and expertise. I love you guys & keep up the great work!!

3 star rating
by Rose
6th November 2013

Very average. Paid $18 for a greek salad that was literally 3 pieces each of tomato, feta and cucumber. Cocktail tasted watery. Bread and dips were delicious though! Unfortunately I cant recommend this place as I don’t feel it was tasty enough to deserve the high price and small portion size.

3 star rating
by Nova
23rd September 2013

Visited here with a few friends for dinner after hearing good reviews about this place. Waiters were attentive but our food was below par. The steak meal was very small with soggy chips. If I do visit again would be for a drink with friends and not the food.

5 star rating
by David M.
24th June 2013

Myself and 3 others went here for Sunday lunch and was absolutely blown away but the meal and the service!!! the food was amazing and I can honestly say I’ve never been in a restaurant where all the staff were so friendly. Thank you and look forward to coming back

5 star rating
by Olivia
27th May 2013

Well organized birthday celebration by staff. Upstairs table and space was clean and well lit. Directed to table on arrival and very helpful with menu and allowing others to arrive later. Overall we will be heading back, great menu well priced, great staff and space. Not to cluttered. Live band awesome but not to loud so could still hold a conversation. Great Evening. Caters for children and adults well liked.

5 star rating
by Jolanta D.
21st May 2013

Just wanted to thank you Guys for helping to celebrate my birthday last night. The food was tasty, service friendly, atmospheric awesome.
Special music request, birthday cake, birthday voucher….all these thoughtful touches made my night very special. Thank you.

3 star rating
by Adeline
15th March 2013

I organised a birthday party of 15 people for a good friend of mine. Communication was a bit slow (I had to email them twice in order to get some sort of response) but once that got going, they were very helpful in managing our booking.

Although they reserved a nice spot upstairs (overlooking the balcony) – it got really dark towards the night and I had no choice but scurry over the neighbouring tables to grab a couple of candles for the table – I wished the staff was more cognizant about this. It became really hard to see what we were eating at one point (there was not enough lighting upstairs).

Food was average. The waiter was really slow and clumsy with our orders (one of the ladies only got her main delivered when we were almost done with ours – they screwed up her order somehow). Seriously, how hard is it to manage 15 people in a big restaurant? My guess is it shouldn’t be that hard if you cater to that many people in the first place.

I ordered the fish which was very bland.. a couple of the others ordered the pork ribs – they weren’t done well (it tasted like they just poured sauce over it rather than allow it to marinate).

Overall, prices were okay, food was average, service was so-so. There is plenty of room for improvement.

5 star rating
by Danielle W.
30th October 2012

We used the zookeepers son as a venue for engagement party. After running into many places that seemed to do their utmost to dissuade us from having our event (including minimum spends of $5K +!!) the Zookeepers were a breath of fresh air. They bent over backwards for us, let my girlfriends decorate the upstairs as we liked, and everyone at the party commented on their excellent service and how impressed they were. Honestly, these guys made the night and they had the most wonderful platters as well. I can’t recommend them highly enough for your event.

4 star rating
by Pauline B.
12th October 2012

4 of us went last night and really enjoyed ourselves. The service was fast and efficient, the staff were friendly and the food was good. The pork ribs were smothered with a tangy sauce and almost fell off the bone , the chicken fettuccine was tasty with lots of sauce, the fish and chips – real kiwi food, and the burger thick and juicy ordered with beer battered fries was perfect. Portions were very generous – the ribs and the pasta were taken home in doggie bags to enjoy today.

5 star rating
by Rachael W.
25th August 2012

Been a couple of times now and it has been a really good experience every time. Food is excellent – i like how there are different specials for each day. Service is friendly and just the right amount of attentiveness. I think ive suggested this place to most of my friends if they ever ask where to go for dinner. Looking forward to my next visit!

5 star rating
by Hannah-Jane
28th July 2012

Went there today for lunch (9 people). NOt only were the meals amazing (my partner said his steak was the best he’d ever had…and he is very critical), the service was awesome and the meals all came out together and relatively quickly. Will definitely be back.

5 star rating
by Brian
18th June 2012

I went here last night with my girlfriend and a mate. Service was fast, drinks came less than 5 mins after ordering, starters 5 mins after ordering and mains just as fast.

We had the Rump steak, Lamb Rump and the Chicken Breast Proscittuo. (I cant spell). All of which were cooked perfectly and tasted outstanding!

The French waitress that served us was friendly, helpful and very attentive. (If I had any spare cash I would have tipped, but will definitely be back soon!)

Our mate even got a few phone numbers from some girls outside.

All in all a great night.

Keep up the good work Zoo Keepers Son !

5 star rating
by caitlin
18th June 2012

Went to Zoo Keepers Son on a Sunday Night, didn’t need to book. Got a table in the corner, a waitress came and took our drinks orders straight away and the drinks came fast! Ordered Bread and dips to start off with, they came in about 5minutes. Our mains came after about 15min which was great. The food was Amazing, I got the chicken breast and no complaints! was amazing for the price it was. Boyfriend got the steak and loved every bit of it! the Steak was cooked exactly how he wanted it! Friend was also very happy with his steak!
Overall a great atmosphere and great staff! Would defiantly recommend this place!

Staff were great! very friendly and patient.
Food cam fast and was amazing! Great food and Great drinks.
Would come here again anytime!

1 star rating
by Blondie
26th April 2012

A waitress that texts on the job & rolls her eyes when u have a request! A mistake with meals, 4 of us had finished our meals before the last 2 people got theirs! The bill came & all items charged for twice! How long to sort this out? Twenty minutes, & oh still not right. Ask to speak to a manager, yes, interested? NO! Rude? YES. Going back the zookeeper? Definately NOT!!!

3 star rating
by Rebecca K.
29th January 2012

They have done amazing things with this once very down and out bar. Impressed with the decor. The service was attentive/reasonably friendly but I did not appreciate the constant up selling attempts when ordering bar snacks. (3 times asked if I wanted to pay more) Perhaps it was an unspoken warning that the bar snacks serving sizes were ridiculously small. (embarrassingly small actually) I’d bought a round of drinks for friends visiting from New Plymouth and also got a couple of plates of snacks for the table. They commented on the tiny serving size and were initially too polite to help themselves, eventually they did but only after insisting on ordering more!

4 star rating
by Anita
6th January 2012

This is a great new local pub for me. They have a good drink selection and super friendly staff. I also recommend the pub meals, they obviously use quality ingredients because the flavors are there, much better than your average pub meal, and the portions are very generous too.
I recommend the chocolate brownie dessert, yum!

4 star rating
by Isaac V.
12th October 2011

This place has changed alot since being revamped and having a name change, well done to Dave and his team! Food/Service/ 10/10 not to mention the extensive beverage menue. Always a great place to watch the rugby and a have a pint or 2 with great company!
I’ll Be Back!!

5 star rating
by Tash
28th July 2011

We live in the area and have been here a few times since it re- opened the place looks awesome they have done a great job of the renovations, I love the big fireplace makes it a lovely cosy place to come on these cold winter nights, great food, great service!!

4 star rating
by Lynley
9th July 2011

Great service, great food and very reasonable price! Will definately eat here again!

4 star rating
by DAM
21st June 2011

We frequent Zookeepers often. As a family of 5 and also just with the adults. It’s nice to have a one stop shop in the area, where the boys can watch the footy, the girls can have a wine and watch the kids colour in or simply relax on the big couches. There is ample choice for both young and old on the menu with nothing too fancy or too plain. Long overdue for Royal Oak and a far cry better than the seedy places it has been in the past. Well done !!!

5 star rating
by Wendy M.
19th June 2011

Thank goodness finally a great place to go right in our neighbourhood. Had a wonderful mothers day lunch with my two daughters. Food and service was fantastic and the free mother day dessert was a huge surprise and delicious. Our waiter was charming and very attentive. I have very fussy eating habits and the chef was fantastic making the adjustments to make my meal exactly the way I like it. Highly recommended and can’t wait to get back.

5 star rating
by alexis P.
1st May 2011

We came here as a group of 10. 4 adult and 6 children. Luckily we booked because it was busy. The food was delicious, every plate was sent back almost licked clean. There was a great selection of food for the kids. Kids were able to colour in, and the general bar atmosphere helped to dampen the kids noise.
It was good that the sides options were included in the price of the meal. The platters looked good.

5 star rating
by Michael
9th April 2011

we decided to check out our new local after hearing good things about it, we’re a family of 9 and we were sat at a large table which is in front of the fire place and is adorned with a candleabra, very nice setting the service was friendly and helpful, and the food was lovely, we had roast platters which are a really neat idea-traditional whole roast with all the trimmings. everybody commented on it and we look forward to coming back. this place has everything including a huge sunny outside area, I look forward to coming back and enjoying a drink in the garden bar.

5 star rating
by Renee
9th April 2011

My friends and I have been hanging out for a place like this to open in our neighbourhood!! This is a cool funky place, and now my hangout! Food was great, I had the lamb rump which looked devine, and tasted better! My friend got the salmon and is still raving about it!! After dinner we got up and had a dance to the live music and (to burn up a few guilty calories gained over dinner) All-n-all a PERFECT night! Great to think it’s just down the road!
Also, love the story behind the name!

2 star rating
by David B.
26th March 2011

We went on a Friday night and the place was vibrant with a good atmosphere. They have live music later in the evening and also play live sport. Out the back is pool tables.

A great place to have something to eat while keeping up with the rugby or F1.

The food and service is ok. Our burgers were nothing special but the beer was cold.

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