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August 2023

Crown Bar and Bistro


Lucky last in our Kingsland crawl was the Crown Bar & Bistro. Was it lucky or was it unfortunate to have all those other places to compare it to? The team agreed that it was a smidge on the unfortunate side.  This restaurant is spacious and has a nice, slightly fancy feel to the interior, somewhere you would expect excellent food and service.  The day we visited it was cold and pretty much empty other than us Huskies and another couple of chatty ladies.  There was zero ‘vibe’ and quite an unorganised feel, with just the one guy serving and doing everything front of house, it felt lacking. 

The guy himself was very sweet and you could tell he was trying really hard to do a good job, maybe he was new and hadn’t found his groove yet?  The food was a mixed bag, the cauliflower bao and roasted vegetables were yummo however the other dishes were either missing ingredients or overpowering.  Hmmmm feels like we’re being picky and a bit harsh, but I guess that’s what you get when you sample all the other fab places in the Kingsland ‘hood’.  Some just come out on top … and some are just a little unlucky.

Total spend – 4 people – $125.50

Louise had Thai beef salad.  She said, “I found the space really cold and hard to warm up, even with the internal heater in there. The one guy on service was intermittent and confusing – we were given the dinner menu and had to ask for the lunchtime ones. Unfortunately my thai beef salad was super underwhelming and meagre – and nothing like it said on the menu. It was missing the fried shallots, the roasted pumpkin and the herb crust on the beef – my salad comprising two quarters of a cherry tomato and a few bits of cucumber cut into a bowl of mixed greens. I get the need for hospo cost-cutting in the current climate but this was eye watering, especially for $24.”

Mel had tempura cauliflower bao buns, a side of roasted veges and drank a pineapple juice.  She said, “The food here was really nice, I loved my bao buns and would totally recommend a try of these soft, warm doey treats.  The place itself seemed a little lifeless, it has way more potential to be awesome.  I thought the guy who served us was super sweet and trying really hard to make sure we had a lovely visit.  If it was busier I think the place would feel more attractive to revisit.”

Sam had zesty pan-seared tarakihi and drank a mocha. He said, “The food was nice, for the price though, it wasn’t amazing. There were some bones in my fish which wasn’t ideal and not what you expect when eating in a restaurant. The fish was floating in butter which was a little overpowering. The restaurant itself was cold and a massive space with no one there.”

Sarah had the cauliflower bao buns and shared a side of roasted veges. She said, “Interesting place, lovely flavours but a disjointed feel.”




Overall experience

How likely we are to come back