Pub spy: Banque, Remuera

By Don Kavanagh

Address: 311 Remuera Rd, Remuera
Phone: (09) 522 6688

Pricey trip to the suburbs Banque offers a well-considered wine list. Photo / Getty Images
Pricey trip to the suburbs Banque offers a well-considered wine list. Photo / Getty Images

I copped a bit of flak for my description of New Lynn the other week, so just to show that I am an equal-opportunities loudmouth, can I point out that I loathe going to Remuera in a way that makes my opinion of New Lynn appear positively glowing.

There is something about the opulence of the shops that immediately turns me into a class warrior and the inability of the half-starved blondes to drive their oversized 4WDs in any one given lane makes me either weep uncontrollably or swear alarmingly.

So it is quite a sacrifice on my part to have to venture into the land of the trophy wife, but I swallowed my pride this week after hearing great things about a place I believed was called Bonk. I should have known. This was Remuera, after all, where a bar named after the horizontal mambo would be so infra dig as to be subterranean. Instead I found Banque, an oyster bar and "gastro pub", a ghastly concept I still can't fathom, except that it seems to imagine for some reason that food is the primary reason for entering a bar.

It's all very pleasant, of course, as one would expect from such Elysian environs. It was clean and smart and the staff were welcoming.

The beer selection was dull but the wine list had clearly been given a lot of thought. It's always nice to see overseas wines included and I don't mean a few Aussie reds. This had German riesling, Beaujolais and a couple of tasty looking Burgundies, too, so top marks.

The food was certainly a step up from your average bar, as were the prices. You can choose where your steak comes from, but it's no bargain. When a margherita pizza costs $24 you know your wallet is going to be whimpering by home time. Still, I enjoyed the place, partly because it gave me an ideal place to sit and watch people try to park cars they plainly couldn't drive. It's worth a visit if you're in the area, but I'm not sure I'd go all that way unless there was a party.


Service: 4
Menu: 4
Drink: 2
Atmosphere: 1
Overall: 3

Banque is open 7 days 11.30am-11pm.

- Herald on Sunday

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