Phone: (09) 522 6688
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.
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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.
Banque is open 7 days 11.30am-11pm.