Depot Eatery & Oyster Bar
Auckland City 09 363 7048
Depot Eatery & Oyster Bar was crowned Supreme…Announced 3 weeks ago
- Mon – Sun 7am – late
- Payment Types: EFTPOS, Visa, MasterCard
- Price Range: Moderate, $15 - $25
- Dress Code: Casual
- Alcohol: Beer, Wine
- BYO/Corkage: No BYO
- Parking: Pay
- Good For Groups: Yes
- Takes Reservations: No
- Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
- Outdoor Seating: Yes
- Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Depot Eatery & Oyster Bar was Supreme Winner of 2012 Metro Restaurant of the Year Awards, and also now winner of Best Casual Bistro at the 2013 Metro Awards!
Launched in 2011 by famous New Zealand chef, Al Brown – known for his award-winning Logan Brown Restaurant & Bar in Wellington, and his passionate TV presence.
Depot by Al Brown is a fast-paced, fresh venue, where you can drop in and share small plates, oysters that are shucked to order, and other perfectly cooked dishes. The focus is on the simple qualities of food, and most of which are prepared over charcoal or hard wood, with an emphasis on seasonal produce.
Our small shared plates are straightforward, tasty and fresh, served with energy and ease.
Al Brown follows his belief that the kitchen should spend its efforts on delighting the palate, rather than creating garnishes to please the eye.
Depot Eatery and Oyster Bar is part of SKYCITY’s new entertainment precinct, located on Federal St.
47 Reviews for Depot Eatery & Oyster Bar
One of Depot Eatery & Oyster Bar's Favourite Reviews What's This?
UPDATE to the above review:
Been back a few times with work colleagues and enjoyed myself a lot more. Then went back with a friend last night, had a great evening… in the cold light of day I checked the docket this morning. Despite ordering the house sav that’s on tap 3 times last night, only once was I correctly charged on the bill. The other times I was charged for a Dog Point sav at $14 instead of $8 for the ‘on tap’ variety, the second time $16 for a carafe of Chardonnay instead of More$12 for one of sav. Seriously, I expect far better than this from a higher end establishment. Check your dockets carefully, because it seems overcharging is pretty commonplace here. I wish I’d spotted it last night, obviously my fault that I didn’t, so just a warning to others the check what you’ve been charged for before you leave.
I have eaten a few times at Logan-Brown in Wellington and have usually been satisfied, but not craving anything worth re-visiting.
The atmosphere at The Depot is trendy and playful. My friend though found the repetitive Johnny Cash playing in the background a bit tedious and too loud for conversation. Our server was most cheerful and helpful with menu choices, and serving our drinks.
I enjoyed the raw seafood the most: the oyster and 2 clam shells to be honest. The grouper sliders were my next favorite item on the menu. The potato skins were most disappointing as they were very salty and tasteless, as was the Tuscan type salad. They had so much potential as well! The skirt steak was tender, but way over priced for the portion size. All in all, after spending a total of $187.00, $84 of which was for beverages, my very petite friend from North Ireland was still hungry. I paid the check by the front desk, and left a tip for the server. It was only when I arrived home that I discovered I was charged x2 for my one glass of Bubbles. All in all, I don’t regret experiencing this new darling of the Auckland culinary scene, but won’t be returning for anything special any time soon.
Seemingly ignored for the first few minutes I am then attended to by three different servers in a matter of minutes, almost overwhelmingly assaulted about my food choice even though I haven’t even received my drink yet.
I start the evening off with three oysters, the minimum you have to order; and as always New Zealand oysters shucked to order cannot be beaten. They are succulent, and refreshing with the tinny end that shocks the senses with an explosion of flavour. If they were not so pricy I would probably just get my fill on oysters.
I stare at the menu for a few more minutes after slurping down the last oyster and wish that something new would magically appear, but alas, the menu has stagnated for over a year now. Stagnating in grandeur, but nonetheless stagnating. A towering model of perfection for New Zealand restaurateurs, food that has elevated other local eateries to a whole new class, but a menu in desperate need of tweaking. They have brought new ideas to Auckland that have been copied, and reused throughout the city. Do you know why every decent restaurant serves sliders and mini-tacos now? Depot 2011.
After much internal debate I decide on the squid ink and cockle linguine, something I have eaten in the past and been exceedingly impressed by. The sauce was a decadent and delicious buttery citrus reduction with pinch of herbs. However as any clam lover knows, the first bite of sand is forgivable, the second is not. I spent the rest of my meal preparing my mouth for the eventuality of more sand.
It is very Morerare in a pasta dish where you find yourself wishing there was more pasta and less clams, with over twenty clams, and only three bites of pasta I ended up wishing so badly for more of the great black noodles. I even ended up leaving a few clams on the plate because it was easy to tell they were overcooked with a visible rubbery texture. Beyond some of the glaring problems I had with the dish, on the whole it was still great, and by Auckland standards extraordinary.
Overall I gave my experience an 8/10, down from 10/10 this time last year. Still a great place to dine and have some food you cannot find anywhere else in Auckland, but do not prepare to be wowed if you have been here before, it is the same. Still a high mark, but the distinct lack of growth for one of Auckland’s most progressive restaurants is worrying. I for one, can’t wait to see what they do with some menu changes, and hope they make some significant ones
The service was kind of cool and hip but a bit vague – they also were quite pushy with asking if we wanted more to drink (got the idea it was a sell sell sell exercise) — especially remarkable was was when the waitress asked if we wanted another carafe of wine – as we said yes she started to take away our half full one! :-L WTF! ACTING attentive is one thing – but BEING attentive is what they need to aim for. All in all we had a fun night, would definitely go there again
So we finally got in and you understand what the fuzz is about. This food is outstanding! I am a foodie and I have seen a lot of places. Guess what, this is my new favourite place in town.
We had lamb ribs and beef cheek, chicken and skirt steak. Absolutely mind-blowing! Everything was cooked to perfection. Great service, our waitress Kura was the Icing on the cake. Be back soon, a bit earlier to avoid waiting time.
Incredible ambiance, always heaving busy (Bellotta must be thanking the gods for the waiting patrons), great helpful but chilled out service (your water is always full but you will be left alone when you want to be), and the food and wine – in.cred.ible.
I have been to depot a handful of times now, and tried almost everything on the menu. Apart from the bone marrow (not my thing) and the kingfish sashimi (the only thing i think not worth the price for it’s size), the menu is spot on.
Must have’s: Sauv Blanc on tap. Cheap, and yummy. You won’t find this sort of deal anywhere else. Pork hock. yes. A million times yes. If someone can teach me how to make that creamy mash i will pay them zillions. The brussel sprout side. I know. Brussel sprouts. Ignore your gut. Order them. They are so amazing I googles the recipe, found it online and recreated it (about 80% as good as the original). The squid ink linguine sounds odd and probably is but it is the most tasty thing by far on offer, you will want to order two (do yourself a favour and order the large). Hapuka Belly is fresh and very large, the lamp ribs are fatty and tasty, and the best dish of them all – freshly shucked Tuatuas with the balsamic onion sauce. My favorite thing to eat in the world at the moment.
Firstly, The Turbot Sliders.
Melt in your mouth. Tiny, flavoursome morsels of perfectly prepared fish in heavenly slider buns.
My colleagues and I procured so many small plates, we had to take leftovers home with us!
Our eyes were popping out, over the amazing menu options.
Aubergine – yum. The chicken – was devine.
And the service was just SO spot-on. Understated, non-intrusive, but helpful. And she has no notepad… she’s listening intently to what we want.
Love the hooks under the end of the table for our handbags… and ‘doggy’ bags at the end.
After a couple of dry martinis, to fortify us against the cold, we made our way into town on a windy Saturday night. Having been warned in advance of the ‘no reservations’ policy, we got in on the stroke of six o’clock only to find the place absolutely chocka. We took this as a good omen and so gave the wait staff our details before disappearing across the road for several more stiff drinks.
We waited for maybe 45min before getting the green light just before 7pm. We patted ourselves on the back for having the foresight to come in early and slinked out of neighbouring Bellota ($100 poorer due to some overzealous wine ordering).
To start, we dined on an array of oysters and tuatuas served raw. These were deliciously fresh and boasted a lip-smacking minerality. Next came the bacon hock, in all its salty/tangy salsa verde glory, along with the famous turbot sliders. The sliders were so good, we have recreated them at home with the Al Brown endorsed bread range. We were also impressed with the juicy free range chicken dish, roasted aubergines and fried potato skins (a pleasant throw back to my childhood).
The excellent food was helped down the hatch with some fairly drinkable ‘tap’ wine (which was a new experience for us).
The service throughout the night was outstanding: professional, courteous and easy-going without being too familiar.
The restaurant (come bar) is loud, bustling and vibrant – a sign of people enjoying themselves. Go to Depot for a rowdy night out with friends and for some reasonably priced, tasty fare.
Time – 1pm
I love this place – have spent $1000′s there if not 10′s of thousands on client entertainment since it opened and will keep going back, clients love it
Freshly shucked seafood – the best – period – just go and drink the bulk wine and eat those delights and you’ll be very very happy, along with any and everything on the starters menu
Mains – Beef is excellent
Chicken Main – BEWARE – as it is young and free range it can and does come with some pink evident and blood on the bone – we questioned it and were given a fair explanation, but old habits die hard so we had a little of it but the majority went back – as I say, tasted fine but always being taught not to eat anything but well cooked we couldn’t stomach it
Hapuka Belly – if you are used to eating belly cuts or cuts that have a fairly high fat content, you won’t be too put off as has very strong, almost pungent fish flavor – people next to us raved about it, I didn’t mind it but clients smiled and had one mouthful ( Note – I’ll eat steak that is blue, lambs brain fritters, most offal so different stuff doesn’t bother me )
Deserts were good – Tamarind was great, Brie cheese rocked
So, go with confidence, but if you’re conservative on what you eat, stick to the staples
Definitely recommended though
We decided on the Quince Tarte Tatin for dessert. It was an interesting variation but not as nice as a good apple one, with the quinces lacking the gooey caramely-ness that you get with apples. Different, but not as good – so what’s the point?
To cap off the disappointment we ordered a coffee which was very average.
All in all I liked the concept of casual eating with unfussy food, and judging by its popularity so do plenty of other people, but our experience was a long way from ‘best restaurant in town’ territory. Maybe we just made some bad menu choices (although that shMoreouldn’t really be possible in a top restaurant), but we are not in a hurry to go back for another shot.
Popped across the road to Bellota for a couple of drinks, the Mojito is my current fav and the girl behind the bar did a great job of knocking up a couple of these while we waited for the text. Probably should have stayed there in hindsight.
Text arrived around an hour later and we wandered over. Service was great especially given the place was humming. But the tapa’s left a lot be be desired considering the place had just been awarded the golden gong by Metro magazine. Just goes to show it’s not what you know but who you know. Tried a multitude of dishes, Oysters OK but not Bluff, they are what they are I suppose. The little fish burgers were pretty hopeless, kind of thing you whip up for the kids. Nothing wrong with them but just not in keeping with a restaurant of this class. Can’t remember the majority of the rest, which speaks volumes I guess, OK but not memorable.
There are two dishes however I won’t forget. The first was the bone marrow. I’ve had this in the past in the form of a bread crumbed deep fat fried version and it was awful. But I figured I’d give it another go given the establishment I was in. A definite improvement this time around but after the first couple of spoon fills of well seasoned liquefied fat I can’t understand why any restaurateur would bother serving it.
The highlight was the mussels with chorizo, garlic and tarragon absolutely sublime what a great combination of favours!
All in all, this seems to be the ‘in’ place at the moment, filled with the usual CBD crowd. Fit out is nothing special, but the atmosphere is good if not a little loud with those who can’t handle their beer/wine. We spent $180 on wine and food and weMorere left wondering if it was money well spend.
Auckland’s best restaurant? Not by a long shot. But the owner must be laughing each time he checks his bank statement!
The food suffers a few slips here and there – but maybe that’s understandable with how busy they always are.
The oysters are the coldest I’ve ever had, love a really cold oyster and the chardonnay dressing is fantastic!
Standouts from the menu for us were the Turbot sliders, Epicurean Courgette Flowers, Snapper Wings and for something different the Fergus’ Bone Marrow.
Noisy, busy and really worth a try.
Apparently, I’m told, lots of suits there for lunch, mid-week
The decor is fun and relaxed, casual style menu that was easy to read with little embellishment. What you read was what you got. Ooodles of flavour on cool plates. Nice touch with the koha flatbread and babaganoush.
Ate the food, bought the book now home to read and cook.
Bonus that there was a very charming French waiter there, but apart from that, the food was fantastic, we didn’t have to wait long for a table, and the wait staff were attentive and friendly, making us feel immediately at home.
Tua tuas to start: ooh la la! Vinagrette was awesome. Highly recommended: turbot sliders, veal with capers and falling-apart pork hock.
Can’t wait to come back with friends, thanks for a great night.
The menu certainly looked exciting and each dish was a pleasant surprise to me in terms of taste. However, I felt that the food was overpriced for its setting. A $22 share plate gets you 3 small pieces of whitebait fritter. For that I’d expect myself to be sitting somewhere in Viaduct, not around a tiny table where our elbows were touching each other.
I must say the first time I want too impressed waiting outside for a table. It was a windy night and we weren’t even in the restaurant! But the service is great and the drinks kept coming so we were happy.
It only got better once seated, the food was just wonderful and quite different – the flavours.
Great wait staff and you even get to meet your neighbouring dinners at the shared tables.
So since going in Mid November I’ve been back 3 times…..would even consider giving up cooking so I could go every night.
I found the Kiwianaesque decor at odd with the restaurant price level. Its all very well sitting at rough tables drinking wine from picnic tumblers, but you can have a similar experience at the Loaded Hog.
There were definitely some very good dishes. Recommend the lamb ribs, sashimi and baked fish. There were also some pretty ordinary ones. Whitebait fritters that consisted more of flour and egg than whitebait. Snapper with coleslaw in rolls – snapper had saggy batter al-la cheapo F+C shop.
Have had better value for money elsewhere and even though it wasn’t bad, I wont be in a hurry to back.
Good food, great ambiance and will definitely be back
Chair/ stools gave me backache and was a Little pricey but that would be the only negative comments. Had the fishcakes, tortilla, pork and brisket. All fab! The sugar pie was yummy but the RHUBARB and ginger pie was the best! Will be back.
They serve wine in water glasses but we insisted on wine glasses instead.
If you like oysters I would recommend an oyster plate and a glass of wine (in a wine glass), then move on.
The food was o.k but I wouldn’t rave about it. We had a platter of different meats that was good. My wife’s small fish burgers were a bit bland. The pork hock is a fatty cut of meat but didn’t have anything on the plate to to cut through the fat taste. The oysters were great as they were freshly shucked.
It’s a noisy place and the bar stools aren’t that comfortable. Not a great place for a romantic lunch.
After seating ourselves and waiting a further couple of minutes, I called the waitress as she walked past our table. So a little slow on the uptake with the service part of things.
BUT, Once our coffee arrived, all was plain sailing. The very friendly manager came over and poured some water for us. I must say, this is the BEST cup of coffee I’ve found in Auckland to date. I look forward to trying their food soon…
Enjoyed several small plates, kahawai fish cakes, kingfish shashimi and snapper tacos all delicious and great to share.
On waitresses recommendation we tried the pork hock next – a huge plate of meat served with the bone, tender, tasty and certainly slowed us up a bit!
Great to watch the chefs cook meals in the wood fired oven – and although we didn’t order it the Hapuka belly looks amazing – next time.
We managed to find space for the sugar pie to finish – mmmmm to die for!
Service was great, food came quickly and all washed down with a tap savingnon.
An amazing experience. Well be back.