Cuisine: A La Carte
(Victoria Park Quarter)
Auckland City 09 929 2790
- Mon – Thur 4pm – late
- Fri – Sun 12 noon – late
- Price Range: Moderate, $15 - $25
- Takes Reservations: No
Libertine is an exciting new Gastro Bar in the vibrant Victoria Park Quarter
23 Reviews for Libertine
I was excited to see tacos on the menu so we ordered the chicken and the pork to sample them both. Sadly, they were not very good. The tortillas were COVERED in flour and made all of the tacos taste like it. With the juice from the meat and all the flour, it ended up tasting like a weird flour paste. Not good. We also had the chips and salsa (not bad) and the croquettes. The croquettes were not what we expected, but a hefty portion (for a sharing plate) and good value for your money.
I’ll definitely be taking friends there to grab a drink but probably will skip the food.
I returned on the long weekend for a relaxed dinner with friends. My experience this time was not as impressive. It’s the small things really….I noticed Libertine seemed to have lost a bit of its shine – the gorgeous tree in the bar area was looking quite sad and is looking like it’s on its way out, the staff were very casually and sloppily dressed and the menus were well beyond their use by date with greasy marks and tatters on each of our menus. The bathrooms are very small and the soap on the handle idea is quite repulsive especially when the hand drier didn’t work that well. I am not a germaphobe but that was gross.
We ordered a couple of shared plates to start – all very yummy, Mains (steak, pork belly and chicken risotto) were also tasty. My dessert (beignets) came out raw in the centre so after trying for a few minutes to get someone’s attention, I managed to flag down a staff member who promptly took it away and a new dessert was prepared for me.
Will I return……hmmm …not sure…..will I recommend to others – probably not.
We had a selection from the shared plates menu (Meatballs, Quesdailla and Mixed peppers) to start, which were all great, I particularly enjoyed the meatballs. I had a steak (aged rib eye with chimichurri) for a main which was cooked perfectly.
The fit out is very impressive and the staff were attentive. There was a reasonable wait between courses (it was very busy, all tables full) but we didn’t mind that much due to the waitress delivering beers regularly.
Libertine was a nice surprise in Victoria Park (haven’t been there for a while) and I’ll be back.
Libertine seems like a great spot for a few drinks on a Saturday night, but we certainly won’t be dining there again.
The decor is great, funky and modern. The service was brilliant. But that’s all.
Starters were overpriced and not very tasty. For main I ordered a rare steak with no sauce. Now at $34 I was expecting something pretty good. But no. It came out cold. Plus it had been cut in half. I sent it back and got sent out a medium steak with sauce again cut in half. What sort of chef cuts open the steak and sends it out? All the juices are lost and it begins to dry out!! You’d have thought that if they DID cut it open then they’d see that they’d overdone it…. but no!
My partner had the rotisserie option (goat shoulder). It was also cold though he ate it as he doesn’t like to send stuff back….
It really looks like they are inexperienced kitchen staff who have no idea how to cook! Most non-professional cooks can do a steak properly in their own kitchen.
The only redeeming factor was the service – very good. The whole place is overpriced which makes it seem like the inflated prices are paying for location and decor rather than food. I would not go back and I would not recommend it to anyone I liked. Disappointing.
Great atmosphere, attentive staff and our hostess was freekin excellent!
We had a mixture of shared platters and mains – crab, chicken and calamari were awesome, meatballs were nice, prawn tasteless and soggy. Feedback from mains were very good, steaks, pork belly, rolled beef and fish. Food started coming out within 20mins to everyone.
I definitely recommend the venue for atmosphere, drinks and dining, but must say the friendly, energetic and efficient hostess took it from a good evening to a great evening!
We waited for a table for over an hour which didn’t bother us at all as we didn’t prebook on a Saturday night. However a few drinks later we were obviously quite hungry. We ordered several tapas style dishes between the 7 of us, all of which would’ve been fairly quick to prepare.
Oh how we were wrong.
Over the next hour that we had to wait for our food, we watched our table neighbours arrive 20min after us and they got their oysters and entrees served 15min after they arrived. We were still waiting and although the waitress approached us several times so we could order more drinks, no food was seen on our table. She tried to be friendly but failed all night to refill our water glasses until we asked for it.
2 1/2hours after we arrived at Libertine we were starving and decided to complain to a different waiter who was busy with several other waiters prancing around the celebrity guest. Finally we quickly got our food after we mention we were well aware that the table besides us received preferential treatment. On top of that they also managed to forget a dish and we had to remind them. The food was very average, nothing I couldn’t whisked up in my kitchen at home.
We were offered a free round of drinks for our waiting time – after we already had spend the last 2 1/2 hours solely drinking, this was the last thing we wanted and they brought us drinks we didn’t even want.
We left rather unsatisfied, some of us still hungry. I still can’t shake the feeling that they left us waiting to spend more money on drinks. And although we understand the excitement and added pressure of having a celerity who is a chef dining there last night, I recommend not to disappointed 7 potentialMore returning customers. Will I be returning? Only to have a drink at their bar and enjoy the atmosphere, but certainly not for dinner.
Libertine has a good atmosphere, every table in the restaurant was full and the bar was at capacity, the dj ensured good music that doesn’t dominate and a good bar area that has great potential for summer with outdoor seating.
That is where the positives end.
Past the maitre d’, the staff were fairly rude, had no knowledge of the wine list and stumbled through the specials. First the rolled beef was on the menu, then it was off, and then it was back on.
We ordered tapas for a shared entree including jerk chicken (dry and tasteless), soft shell crab (deep fried and oozing oil), prime rib meatballs (overcooked), chipotle prawn summer rolls (no sign of chipotle flavouring) and calamari (the best of our selection not withstanding the overcooked chorizo). Not a great start.
It was only when I noticed a table next to us putting in two complaints about how long their mains were taking that I noticed we had been seated for over 2 hours ourselves. Another table picked up the theme and were complaining about the wait for their entrees.
Our mains ticked the boxes rather than being anything stand-out. Pork belly was good rather than great accompanied by a very basic apple and slaw salad. It was filling but there was no x-factor, no flair or imagination. We ordered two sides, including hand-cut fries and minted cucumber salad, the latter of which was very clumsily executed. Overall the sentiment was satisfied without being ‘wowed’.
Our waiter, true to form, delivered us our dessert menus, rolled his eyes when I told him 15 minutes later we hadn’t looked at them yet and lucky for us we had decided to pass on dessert as 10 minutes later, without a word Morethey were whipped out from in front of us.
Overall, once an extra glass of wine that had been added in error was removed from our bill, with tapas, two bottles of wine, four mains and two sides our bill came to $400. Would I recommend it to you? Not as a dining destination. At that price point you can do much better in Auckland.
All in all we had great night at a beautiful location that started as drinks but ended in dinner, Libertine totally delivered and we will be back for another flat outing!!
We had a great experience and I am sure we will visit again soon.
I was at first surprised the staff were not in uniform but then reminded myself this concept encompasses Libertinism. You know…free, unrestrained. I like it. In a way I think us Kiwi folk need to make efforts to ‘conform’ to this nonconformist tude…?
I believe the staff at Libertine are strongly on board with what Pack have created at 37 Drake St and are playing out their roles well. Perhaps an additional staff member on meet and greet might help us shy ones feel a little less on display upon arrival.