MenuMania has been acquired by Zomato. Read more about it here.

We are hiring.

On a mobile device? Try our mobile site, optimized for faster browsing.

You are here

The Commons at McKenzies

3_half star rating
32 reviews

Cuisine: International, New Zealand, Bistro, A La Carte

21 Hurstmere Rd
(McKenzie's Building)
Takapuna
North Shore, Auckland
09 929 2791

Hours:

  • Commons: Mon – Sun 11:30am – late
  • Bistro: Tues – Sat 5.30pm – late
  • Facilities/Features:
    • Business Dining
    • Live Music
    • Private Dining Room
    • Private Functions
    • Private Parties
    • Romantic Dining
  • Payment Types: Cash
  • Price Range: Spendy, $25 - $35
  • Dress Code: Smart casual
  • Alcohol: Beer, Wine, Spirits, Cocktails
  • BYO/Corkage: No BYO
  • Parking: Pay, Pay & Display
  • Good For Groups: Yes
  • Good For Children: Yes
  • Takes Reservations: Yes
  • Dietary Restrictions: Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Soy-free
  • Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
  • Outdoor Seating: Yes
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Dessert

The Commons is a sophisticated bar, bistro & restaurant. Whether it’s a casual lunch or dinner, something more formal for a special occasion, perhaps a late morning coffee, or a spectacular function, here is a unique venue serving up outstanding creative cuisine.

The courtyard is a ‘common’ shared zone between the five distinct yet interconnected bars and eateries, hence the name The Commons.

The Commons was developed as part of the popular McKenzies precinct on Hurstmere Road, in mid 2012. The Commons is owned by those famous for their spectacular redevelopment of Imperial Lane, Everybody’s and Roxy in the city.

32 Reviews for The Commons at McKenzies

MenuMania Sponsor

One of The Commons at McKenzies's Favourite Reviews What's This?

Mei

1

25th September 2013
5 star rating
I have taken the trouble to create an account just to write a review for The Commons. My company recently had a group of us do a mystery-shopping exercise, and The Commons received a 10/10 rating for their customer service by the group that went there. Looking for a place to have a family dinner, naturally I thought about The Commons. We were greeted by a lovely waitress at the bar who handed us over to another waitress at the Bistro area upstairs. Service was attentive but not intrusive. Food was good, not lacking in flavour, but perhaps erring on the side of being slightly salty. Dessert was even better – thoroughly enjoyed the beetroot and carrot dessert, which were very unique to me! Great ambience and decor as well. When we left, we were handed back to the first waitress who escorted us to the door. I had mentioned in passing that I had graduation on that day, and she still remembered 2 hours later and congratulated me before we left! The handover between waitresses and the flow were seamless – there wasn’t a time when we felt like we were left on our own (in a good way). Probably the best customer service experience I have had thus far – the interaction felt personalised. I can quickly see The Commons being one of my go-to spots on the shore!

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

11th May 2014
2 star rating
Hi all, here for Mothers Day and waited 1 1/2 hrs for the main. Appreciate it was busy, however, the chefs seemed to be very slow putting food up. No salt and pepper on the table, no steak knife with the beef and my wife’s dessert came with no spoon of dessert fork. She had to wait and then ask for one.

Food was only average and the waitress was nice, however, the system of the bar seemed very un-organised and did not run smoothly.
All this for $120.00 for 2 adults and a 2 yr old.
Sorry, there are better places elsewhere in Takapuna.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

Sieska

2

6th April 2014
2 star rating
Was really excited to take my parents here for a few drinks for their wedding anniversary today but was honestly a bit shocked. I’m a regular here and have come here a few times on nights or afternoons out with friends but today the drinks didn’t turn up for about half an hour and then the wrong drinks came out. Not everything ended up on the same tab so clearly someone hadn’t set that up right. Don’t get me wrong i love this place and I firmly believe in second chances but guys you need to step it up. Taking the time to write things down and make sure the order is correct is important.

I’m not sure who was in charge of staffing there but it looked like the two girls on the outside section were working extremely hard to try and get round to everyone and didn’t have any backup or support. They looked exhausted from it. I just think a few more staff is all this place needs. I’m a waitress myself and know how hard it is to get everything perfect all the time. Was really impressed with the bartenders though, friendly as anything and helped sort out the tab.

Not impressed with today but will be coming back.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

23rd March 2014
5 star rating
We had a very special Saturday Lunch for a bride and 4 bridesmaids at the Commons and it was spectacular. The service was unbelievable, the staff were so amazing and really went the extra mile to make sure we had a wonderful afternoon. The food was excellent, we absolutely loved our meals. I had previously been to the Bistro upstairs too for dinner one evening with my husband and have never had such a wonderful meal. Although pretty pricey, it is absolutely worth it and the staff could not be more professional and attentive. I would HIGHLY recommend The Commons to all from a simple, cosy afternoon lunch to a very special dinner at the Bistro. The staff and their attentiveness really make this restaurant stand out. Thanks so much, we will definitely be back and have been recommending to all!

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

Leonie

1

16th March 2014
5 star rating
I came to The Commons for a hens night, the hens had cancelled and I didn’t know. While I was feeling like a absolute d*ck the staff sat me down with a beer so I could figure out where everyone was. The Commons was BUSY and they still found time to make me feel welcomed. I’ll be back, thanks.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

Dionne

1

1st March 2014
5 star rating
We had dinner at The Commons tonight, in their upstairs restaurant. The food was absolutely EXQUISITE! We were very impressed – every mouthful just melted in our mouths. We went for the 6 courses to share and I ordered an extra main. Beautifully decadent! It was a real treat and we were really satisfied and pleased with our meal. The service from the staff was outstanding and definitely worth a good tip! It has been a long time since we received such quality service.
Thank you to The Commons for making our date night so special! Awesome to experience quality dining so close to home.
We will be back again very soon for sure! Every dish was gorgeous!
Thank you again!!! :-)

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

Rick

7

18th February 2014
5 star rating
This is a great Restaurant! Upstairs is the main area for great food and service. Fantastic menu nice French Champagne and Degustation and wine match. Feel this could rate as one of the Top North Shore restaurants!! WILL BE BACK!! Fantastic Guys!! Keep it up! Ciao Ducati Rick And Sina. 8-} 8-}

Visited December 2013

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

Amy F.

1

4th February 2014
1 star rating
I went to The Commons for my birthday and was quite disappointed. There were eight of us, and a family member had been in to The Commons the previous day to pick up a menu. She told the staff member we would be there the next day (a Sunday) and he told her there was a lighter lunch menu on Sunday nights and gave her a copy to take with her, also pencilling our group in for the next evening.

Upon arrival we realised that the restaurant area was closed and we sat outside in the open area. A bit of a shame but probably a misunderstanding. We were given drinks menus and ordered drinks, only to have another staff member provide us with drinks menus, explain the “bar food” and ask for drink orders a few minutes after the first. We were confused and wondered if these snack menu items were all that was provided for dinner.

Finally we were brought some full menus, however these were not the same menus as given to a member of our group the previous night. Following more confusion from our group and the waitress we were told the menu had changed. Options such as a seafood linguine and a salmon tart which some members of our group had been keen on were not on this new menu. We were told the menu had changed since being given a copy of the old menu the previous day. We thought this sounded strange but diligently ordered off this new menu.

While placing our orders we asked the waitress to please give us a gap between the clearing of the starters and bringing out the mains so as not to rush this special occasion. She replied that she would delay putting in the order for the mains until she had cleared our starters. Perfect.

The starters were tasty, however before all starter plates had been cleared our mains started appearing – exactly what we had requested not happen. After voicing our disappointment we tucked in. The portions were generally underwhelming given it was dinner, particularly the coconut prawnMores which featured 6 prawns on a very small pile of salad. Bottles of wine were ordered and failed to appear quickly.

As we left The Commons I glanced at the menu stand at the door and saw that the very menu we were given the previous day, the one we were told had been changed, was on display at the door.

We had an enjoyable evening thanks to the company however the experience was tainted predominantly by the staff. After reading numerous positive reviews, upon which I had based the decision to spend my birthday dinner at The Commons, I was highly disappointed. It may have been a Sunday but The Commons should avoid resting on its laurels and pick up its game.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

29th December 2013
4 star rating
My family and I were browsing the streets of Takapuna for somewhere nice to eat before we went to a movie at the nearby cinemas, and we chanced upon The Commons. We ordered our meals from the friendly staff, and it arrived, well-presented, in a reasonable time period, especially considering how busy they were. As a testament to how much I was enjoying the food, I ordered a second main. This was cutting things a tad fine time-wise, as the film was due to start in half an hour. I asked the waiter how fast my salad could be brought to me, as I was in a bit of a rush. He was very accommodating and nice, and I had scarcely paid for it before it was brought to our table. It really can’t have been more than five minutes. And it was delicious – really tasty. As a plus, there was a live musician that evening, and I was pleasantly surprised by how good he was. Definitely going there again.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

3rd December 2013
4 star rating
Just a message to the chef. Really enjoyed the degustation menu (outstanding) but the John Dory main dish was disappointing.

Please don’t serve fish if a. It’s not fresh and b. it’s overcooked.
And when it’s mentioned please don’t make us feel the fault is ours.

Lovely wait staff – attentive and friendly service.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

Liz W.

46

22nd November 2013
4 star rating
I really enjoyed the dessert dish that I had from The Commons stand at Taste of Auckland last weekend.

I indulged in their dessert: the “Beetroot Coral – cassia bark cheesecake, burnt palm sugar icecream, cinnamon sable, beetroot and raspberry sorbet” Which was very very tasty.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

nicola

1

2nd October 2013
5 star rating
I wanted to write a review as i had nearly been put off by bad reviews and thought it must’ve gone downhill from when it first opened so I was pleased I ignored those and booked at The Commons for a special dinner with my husband.
The service was outstanding – the waitress was very attentive all night but in no way intrusive. She was friendly and courteous and we felt that if the food lived up to the same level then we were in for a treat, which we were. The food was divine. The mains were delicious and the desserts a treat. I had dined here previously when it first opened but my husband hadn’t, so i was eagerly awaiting to see his reaction to the food as its really a bit of a surprise to see exactly how its presented – and i wasn’t disappointed, he loved it.
We have a birthday celebration coming up for someone who hasn’t been to the Commons so will be looking at re booking again to show them the wonderful experience we had

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

Clara

1

15th August 2013
5 star rating
Excellent meal last night for table of four. It was my second visit, and while I enjoyed the food first time it was in a whole new (and better) class last night. I had Beef Red Curry and Pina Colada dessert. We shared some sides. My friends all had different options for main and without exception every dish was a delight. First to arrive I was offered tap water to start (which pleased me), and when my friends we were given an option of sparkling, still or tap. Service was friendly. There were a couple of errors on our bill – including an additional item we hadn’t ordered or eaten at all. But it was quickly removed at the till when we pointed it out. Will definitely be back, but will also remember to check the bill at the end.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

26th July 2013
1 star rating
We went to the Commons as a group there were 14 of of us we started downstairs having drinks and Tapas in the restaurant. They kindly moved us upstairs as everyone arrived.

The service was the most appalling service I have ever experienced. I got up 5 times to find someone to order more food and drinks. Three staff were hovering at the upstairs bar with 3 tables being served. Perhaps less chatting and more attention to your customers should be a priority $688 dollars later I left feeling totally peeved off!!!!

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

5th August 2013
1 star rating
Ok, so it was Queen’s birthday weekend.
For those poor souls who have been left in town, with no where to holiday, a Saturday Brunch on the Shore – hey it’s over the BRIDGE – can feel like a holiday treat.
Or so we thought.
Ok, I admit. I’m not longer for the younger demographic. But being addressed as ‘bro’ by the young hipster staff of this restaurant did not make a good first impression. Coffees ordered, and arriving promptly, we were left to peruse the brunch menu.
By no means extensive, but at the same time something for everyone. So we waited for monsieur or mademoiselle wait-person to return to place our order. Perhaps the staff coffee wasn’t strong enough, perhaps the staff hangover(s) were too keen; I really don’t know. And after the 5th attempt to attract one of the waiters, we all decided it was better just to pay for the coffees and search elsewhere for a brunch with more attentive (=awake) staff.
Found it at a different restaurant on Hurstmere Road. They may not have the distressed-architect-designed gaff, or the laggards masquerading as staff, but the service is spot on.
UPDATE: I’ve had a very charming and apologetic email from the manager of this establishment, claiming that it was Queen’s birthday, the A-team wasn’t on duty, still no excuse, take great pride in service &etc&etc, And I’ve looked back over the previous reviews of this Restaurant, and it seems like the same old story: Opens well, food and service excellent, then the usual drop off in both. (the last 4 reviews or so specifically mention the bad service – sighs – good help is sooooo hard to find these days).
Some advice for said manager of The Commons:

What customers (especially REPEAT customers) are looking for is CONSISTENCY, in both service and food. Ideally, good on both counts. At least then we know where we are with the establishment.

Visited June 2013

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

6th July 2013
5 star rating
Went to the Commons for the first time this week, was delicious! I had the salmon entree, highly recommend, and the duck for my main. Struggled to finish the duck as there was so much of it, real value for money! Service was great, the waiting staff really know the menu and I’m so pleased they recommended the pina colada dessert, amazing! Can’t wait to return

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

5th June 2013
1 star rating
We have visited the Commons 3 times now and each time has been below average and only went last week because we were told the menu had changed. Unfortunately still the same chef. One member of the group could not finish her food and we all thought ours was too salty. We complained to the manager who said it was always good to get feedback but offered no apology. When we told the waitress who took our payment that we should not have to pay for the meal our friend found inedible the waitress just replied that no-one else had had a problem with that meal. She was rude and out of order. We will never go back. We were the only group dining there as well so what does that say. Get your act together Commons. It’s not good enough just being a pretty and trendy venue, we need good food as well.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

Ann

3

9th April 2013
2 star rating
Had heard some mixed reviews about The Commons, went with a friend for a drink and a quick bite while the food was mediocre – squid good. Chicken bits dry & over cooked, fries cold, however it was the most pleasant part of our experience.

Our waiter was uninterested, the water tasted like chlorine his response was condescending and rude. A great looking venue but the toilets were unhygenic and no toilet paper, when I told our waiter he was again rude!

We didn’t finish our food or drinks and left very disappointed, would not recommend to anyone.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

5th March 2013
2 star rating
We had a bizarre experience here. We turned up to have some wine and dessert -there were three of us. After it was clearly established that we were very fortunate to secure a table eventhough we didn’t have a booking (it was a quiet Monday evening) we proceeded to look at menu. We then change our mind and decided to go somewhere else to eat but still ordered some wines. We then got asked to leave the dining area (would never have set there if it was exclusively for eating ) and have our drinks in bar area. It was said very professionally but still awkward and this point my friends thought we should leave. We stayed and as wines got brought to us we then has to go up and pay a very unsmiling server. Weren’t allowed to pay after finishing wine. So while I’m sure the food is fantastic and I would prob still go back, they think they are an elite establishment that could just chill out a bit.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

14th January 2013
5 star rating
We had dinner at The Commons last week (there were 4 of us). The service was fantastic and the food was incredible. We had dined there in November, and enjoyed the experience then too. After reading a couple of the December reviews we thought our visit last week was going to be a bit average and nearly considered going somewhere else.
Thankfully we didn’t – it was just as wonderful as the first visit. Our waitress was very friendly (and not in an over-the-top way), she topped up our wine or water and took our orders at all the right times. The menu is exciting and the food presentation is 10/10.
We’re looking forward to going back soon.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

28th December 2012
3 star rating
Had dined here twice before and was very impressed with both food and service. However, while the food was still great the service on this occasion left something to be desired. Arrived on time for our Tue 7pm booking and waited at the downstairs reception desk. Nobody was interested in us despite the restaurant not being full. After about 5 minutes a waitress approached and asked ‘Are you all right?’ No smile. Even McDonald’s welcomes you better than that. I explained we had a 7pm booking, she checked it and still with no smile briskly said ‘Follow me’. Then she took off at a great rate and by the time we got to the top of the stairs she was already across the other side of the restaurant where she pulled out our chairs and then before we reached the table she had taken off never to be seen again. The waiter who then arrived was better and at least gave us a smile in welcome. He asked did we want still or sparkling water and we said still. He arrived back with an open $20 bottle of still mineral water. At the end of the meal we refused to pay for this and the manager conceded that we should have been given the option of tap water. Come on The Commons, your food is still great but you have let your service standard slip.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

22nd December 2012
3 star rating
Great location and atmosphere but a place of two half’s. The upstairs restaurant serves good food backed by great service. In the courtyard the food is mostly fried and the service poor. There was a strawberry salad, however it had the most interesting tasting sauce that none of us liked.

Stick to the beers downstairs in the sun and the food upstairs.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

19th December 2012
4 star rating
Cool find in Takapuna as it is off the main street behind the shops in a lovely courtyard like area. Plenty of options for seating inside or outside. New place, but already locals seem to be flocking there. Service prompt and good and the place was packed in the weekend, but not so busy you get forgotten or ignored. Food looked great and drinks were served promptly. Will definitely go back next time I am over the shore.

Visited November 2012

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

12th December 2012
4 star rating
At last a nice restaurant on the North Shore. The menu is not huge and not your run of the mill options. Each dish has a little something special. The portion sizes are generous and the food is nicely presented and tasty. Only suggestion I would like to make is, please put some salt and pepper on the table as a couple of the dishes were on the bland side. Also a couple more waiters to reduce the wait to get served would be an advantage. The restaurant itself is modern and very nicely done. The location is fantastic. The prizes are on the expensive side, so will wait for a special occasion to go back.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

22nd November 2012
4 star rating
The setting is lovely but you’d probably have a fun time in the casual downstairs area in summer time.

Lovely location.
Service was good.

The food was beautifully presented. The taste was delicate but to be honest niether of the two dishes I had were bold. There need to be more seasoning – nice to look at but not absolutely WOW to eat.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

7th November 2012
4 star rating
Fine dining, great service, staff very informed on menu & wine.
Nice touch a wee bread roll & there lovely truffle butter. The presentation of the food was gorgeous, freshness & flavours outstanding. I just wish I had time for desert…next time! My only complaint and this is a personal thing is that I wanted a little more seasoning & unfortunately there was none on the table or anywhere to be seen nor was it offered.

Visited October 2012

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

CM

1

29th October 2012
5 star rating
Dined here on Saturday night, food was a little different and it was excellent. We were a party of five and the service was great. Like others have said service was very attentive but not intrusive, let’s hope they keep it up. Great setting, lively place outside but this didn’t bother us upstairs. A bit on the expensive side so unfortunately won’t be going too often.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

28th October 2012
5 star rating
Excellent service- attentive but not intrusive, helpful and accommodating staff. The food was great and well presented, the wait time between meals was perfect, so you’re not rushed and not waiting to long either. The only thing- the beer list could do with some expanding.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

Chris

1

16th October 2012
3 star rating
This was my second visit to The Commons at McKenzie’s. We dined upstairs, and I would have to say the food is fantastic. However the service was average to disappointing.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

14th September 2012
5 star rating
I went here with my friend for a special birthday lunch today, and it was special. The service is fantastic, attentive, but not intrusive. The food was delicious. Attention to detail excellent. I had ox cheek and it was melt in the mouth. A really great experience and I look forward to going again, once I haved saved some pennies. This is an expensive place. But worth it.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

Jo K.

1

14th August 2012
5 star rating
Fantastic food and service, finally fine dining comes to Takapuna. Don’t leave without trying the pina colada desert!
We went there just a few days after opening but it seemed like everyone was relaxed and did their job well. Comfortable surroundings that don’t demand high standard of dress yet provide high quality fare.

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

Dot B.

1

31st July 2012
5 star rating
In no way connected to restaurant owners. We live in Takapuna and have been waiting for a place like this. Excellent food, really wonderful staff. Get a sense that everyone is one team. Loved it and will be back. Every item on menu looked a hit. Pity we were too full by end of night

Bookmark    Send to a Friend

1 to 32 of 32 (3 Filtered)

Did you eat at this restaurant? Have an opinion to share?

Write a Review