Ostro Restaurant & Bar
Cuisine: New Zealand
(Seafarers Building, Britomart)
Auckland City 09 302 9888
- Mon – Sun 12 noon – late
- Scenic View
- Price Range: Spendy, $25 - $35
- Takes Reservations: Yes
Ostro Brasserie & Bar is a modern NZ brasserie taking up the entire second floor of the Seafarers Building in Britomart, with fantastic views of the Waitemata Harbour on one side and the city on the other. The multiple Michelin-starred Josh Emett will be at the helm of Ostro, Seafarers, Britomart.
Ostro is a stunning dining space designed by Fearon Hay, on the second floor of Seafarers with sweeping views of the harbour.
Parking is nearby, and extensive. The Britomart building can be accessed from Quay Street or Britomart Place and is open 24 hours.
Ostro Restaurant serves uncomplicated New Zealand brasserie food, all day (Breakfast to start in early 2014). Josh Emett’s menu celebrates everything that is good about local ingredients – always fresh and in season, and offering a superb selection or premium New Zealand meats.
A large raw bar is a key feature of the Ostro offering – high quality fresh seafood, straight off the boat.
Booking is not essential and we operate with a walk in policy. However, we do take reservations for lunch and have a portion of the restaurant allocated for bookable tables and larger groups for dinner.
We encourage you to come join us at the Ostro City Terrace Bar prior to and after your dining experience, or at any other time for a casual drink.
59 Reviews for Ostro Restaurant & Bar
We came to this restaurant having been turned away rather rudely from Cafe Hanoi. Although we’d been hankering for Vietnamese, we were delighted with the quality of the meal and the service. It was fully booked on a Saturday night, and a private function took up half the bar. The wait staff still managed to accommodate us in the bar area.
The Canterbury lamp rump was delicious, although served just slightly too cold. The pork belly was fantastic – beautifully tender and crunchy at once. Desserts were also fabulous, especially the creme brûlée.
The service was the perfect mix of unobtrusive and knowledgable. Our water glasses were kept full and our plates removed without fuss. Out waitress was happy to recommend particular wine matches when asked.
The only reason we’d give 4 stars, not 5, is because some food was just slightly too cold and the music was a little too loud for comfortable conversation. This is the perennial problem of many Auckland bar/restaurants which try to be all things to all people, especially those in reclaimed industrial spaces with echoey acoustics.
Nonetheless, highly recommended. This must be one of the best bistros in Auckland. We will be back to try the raw bar in future.
If you want to have a disco, have a disco, but if you want to have a classy restaurant enjoying a $130 meal with a beut outlook then don’t spoil it with a venue so noisy the waitress had to talk to 2 at a time at a table of nine because the noise was so great.
We were sitting on uncomfortable bar stools at a bar table- we were booked but were not given a proper table!?
I know it is June but the place was freezing- what is it that architects always go for concrete floors these days everywhere.
I will take my noise cancelling headphones next time and a heater- oh I forgot, I am not going next time.
The outlook from Ostro is special; we often bemoan the lack of Auckland restaurants that let us see the harbour, and Ostro maximizes the view with floor to ceiling windows looking straight out over Quay Street. It was my wife’s second visit but my first and she highly recommended it. So why hit and miss? The hit was when my wife wore some broken glass and spilt bubbles when the glass was dropped onto the table as they delivered it, the miss was when the steak knife landed beside rather than on my foot as another waiter cleared our mains. Oops. They did take the bubbles and our entrees off the bill which we felt was a reasonable compensation. To the good, the kingfish crudo (sashimi) and pumpkin ravioli were two excellent starters. The fisherman’s soup as a main was nice but not special, the steak was cooked perfectly and the presentation great – béarnaise in a tiny saucepan plus jus in a porcelain jug plus beetroot and baked shallot. Didn’t stay for a third course – might have been tempting fate on this occasion. But I do have to go back another time for a second try
No one came to take our order nor explain the specials or answer any questions. When our bluff oysters arrived they were plonked down on our table with not even an excuse me. We had to ask for service three times, and felt like we should be pouring our own wine. The straw that broke the camel’s back, was seeing our so called waiter sit down at the table next to us for the remainder of the evening and chat with some ladies instead of serving us or introducing a new server to us if he had finished for the evening. Terrible service Ostro… Extremely disappointing and totally unnecessary. The food was all lovely, but hard to enjoy as we felt so disregarded. I hope Management listens to these reviews about the service, it truly is shocking.
Agree, the brussel sprout side is a winner.
Could not fault the service.
See you again soon
Arrived and got a fantastic table overlooking the harbor, what a shame our City fathers fail us miserably and allow POA to unload and park cars on the edge of one of the best harbors in the world. The sooner POA are moved out (or squashed towards the east) the better for us all.
On with the meal, we all had a range of entrees, mains and deserts. Without exception the food was great, one hungry teenager was disappointed that the King fish crudo was not the whole fish (he is still growing). The Pork chop was to die for, and do get the Brussel sprout side it is fantastic. Two of my party had the Savanna feast, big appetites and both left happy. Don’t want to explain every dish in detail, give Ostro a try.
Wines, chose a mid range Seresin Pinot Gris, very nice two bottles between 3 of us. Wine list was not massive, but had a good range to suit most pockets.
Our waiter was Collin, he did a great job running through the menu giving us the run down on most dishes, made us very welcome and was part of the experience. Not overly involved in the meal, but playing a supporting role. Did not see Josh in the kitchen, but his team did him proud.
Ordered a 2011 bottle and they gave me 2012 then told me that was what was on the menu. I checked the menu and it was 2011. They informed us that they forgot my wife’s main meal and when it arrived 15 minutes later it was too salty to eat. My meal was just ok.
Charged us for a bottle of wine we didn’t have.
I am fortunate enough to dine at the finest restaurants in NZ with overseas suppliers and I can honestly say this was one of the most disappointing restaurants I have been to. I will not be recommending this place to anyone.
I am afraid I was a bit disappointed.
The food was fine, a reasonable standard, but difficult to enjoy in a restaurant that was so noisy and frenetic! The bar area across from the restaurant created a huge amount of noise that echoed and bounced around the room. Also, being told we had to vacate the table, because they needed it for the next sitting was in excusable in my eyes.
I’m sorry Ostro, I won’t be returning.
We went with some friends from Australia who are big time foodies and wanted to try the master chef judges restaurant…..
1st half. We were looked after, shown to our table (which required booking 3 weeks in advance). Some tasty pre dinner drinks, good conversation and some great banter with the waiter as he set our night up.
2nd half. The wine list was very good…..but super pricey, the food seemed to be somewhat reasonably priced, especially for the reputatation of the chef, but as we went through the dinner, we were actually disappointed with the flavours, and size of the various dishes. Our friends were not really smiling as we left….. Its a great spot, harbor views and we were actually looked after, but the kitchen in our opinion kinda let the side down
Visited March 2014
Drinks from what we saw was quite expensive, pre made cocktails in the bottle were cute but personally preferred freshly shaken. Did not try any of the mains but from the other tables it looked like some of them seemed rather disappointing in size. Also could work on attention to people just arriving at the restaurant who could be standing quite awkwardly as they try to get floor staff attention.
Amazing experience here, hitting the par for food, drink, ambience and service. We did not have to wait long for our table as it was only 4 in the afternoon and was fortunate to be seated close to the sea view. We were taken care of by a super amiable waiter who was very apologetic with small mistakes he made and made it no fuss to fix up any problems. Service throughout the night was very consistent even when his shift was over and another waiter attended to us.
Menu was explained to us very intricately but not condescending.
My friend and I ordered the seared tuna and the beef carpaccio which were both divine.
Ambience of the whole set up was great, at first we thought having two separate kitchens was strange but effective as dinner time rolled around and people could enjoy different experiences.
Would come back in the near future.
Came back for dinner with friend completely different experience. Asked to wait at bar and order drinks while outside table being prepared. Bar staff busy talking amongst themselves, had to find our own wine list, eventually spoke to passing staff person to order a bottle of Chablis, the waitress collected us but returned later with our bottle of sparkling water and to advise no Chablis so we ordered a bottle of cable bay Chardonnay which took some time. Ordered our meals and then had our sparkling water glasses topped up with tap water….
Meals were well presented and what was expected, when plates taken away asked for a wine list for our mains. Mains arrived no wine so asked if they could speak to the mitred about a glass wine match for each main. After we were 1/2 way thru our meals and no attention I left the table to remind someone about the wine. They returned with 3 glasses and dumped on table with no explanation as to suggested match.
Overall poor service for a Wednesday night. When paying I explained our displeasure only to be told that a VIP table had also found 3 wines not available to them on the wine list. Gee makes me feel so much better…..
Tried Ox Tongue at his recommendation, was enjoyable entrée, had seared yellowfinTuna gorgeous, scampi, bluff oysters and Fillet Steak. Great menu and difficult to chose. Amazing wine list, for us, an outstanding experience!
Our food was good, but at 5pm on a Sunday there were very few other diners, so it was disappointing to be brought another table’s order by mistake and have the staff not understand that because we were under time pressure we were ordering some mains at the same time as entrees.
We wondered if they had their “B” team on. The food was good, especially the tarakihi and the tuna entree.
Food quality was good, but overpriced for the portion size. Staff are friendly but disappointingly lack of the knowledge of the food that they were serving. One girl does not know what are the type of meat serving on the meat platter, and another told us different serving size for the platter.
Overall beautifully presented food, but be prepared to pay for the upmarket environment and not very well trained staff.
Visited November 2013
The wait staff were friendly and professional, although there was the odd time where the wait was getting close to too much.
The Stewart Island oysters we had from the raw bar were as good as any oyster I’ve tasted; firm flesh sweet yet salty with sharp metallic aftertaste mmmm. I followed these with the kahawai omelette, which was soft and creamy balanced with the salty fish. Around the table the prawns were tasty, the kingfish crudo was elegant and the scampi risotto was exceptionally light and flavoursome. Most of us had steak for main, my scotch fillet done rare was juicy and very tender well cooked and I do love a nicely made bearnaise sauce. My vanilla pannacotta with mixed berry sorbet mixed berries and muesli was a light zingy finish to a very good meal. Don’t expect cutting edge innovation, but head to Ostro for a tasty meal executed very well in fine surroundings. If there was a 4.5 star button I would have used it
When our dessert arrived we took a bite but it looked just like plain brandy snaps (which were also on the menu). I called the waiter over to clarify. He said they were the plain brandy snaps. I said that we had ordered the other dessert we had been discussing that included the brandy snap. He said that I just said brandy snaps so that’s what we got. I asked him to get the menu and showed him the one I ordered with a brandy snap. He said I did not order it by the correct name. I can’t believe how rude he was and all over the cost of some $9 brandy snaps. After that he just ignored us for the rest of the evening.
I had taken my husband out for his birthday and the waiter put a dampner on the whole evening. Very disappointing!!
Could not fault the service, systems working very well and friendly wait staff.
I don’t mind paying for a top quality meal but 2 steaks out of 4 were not cooked to required liking, a fundamental of good cuisine. Starters were all good especially my Scampi on Saffron Risotto.
I am not a dessert person but everyone complained about the lack of choice and disappointing presentation. We had to wait a long time for the desserts and nobody was impressed, all different choices(5).
Wine was very pricey and beers are exorbitant. Extremely noisy but I don’t mind that. I feel it is going to be a while before we venture back there, a shame when it is such a perfect position.
It began badly by being seated at barstools right by the bar on a very busy night. There were so many people around us and the volume so loud we couldn’t hear ourselves talk! I hate barstools full stop and just about walked at that point. So we asked to be moved which they grudgingly did. Having booked a table we didn’t think it was too much to ask to be sitting on a chair.
So now happily seated at a table on a chair, we ordered our meals. From there it went badly downhill. My risotto was terrible and his pork pie was so salty it was hardly edible. We would have complained but really didn’t think anyone would care.
The other shocking thing is the state of the toilets – he said that the mens were so shocking that any woman would be horrified. Beer bottles everywhere, whiskey glasses, rubbish, just disgusting and that is a comment from a bloke. I didn’t use the ladies so can’t comment on that.
The location is second to none and I really hope when the crowds dissipate, it becomes a great restaurant and not a rowdy bar posing a restaurant! Or just ditch the food and be a great bar but the two things can never sit well together.
Oh yes view is to die for so just go for a drink and save your money!
Visited December 2013
Visited March 2014
Visited December 2013
Staff unorganized, slow and unprofessional service.
The food was terrible and every course came with ice berg lettuce as well as it being a side, chocolate mousse was solid and not smooth and creamy as you would expect …. I believe some more creative thought could have gone into this very expensive 4 course meal. To top it off the comedian came on for 5 mins and couldn’t be heard at all ?
Maybe Josh Emett should stick to TV instead of putting his name to restaurants that are well below the normal great standard of food we get in New Zealand.
Visited December 2013
The food was outstanding, we had great expectations after having had dinner at RATA in Queenstown, a sister restaurant.
Marinated king fish, a great tuna entree, superb main courses.
And fabulous dessert.
Like others have reviewed the service was a let down, friendly but untrained staff spoils the experience.
And the wine list was a tad over the top price wise.
The setting very nice with harbour views.
Sugest to immediately hire a full time trainer to train staff on a one to one basis
The food was well priced and we all enjoyed our selections, I really liked the pork pie. However the wine list was over priced and the selection very limited.
Worth a try if you want to check out the location.
We were one of the larger parties and scored a great spot in front of the glass wall which allowed the first 4 to arrive the get the seats with a view out over the wharf area/car storage area!!! Gorgeous early-summer evening and with the gentle breeze zephyring through the open panels on the glass wall we were set for what turned out to be a most enjoyable night.
Service was prompt and in fact pleasantly attentive throughout the evening.
To the menu. I hate it when there are about 3 items for each course that you’d love to have. Normally I then spend the night looking longingly at other people’s plates and thinking “I wish I’d had that”!
I started with the SMOKED KAHAWAI OMELETTE with hollandaise and watercress while others had the OX TONGUE TWO WAYS with mustard, cornichons, sauce gribiche and grilled sourdough, MARKET FISH CEVICHE with meyer lemon, avocado, red radish and cucumber and the ‘CURIOUS CROPPERS’ TOMATOES with fresh herbs, compressed watermelon, avocado and cucumber. All were declared very tasty. I particularly liked my omelette which was light and flavoursome.
I was dying to try the two way ox tongue and tried to put the evil eye on Tom but there was no offer forthcoming. Had it been Deb I’d have nicked a bit off her plate; but she’d never have had it in the first place. Al wanted me to specifically refer to his curious croppers tomatoes – curious choice is all I’d say!!
For mains we covered a fair bit of the field. The ROAST SCAMPI RISOTTO with Marlborough saffron and parmesan was one of the dishes that I could easily have had but I felt like a steak so went for the Grain fed, 250g WAKANUI SCOTCH with béarnaise and a jus whiMorech I just loved. Others had the HONEY-GLAZED GRILLED POUSSIN with harissa and blackened tomato, the BRAISED DUCK AGNOLOTTI with parsnip, pickled pear and duck crackling, RICCOTTA & SPINACH TORTELLI with Tomato, basil and parmesan and the LINE-CAUGHT TARAKIHI with Candied grapes, fennel and toasted almonds.
We shared sides of MIXED LEAF SALAD with lemon and avocado oil, FRENCH FRIES with fresh herbs and STEAMED ASPARAGUS with picada – all passed the test.
Verdict. Well I’ll leave that to my fellow dinner guests. Tom said the Scampi risotto was scrumptious, Marie said the fish was gorgeous, Deb declared the poussin “perfection on a plate”, Lena loved the rissotto, Murray said the duck was excellent, Juls rated the tortelli really nice and I can’t remember what Al had haha. Ah yes I can after texting him, it was the tarakihi which he pronounced very nice!
For dessert there was a fair bit of couple-sharing going on with the BOMBE ALASKA with Orange & mascarpone parfait with lemon sorbet and CHOCOLATE & COFFEE MOUSSE with Hazelnut beignet and milk sorbet. No sharing for me though!! I had my own Bombe Alaska and it was gooood. Of course with me not sharing there was no chance of getting a taste from anyone else!! Both desserts were declared very yummy.
So all in all it was a most enjoyable evening and Chef Cobus Klopper and the team at Ostro did a fine job.
It has to be said that the decor, location and view are all very pleasant. I had the pork Belly Pie with a side of Truffled Mushrooms. The pie was nice, but a little under seasoned for my liking – nothing that a dash of salt couldn’t fix! The mushrooms were divine, but could have done with a bit more truffle oil on them. The food highlight was the Pannacotta and funnily enough, the seaweed butter that came with the bread!
The service was a bit sporadic. It was either really good, or a bit average depending on who was serving.
The lowlights for me were the revolting state of one of the toilets. Even after mentioning their condition to a waitress, 90min later, they had not been cleaned. And the espresso martini…yuck! Not the way that I’d hoped my meal would end.
So yeah, still a little way to go guys. Thank goodness you have the business of the Christmas season to start you off well.
Full with Christmas bookings it was hit and miss of getting a good table even though I had booked more than a month ago.
The food was not spectacular. And in Britomart and the city at the moment it needs to be. The competition is tough and these guys aren’t quite up for it.
The service was poor. The staff were new, inexperienced and flustered.
We had an earwig in our salad. Wouldn’t get away with that on Masterchef!
Usually there would be an apology from the maitre’d and something done about it. But I had to bring it up when settling the bill.
A long way to go.
Hope they get it right eventually. Nice setup and great location.
Service was a mixed bag our waitress was great but the guys from the bar delivering our drinks need a good sorting out. Dour look on his face and mumbled something before spinning on his heel and departing. Probably in embarrassment of what he was delivering. I always order a Mojito to start the night and this one was below average. The other halfs Margarita was equally bad both tasted watered down.
Onto the food – Ox tongue done two ways was tasty enough as was the wife’s Ceviche. I had the Pork belly pie which again was ok although the accompanying salad was very bland, I’ve seen better between the buns of a Big Mac. But if I thought that was bland then I only needed to taste the wife’s Steamed Snapper to understand the true meaning of the word. Severely underseasoned to start with and totally lacking in favour. Very disappointing.
There is a consistency in the reviews now that would indicate something is amiss at Ostro. I sincerely hope they’re addressed quickly the location and star power of Josh should be a great combination that adds not detracts from the Auckland dining scene.
We chose Ostro expecting a high standard from Josh Emett but the food was just not up to scratch.
Entrees chosen were OK
Eye fillet steak had a chewy membrane and the scotch fillet to thin.
Asparagus side dish overcooked but the french fries were nice.
Desserts chosen were OK but nothing spectacular.
While the wine list was extensive it was so overpriced with us having to pay 3 times the retail price.
Nice venue but we will not be going back
Visited November 2013
Restaurant and bar looks great – fantastic location over looking the harbour.
The food was glorious. We had the ceviche, some oysters, ox tongue, scampi risotto (the best) and shared savannah bone in scotch which was great. Food came out fast and was presented well. High standard
Service was average at best. They weren’t very busy at the start of our night but at around 630pm it looked like they were getting busy – which i can appreciate as it was pretty new. Despite this, we still expect a level of service, nothing flash but its the simple things that need to be done right. For example, finishing our entrees and then waiting 20 mins for them to clear, no water for 15 mins or drinks for that matter (I had asked for wine list but couldn’t get anyone to take our order). Perhaps all the new / quality restaurants in Auckland has put a strain on the supply of quality service staff. It was good to see that another service person (neighbouring section) saw our plight and cleared plates and refilled etc.
I enjoyed the environment and food, service needs work if they want to compete. Recommend Ostro as I’ll be back but hopefully to some better service.
The view and setting is stunning but was let down by the service and food. The service was average at best and definitely below par for this kind of restaurant.
The food once again was average. The ‘seared’ tuna was not seared but looked like it had been poached. The scotch steak was okay and little over cooked (probably because it was paper thin). Came with a béarnaise (waiter forgot to ask what sauce I wanted) The burger was okay, a bit dry but the brioche bun & pickled courgettes were nice. Donuts were dense and came with a ‘chocolate sauce’ that tasted like milk mixed with cocoa powder. Bomb Alaska – was okay, Milse definitely does better.
Overall a disappointing experience as we had high hopes for Ostro Restaurant. I don’t mind average service if the food is amazing but that was definitely not the case here.
Would not recommend going for dinner but would be good for drinks as the setting is spectacular.
Service, very good, setting great.
How disappointing then to be barely acknowledged on arrival,
then ignored, left standing awkwardly at the entrance, waiting… and waiting… and waiting… in spite of having made a reservation a week earlier! We were not invited to have a drink at the bar or ushered into a waiting space.
Eventually, after complaining to the girl on the till and flagging down the maître’d, we were seated. The maitre’d, to his credit, was extremely apologetic and swiftly arranged for complimentary bubbles to soothe our indignancy.
I began to wonder if my initial expectations for Ostro were a little too high. The view is amazing, without a doubt, but a couple of things confuse me. The wait staff are dressed in t-shirts with silly salty sea dog phrases and Converse Chuck Taylors (why?). There are no tablecloths. The bar area was filled with young scruffy guys wearing sneakers and hoodies. My husband joked that a pool table and a jukebox would not have looked out of place. And it was really loud.
Anyway, we resolved to get over the frosty reception and enjoy ourselves. The food is (mostly) sensational. The smoked kawhai omelette might quite possibly be the most delicious thing I have ever eaten. Pillowy soft, rich omelette with generous morsels of smoked fish buried like little treasures. With a side of asparagus and glass of something cold it would be the perfect summer lunch dish.
The slow cooked rib for two was everything we imagined – deliciously unctuous, meltingly tender beef. Half the fries were cold, but those that were hot were delicious, though a rip off at $9. On the other hand, the petit fours represented excellent value at the same price, with macarons, marshmallows, fudge anMored strawberries, which proved a delightful little end to the meal.
Sadly, the service didn’t match up to the excellent food.
We anticipated that the maitre’d would check in with us and he did, which was good. But it was little things that let them down – our table was not wiped between courses which meant we spent the evening in the company of a rather sorry looking prawn leg. Somehow I ended up with two entrée forks and one was left with me during the main. The cold fries.
The view, the food and the celebrity chef will mean that Ostro Restaurant does really well, and I’ll probably be back – although not for a special birthday dinner.
A superb location with stunning views across the harbour.
Excellent space very well designed and fitted out.
The food was quite amazing.
Service perhaps a little patchy but overall fine.
Fans of top restaurants need to visit and soon.
Loved it to bits.
We had the kingfish and the tuna to start which was delicious.
The mains were very poor.
I had the scampi risotto and my husband had the pork belly pie.
The scampi was fine but the risotto had no flavour and very disappointing, couldn’t eat it!!.
The pork was bland, pretty dry, tasteless and was served on a wooden board which kept spinning around on the table. My husband ate it because he was hungry, but otherwise he would have left it. Needed a yummy sauce.
We both thought it was like pub food at best.
We didn’t have to pay for the risotto after we mentioned our thoughts.
Loved the atmosphere – cool place just really have to work on flavour, as you would expect a lot more for your money.
Food was really disappointing that is why we give it a 2 star rating – the rest was a four star!
Josh has really excelled here & we plan to return frequently to work our way through the delicious menu! Highly recommended and likely to be a very busy & popular place. Nick, Auckland NZ.