Queen Street is undeniably The City Of Sails’ busiest thoroughfare but there’s a chance you may walk right by Queens Cafe Bistro—unless you’re looking up that is! Enter through Queens Arcade and you’ll find, sitting amongst the leafy green trees, this quaint gem.
The interior and menu pull influence from ol’ Britain with shades of teal, ornamental furnishings, high studs and embellished chandeliers. The space is broken up into a welcoming bar area, lounge, dining room and grand patio. We suggest perching up at a table outside—it’s incredibly relaxing despite the hustle and bustle beneath.
Head Chef Stefano has recently moved to Auckland, and it’s fitting that he’s worked in Michelin Star restaurants in both his home country of Italy and in England. The menu explores classic bistro dishes, highlighting local produce where possible, and each is executed with modern knack.
To start, the New Zealand crab salad is delicate and light, with depth given to the dish thanks to the accompanying house-smoked mussels. The Ora salmon takes a Japanese twist with the additions of a daikon and cucumber salad, wasabi mayo and toasted sesame vinaigrette. Or, start out with classic oysters—either natural or tempura—we’ll order ten dozen, please.
The tagliolini celebrates the bounty of our oceans—the thin pasta curls around clams, mussels, prawns and squid and is simply flavoured with fresh tomatoes, chilli and butter. The chicken ballantine heros mushrooms, while the super tender lamb rump is given richness, thanks to the goat’s cheese fritter it’s paired with.
If you’re in the market for high tea, then look no further. Queens Cafe Bistro offers a selection of different spreads,with everything made in-house, including the crackers and pastries. You should definitely round up the team for one of these. Paired with one of their eight Prosecco cocktail creations, it’s the type of weekend activity we see being scheduled in our calendars an obscene amount.
This new opening is one that’s sure to please many. Important business meeting—check. Wile away an afternoon with a wine—check. Start the night off with epic cocktails—check. Indulge in a beautiful three-course dinner—check. Return hungover for high tea and champagne—check. Queens Cafe Bistro; hats off to you.
Image credit: Lauren Matilda Matthews