Just off Ponsonby Road, a bright, glitzy and expansive bar and restaurant has opened up and it’s sure to quickly become a key player in Auckland’s nightlife—Vodka Room.
As you walk off the street onto the elevated front terrace the first thing you’ll notice is the bright lights, chandeliers, plush furnishings and a central bar that houses close to 100 vodkas from all over the world. The rarest is Uluvkaa, a prized Polish number which we recommend giving a whirl. And the bar offerings would certainly not be complete without a sizeable cocktail list featuring the rich spirit in which this new opening pays homage too.
But hey, it’s not all about vodka here. From the kitchen, expect a bounty of traditional Russian dishes all executed with modern technique. Being the largest country in the world (in ground area) the cuisine is extensive, pulling influences from European, Middle Eastern and Central Asian fare.
Dishes are designed to share. The Blini Rolls are filled with Russian King Crab, salmon, pickled cucumber and dill. The Vareniki is a rich a satisfying dish of pan-fried potato and cheese dumplings, crispy onions, truffle butter and herbs. And the Kotlety is a spin on a classic fish cake featuring flaky flounder and scallops, then dressed with a herb salad of apple, sorrel and sweet mustard. There’s fragrant Stroganoff and of course, Borsch. And just FYI, if you’re hungry in the wee hours of the morning during the weekend, the kitchen here is serving until 3am…we know.
It doesn’t stop there. Aside from all the beautiful dishes and libations, upstairs you’ll find a handful of private dining rooms—two of which are dedicated Karaoke rooms! The ‘Bear Room’ is our favourite, featuring some bold taxidermy and leather banquette seating. We envision a lot of fun nights will be had here.
Vodka Room is definitely worthy of a visit. It’s almost as if you’ve transported to the middle of Moscow, revelling in all the renowned architecture and bright lights. So make like the locals do—sip on vodka and eat beautiful food—certainly not a bad way to spend an evening. See you there!
Image credit: Lauren Matilda Matthews