What do you get when you breathe new life into an old classic? A fancy AF bar and bistro with which we're completely and utterly obsessed, that's what. We're talking about the space previously held by The Dominion (an Auckland icon and particular fave with sporting crowds thanks to its proximity to Eden Park), which has recently received a luxurious facelift, and a new name to boot—The Bridgman.
The interiors are unapologetically extra, oozing Great Gatsby vibes with crushed velvet booths, over-sized chandeliers, quilted leather seats, lush potted palms and other gorgeous details, many of which have been tastefully aged (by ex-Lord of the Rings set designers, no less!) as a way of honouring the building's long history, which dates back to 1912.
Yes, this spot certainly knows how to impress and that doesn't stop at the decor. The bar is pouring all sorts of delish tipples, from craft beer and wine through to some seriously addictive cocktails (we like their take on a whisky sour, laced with black cherry jam).
What's more, the food absolutely refuses to play second fiddle to the booze and we reckon that's 'cos chef Ezra Wisaksono is in charge (he's ex-Hip Group, with Amano and Ortolana just some of the restaurants you'll find on his resume). The menu focuses on classic pub grub, but not as you know it—think prime rib-stuffed burgers, served with a jug of veal jus (do like us and dump the whole lot right on top, they don't call it a dirty burger for nothing)—an absolutely incredible version of spaghetti carbonara, swimming in pork hock butter and stracciatella—and lush grass-fed steak, served with frites, bone sauce and truffle sabayon.
And dessert should definitely not be overlooked, our top picks being the Valrhona chocolate tiramisu (lovely) and the vanilla and honey semifreddo (life-changing).
Pre- or post-game drinking spot, lunch or dinner destination, or for a lucky few, your new local—this fresh take on an old fave is ticking all the right boxes.
Image credit: Jamin Drupsteen