Last week I got a text from my friend Josiah asking if I wanted to check out a new bar/ restaurant that has opened in Kingsland. It didn’t take much convincing, I’d spotted the light fixtures from the street and he suggested that I could blog about it, that suggestion led to me thinking about how many mouths with taste buds I could drag along and boom, last Friday we were at Citizen Park for lunch.
Citizen Park is located next to the new Glengarry store and across from Askew’s Hotere piece on the Kingsland strip. It opened a couple of weekends ago and is a worthy entry to the range of slightly glitzy, slightly pre loved bars and restaurants that have been popping up around Auckland. Inside it’s quite industrial and old kitchen like while outside there are tables for court yard dining, a flash white tiled bar and pretty light fittings.
Inevitably there for the food, not the fittings we were quickly informed that they would not be the Sandwiches or Salads but between us we went to town on the ‘Littles to share or indulge’, ‘Xtras’ and ‘American Grill’ menus. By harrassing my friends to tell me how much they liked the food this is what we found:
Three different people at our table ordered Tacos so when they arrived all on the same plate we were a little confused. With no side plates on offer and not so attentive wait staff the boys and girl tucked in. Their verdicts? – The beef and lamb tacos were delicious, the vegetarian taco was a bit boring.
Onto the next round of food were the yellow goodies – Tequila Fried Oysters, The Dirty Bird, Calamari Citizen and the not pictured but AMAZING Corn Cob. The Oysters received a big thumbs up from Adam while the Dirty Bird which turned out to be crumbed chicken bits almost wasn’t photographed, it went so quickly. The calamari however was a little bit disappointing – a bit too chewy and not crunchy enough.
Gareth decided to go for sides with his order and got Mac n Cheese and Fries. I personally think that this was a very clever move and would be perfect on a rainy day. Apparently it tasted pretty good too.
Another good call was the Green Chilli Dogs – Hot dogs with a huge dollop of avocado on top. I will admit, presented on a bed of fries this dish gave me food envy. However not for long, the piece de resistance of my order were the Jumbo Prawns. Delicious BBQ’d prawns with tasty side salads and thick cut chips. I would definitely buy these again.
We couldn’t leave without trying Citizen Park’s take on Sliders, even if it got forgotten off our order and we had to ask again for them. I ordered the Pork and Scallop sliders and I have to say that Depot still wins. These sliders were yummy enough but had a bit too much oil on them which drowned out the subtle flavour of the scallops.
All in all I enjoyed Citizen Park, it’s a nice place to sit and have a few drinks and since Neighbourhood no longer serves chips or sandwiches it’s probably the best place to have some snacks on a nice afternoon. While I wasn’t sold on all of the dishes and the service left a bit to be desired I’m going to put this down to teething issues which will hopefully be improved the longer they’re open. A strange point I noticed was that while the bar is adorned in bottles of Pol Roger, they also have cans of Double Brown on the drinks list for a whopping $9. A selling point is that their courtyard has a retractable roof to cater for Auckland’s fussy weather.
All in all I’d recommend Citizen Park, as far as bar/restaurants go it has a pretty cool menu which hopefully will get better and better as time goes on.