Where: 16 Fort Street, Auckland
Opening Hours: midday till late
Phone: (09) 309 0315
Occupied previously by the not exactly first class backpackers bar, Nomads, I had a few preconceived ideas about to what to expect from the place. Something just had me on the fence about whether the Cook Brothers crew would be able to shake the stigma of the dim lit bar that I’m pretty sure used to have a pole in it.. but sometimes it’s nice to be proved wrong and in this instance, I was.
Hidden up above street level, the 100 year old heritage building oozes atmosphere and character. It is something of a hidden gem in the Fort Street District. Perfectly mixing industrial design with a fresh contemporary fit out, the joint boasts high stud ceilings, exposed brick and huge timber trusses - the rooftop courtyard nailing the vibe you can expect from a Sydney garden bar. Surrounded by hanging plants, window flower boxes and large tables, the feeling at Fort Street Union is super social and friendly - adequately matched by the service of our waitress. Inside, the bar area is a nod to the chilled out pub you would easily call your local, with pool tables and comfy seating for lounging out. Nestled in the heart of the building is the open plan kitchen which injects an interactive vibe and a bit of a chef show, which is always fun.
The Fort Street Union menu masters the pub style menu, but with a twist on flavors that bumps it up a level. Having just enough variety to be interesting but still keeping to basic, staple lunch time favourites.
Especially note worthy is the reasonable price for a meal – it’s pretty hard to complain when everything is $13 (the Aussies were particularly stoked, with the way the exchange rate is sitting they were practically making money).
Needing to cure the Friday night induced ills, we ended up ordering a combination of steak sandwiches and beef burgers as well as chili lime chicken sandwiches and a prawn Risotto. It was great to have all our food came out all at the same time and without sounding too ‘girl’ on the topic, very refreshing to see appropriate portion sizes. Generous servings of chips and wedges, without being overkill - even the boys even agreed with me on this one.
Happy to admit to being a bit of a seagull sometimes, I managed to sample a taste of everyone’s meals. Those who know me know I’m not much of a lunch time burger girl, but the wee taster I nabbed of the beef burger with grilled courgette and relish might just see me returning to make an exception in the near future. I can also definitely recommend the chicken sandwich for a light, tasty lunch. The Risotto was a tad on the watery side, but still flavorsome with a generous number of prawns and a sizeable complementary side salad.
Even though we decided to opt for coffees over desserts, our waitress’ recommendations had us come close, and the dish named The Very Social Chocolate Fondue is just begging a return visit.
Feeling full from a great lunch and a little tipsy on the cocktails, the general consensus from our lunch outing was that we were sold on the place. Friendly staff, super relaxed atmosphere, a modern fit out and a tasty well priced menu, the Cook Brothers boys have done a good job making sure Fort Street Union ticks all the boxes.
Moa on tap
Good For Groups: