One thing Auckland has been crying out for is a decent late night dining option.
Up until now post-drink pickings have been rather slim. And gluten free fare after 10pm is practically non-existent.
But no longer. With the recent addition of the Late Night Diner to its smorgasbord of establishments, Ponsonby Road is suddenly all the more appealing by moonlight.
Bedecked as a classic American joint and squeezed into the narrow gap beside Ponsonby Social Club, this place is far from a greasy dive – the styling oozes seventies charm, replete with dim lighting, bar leaners and neon signage.
At 7.30pm, it was relatively quiet – but steadily picked up steam as the night wore on, and was jam-packed with all sorts of characters by 10pm.
Accompanied by an impressive beverage list, the short order menu featured quirky staple snacks with larger home cooked options.
There were 5 or 6 GF dishes among the meals –and while our particular server wasn’t well-versed in what was gluten free, he did have the options written on the back of his order pad which he – charmingly sheepishly – gave me to read. My only complaint (slash food envy whinge) was that there was no GF bread for the toasted sandwiches, because boy, they sounded delicious.
Prices were surprisingly reasonable – costing between $12-20 for a long order option, with sizing slightly smaller than the norm (leaving plenty of space for dessert).
At our waiter’s recommendation, I ordered the bangers and mash – a tasty flashback to wintery childhood evenings. And while there was no sign of GF dessert on the menu, they whipped me up a wonderfully frothy panna cotta with berries – again, delicious. (Excuse the scratchy photos – the dim lighting, whilst romantic, was not photo-friendly).
My rating: 8.5/10
- Quality: 9/10
- Value: 7/10
- GF selection: 7/10
- Service: 9/10
- X-Factor: 9/10