La Zeppa, Freemans Bay

For fear of posting yet another restaurant/café/bar review and leading you all (That’s right, both of you) to believe that I spend far too much time eating and drinking out… that’s exactly what I’m about to do. In fact I was contemplating NOT saying anything about La Zeppa, thinking I might be seen to be flaunting my busy social calendar and showing off. Well, too bad I say. La Zeppa is definitely worth a mention.

Fairy Lights & Chinese Lanterns outside

La Zeppa is pretty darn choice bro. It’s expansive bar/dining area has that slightly under-lit, moody feel about it, but not so much that you’re left wondering where you left your drink or who is sitting opposite you. The lights are awesome – large, spherical, red lamp shades that look like they should be perming an old ladies head and smaller unusually-shaped bulbs with intricate filament detail illuminate the interior, while fairy lights are slung around Chinese lanterns outside. I can only imagine that chilling out on the picnic tables outside on a warm Sunday afternoon with a cold beer would be sublime.

La Zeppa seems to tread that ever-shrinking, thin line between a wanky, must-be-seen at drinking hole-slash-restaurant and a very styley, relaxed haven from the craziness of the central Auckland city. I definitely lean toward the latter because the staff are friendly, the seating is plentiful and comfortable, and the view overlooking Victoria Park would indeed be picturesque on a nice day.

Tapas is “the go” at La Zeppa and, with quite a good range of meaty and vege options, everyone’s tastes are sure to be well catered for. I recommend the risotto balls, the goats’ cheese & mozzarella balls and the Wagyu meatballs. There do seem to be quite a few options that come in a spherical form…

One thing I will point out is the potential to get carried away with all the options available. It is very easy to inadertently over-order. We ended up getting 13 dishes between four of us (all different) and, of course, required a few drinks for in-between servings. Needless to say it is quite difficult to track the impending cost of the bill prior to its arrival at your table. That’s where the Entertainment Book came in very handy.

Definitely recommend this place. For a lazy drink and a snack, or for dinner with friends. Check, check, check it out.

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