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No sign, no telling, no need. Discreet is written all over the plastic bags blacking out the windows of this bar on the corner of Ponsonby and Richmond Roads. Veiled as a corner-shop under construction, Golden Dawn awakens. The furtive sign that you are nearing this clandestine enclosure is the gathering of people entering this haunt through the subtle side door.
Stark smatterings and bare essentials welcome you to the incognito workings of Golden Dawn bar. Those privy to find it can then begin to read from the drinks menu and learn of the vernacular array of craft beer and boutique wines on offer and only then may you start to understand the understated surroundings. Whilst the bar feels temporary in nature, the solidarity and quality of the alcoholic offerings feel like it should be here to stay. Provocative wines and cocktails alongside innovative New Zealand and international beers conquer our enthusiasm for excitingly raw, new and local things.
Making great use of the back alley city courtyard, this Auckland fringe bar is a hidden gem. Over-sized stable doors have been given another life as large communal tables and can cater for groups under cover. Creatively inscribed with quotations of Mark Twain and the like, the snack menu continues to deliver.
Try the delicate walnut toasts strung together with rustic red string that accompany scrumptious New Zealand honeycomb and goats cheese. Here fruits borne from our land of milk and honey reign supreme and this becomes the perfect urban jungle to satisfyingly wash down a cold crisp beverage catching the tail-end of the sun.
And as the sun escapes you, the outdoor fireplace will not, and the night will push on to see another day as the crowd descends upon the dawn to paint an eclectic urban backdrop in this inner city sanction. Seek this covert treasure and you shall be pleasantly surprised.