This new central city restaurant is worth visiting just for its grandiose location.
June 19, 2019
Did you know Auckland's old Railway Station has been transformed into a beautiful restaurant? Platform 8 is situated in the Grand Lobby of the heritage building — a space known for its classical architecture with breathtakingly high and beautifully designed ceilings and large granite pillars branching from the shiny marble floor. If you really want to picture the place, just think Hogwarts. A licensed bar and restaurant situated right next door to Spark Arena, Platform 8 is absolutely begging to be the dining and drinking destination for concert goers.
Having only been open for around a month, it was a little quiet when we entered for dinner on Saturday night. Regardless, the stunning environment, excellent service and large variety of dishes make Platform 8 a winning spot. The menu is huge and predominantly features hearty North American-style cuisine across a range of small and larger sharing plates.
On the bar snacks menu you can find everything from market fish kokoda to buffalo wings, a three-cheese quesadilla and lamb croquettes. Alongside some house cocktails to start, we ordered the beer battered onion rings ($10). The portion size was huge and came with a spicy chipotle mayo for dipping.
From the larger plates section we ordered the half kilogram serving of pork ribs ($24). The ribs arrived steaming hot and were coated in a generous lashing of smoky hickory barbecue sauce. The plate was so stacked we ended up taking the rest away for later. We also chose the twice-cooked lamb shank ($32) to share which was served with celeriac three ways: in sauce, cube and chip form. While the root vegetable trio was perhaps a bit overkill, the lamb was cooked to perfection — fall-off-the-bone tender and melting in the mouth with every bite.
To finish, we opted for the Venezuelan créme caramel flan and Peruvian doughnuts. The flan could have been lighter, though it was nicely balanced by the rich caramel sauce and a refreshing scoop of feijoa sorbet. If there's one thing you should order off the Platform 8 menu, it's the doughnuts. Made with pumpkin and kumara and then rolled in cinnamon, the trio of nuts are complemented by lemon curd cream and a drizzle of passionfruit — we'd go back just for these bad boys.
The menu also includes several breakfast items, though unless you're a late riser, the 4.30pm opening time is perhaps a bit late to be sitting down with a bowl of granola, egg soldiers or omelette pizza. And while at times the Platform 8 menu could do with a bit more sophistication, the grandiose venue is worth the visit alone.