Franc’s (Takapuna, North Shore City, New Zealand)
It was August 18, 2021 when Auckland went into a lockdown and since then most Aucklanders like me just stayed at home as all workplaces are closed, all establishments were closed and all you can do outside is to exercise within your bubble. After 107 days, this is what freedom tastes like becuase this post actually happened the time our lockdown was lifted here in Auckland last December 3, 2021. Many Aucklanders celebrated after getting tired of cooking at home or ordering takeaways, while I did not have that issue as I love cooking, what I do miss is to grab some drinks in a bar, I certainly miss the crowd noise after 107 days of quiet days and nights in the comfort of my own home.
We came here quite late as we already had our early dinner and were just after for some drinks, it was around 8:45 PM and their kitchen if I can remember closes at 8:30 PM, luckily the person who accommodated us told us if we can order something quick, he will sneak it in the queue of the kitchen orders. As we sat, there were still many people enjoying their first night out for a while, Kiwis done usually care about the food, these last batch were probably there more for drinks with friends and families that they haven’t met physically for so long. Us being Asian we need to have some nibbles with our drinks and that is non-negotiable.
We ordered a couple of bites, the Loaded Waffle Fries (NZ$ 16.50) served with bacon, cheese, gravy and sriracha sour cream, then we also grabbed some Old Bay Fried Squid (NZ$ 17.50) served with crispy onions and sweet chilli sauce. We enjoyed with Sol Beer and Orchard Thieves Cider Feijoa and Lime. Service was pretty quick even though we noticed that the staff were quite hammered from their busy day, just imagine how many Aucklanders have flocked the bars on that first day to freedom. As usual, the drinks came first but we were quite thirsty to that first round did not last and have to order several rounds as our bites arrived.
Now what can I say about the food? Well, the squid was good, well-seasoned and perfectly cooked, amount for the price was questionable but that was OK, these guys struggled without business for more than three months, we just considered it as our small help to the place. Loaded Waffle Fries was advertised outside as something Poutine (I can’t remember what that something was) hence we were expecting something like that, actually it was the one that made us choose this place as my daughter loves poutine. If we remove poutine as a description then it was good, loaded? well not quite compared to what loaded means to Filipino and American restaurants. The waffle fries was nicely cooked, it was not soggy too even with those sauces on top, what I liked in this order was the sriracha sour cream which balanced it all out, nice zing with some creamy taste, we loved it.
Overall, it was a good night, it was surreal after so many days just staying at home. The place has this nice ambiance, the lighting certainly set the mood that we are indeed in a bar. The staff were great, they served fast and with a smile.
Address: The Strand, Takapuna, Auckland 0622, New Zealand
Phone: +649 488 0016