Around $25 a main
715 Mt Albert Road, Royal Oak, Auckland
Zookeeper's Son has the honour as being one of the few 'gastro pubs' in the area. It's the kind of place where there's ample room, beers a plenty to be drunk and a full menu to order from. It can certainly be a great combination when the components line up, but this gastropub fails on the food front.
The menu has a little bit of everything, without any kind of cohesive theme. So called 'Szechuan pepper squid', hamburgers, Thai salad, fish and chips and many other disorientated items are on the menu to tempt you. They all sound delicious, but I'm sceptical of any restaurant that tries to do so many dishes, from multiple cuisines and cultures well, it's an extremely tall task. Suffice to say The Zookeeper's Son isn't up to the challenge!
All the items I've had were mediocre, though at least the chips were done well. The herb pizza almost dusty, the Texas baby back ribs tough. The eye fillet was particularly disappointing. The steak itself was cooked fine, though underseasoned. The oddly paired potato gratin was dry, lacking the creaminess I'd expect. The bacon...was just bacon. Why?