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Wednesday4:00 – 10:00 pm.

Thursday4:00 – 10:00 pm.

Friday4:00 – 10:00 pm.

Saturday4:00 – 10:00 pm.

Sunday4:00 – 10:00 pm.

23 Ponsonby Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland

021 379 700

KOL (pronounced ‘coal’ and inspired by the same word) is all about fire, food and cocktails. Cue: vibrant colours, bold flavours and interesting concepts and dishes. KOL seeks to bring us a fun and casual cocktail bar and Indian-inspired eatery, where you might come for a bite of tandoor and stay for a drink or two, with innovative cocktails that complement the food. 

Housed in the iconic villa that occupies the corner of Ponsonby Road and Hepburn Street, KOL is brought to us by Chand and Sid Sahrawat, the same masterminds who created Cassia and Sid at the French Café. The porch is the perfect place to people-watch, with an eclectic drink in hand, no less. Chand’s capable hands designed the interior, and if the porch isn’t your place, try the kitchen counter to watch the chefs at work, a bar-leaner or even a communal table. Upstairs, the larger private dining room can seat up to 20 guests. 

The menu is influenced by Indian flavours and proves that delicious Indian food is more than just curry. The food is cooked primarily over fire, paying homage to a traditional style of Indian cooking using a chula (a mud or clay stove). Cooking on fire and using the Tandoor to cook are not showcased enough in Auckland's offerings, and KOL offers that point of difference. The mushrooms with ghost chilli and macadamia have fast become a firm favourite on the menu, and it would be criminal not to snack on the vindaloo fries. 

The drinks menu features a range of cocktails alongside an extensive champagne, wine and beverage list. For something Insta-worthy, the Arils cocktail (vodka, pomegranate, cardamom and cucumber) ticks all the boxes. Featuring a theatrical ‘smoke bubble’ made by the flavour blaster (another nod to the restaurant’s smokey flavours), the drink is equal parts fun and delicious. Another tool is the rotary evaporator, which not only enables the infusion of interesting flavours, it helps reduce waste along the way. Taste the Agni cocktail, which features smoked dashi created from fish scraps that are smoked over the fire and then infused into the alcohol - don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, and we think (know) you’ll be pleasantly surprised! 

Words by Nicole Mudgway & Photography by Jerome Warburton

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23 Ponsonby Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland

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