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“Shockingly good BBQ!!!”

Smugglers Bar and Smokehouse
Ranked #7 of 11 Restaurants in Oneroa
Price range: US$10 - US$30
Description: New place to be on Waiheke - Cocktails, bar and Smokehouse menu. Deck over looking Big Oneroa beach. Beach bar with amazing food by day, dance bar by night. Follow us for updates
Restaurant details
Description: New place to be on Waiheke - Cocktails, bar and Smokehouse menu. Deck over looking Big Oneroa beach. Beach bar with amazing food by day, dance bar by night. Follow us for updates
Reviewed 2 March 2018 via mobile

My wife and I flew to the ANZ region for our honeymoon from Texas and stopped by Smugglers on a whim for lunch while in Waiheke. We enjoyed some local lagers while enjoying the scenery and watching kiteboarding on the beach - the Smugglers Smokeboard looked like a good option and I love avocados so we also ordered the guacamole & chips. They also accommodated our request to keep the included chicken wings without hot sauce (just in case) but we found that the sauce was delightfully tasty and the chicken smoky and flavorful even without the sauce. The brisket was fabulous, a great smoke flavor with well-seasoned crust and the pulled pork was excellent. Enough for 3 people, in my opinion.

Thank Eric K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Smugglers B, Owner at Smugglers Bar and Smokehouse, responded to this reviewResponded 3 March 2018

Thanks For Your Review Eric, Glad you had a good time at Smugglers. Having a Texan enjoy our BBQ is a solid win for us. Congrats on the honeymoon. All the best in the future

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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22 - 26 of 28 reviews

Reviewed 1 March 2018 via mobile

We are hospo people enjoying a few days away from our busy restaurants and pubs. This place drew us to it for its location and their music.

We had an awesome shared meal of southern fried chicken and shoestring fries, chicken was to die for, messy but that doesn’t matter, as it’s part of the fun.

Awesome staff, very welcoming.
Totally recommended by people that know how it’s supposed to roll.

Thank 844shelleyh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2018

We would not come back....some menu items where not available and the Smugglers smocked board is to pricy, for the quality of the food.
It would be nice to have a proper written cocktail menu also. Cocktail was ok, but nothing I would go back for.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank janQ7255MZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Smugglers B, Owner at Smugglers Bar and Smokehouse, responded to this reviewResponded 27 February 2018

Im very sorry we did not meet your expectations.We aim to impress and nothing upsets us more than an un-happy customer. Please come back in so we can make things right and give you the value for money you desire.

To explain some things...

Regarding items not available. It's a balancing act. Ordering too much stock so we always have menu items available creates poor food quality issues. That's something we wont do. We make everything fresh. Using ingredients such as raw fish for the ceviche and poke require 100% freshness daily. Same goes for wagyu brisket. We smoke it fresh daily. When it sells out its off the menu till the next day. Reheating things like this jeopardize quality tremendously. We are also an island location and at times have issues with suppliers. Some won't deliver daily, some won't tell you when they don't have an item in stock, so you find out they didn't have it when the rest is delivered and your item is not on the truck with no time to get an alternative. We have accounts with a multitude of suppliers now to try and remedy this issue, however we can never promise we wont sell out of something due to our focus to make all items on the menu in-house and fresh daily. Some days you get unexpectedly busy and simply run out of items. Unfortunately happens to all restaurants that serve fresh quality ingredients. Very sorry if we didn't have something you wanted to try. We will always have it the next day if we run out.

Regarding the value for money. Again we whole heartedly apologize we didn't meet this expectation. The Smugglers Smoked Board comes with 200 gram of wagyu grass fed brisket smoked for over 12 hours (we stay up till 3am every night to put this on so it's fresh for service daily). The Smoke board also has 250 grams of 12 hour smoked free range pulled pork thats got a mustard and maple sauce, plus 500 grams of Buffalo style hot chicken wings. Add to that you get 4 kinds of pickles (fennel, dill, red cabbage and shallots) house made citrus slaw and also our house made habanero mustard. I personally don't feel it's too pricey for what you get. I've seen smoked meat boards of this size and quality sell for $85-$125. Ours is only $65.

However if you felt this way I wish you would have told us when your meal was finished so I could have fixed the issue. I do remember you ordering it and questioning the price of it. I explained what was on the Smoke board, offered other options and you went away, discussed with your partner and came back and picked the Smoked Board. Halfway through I personally made a point as the owner to come out and ask how everything was and you said it tasted great but was a little spicy. The heat comes from the wings and the habanero mustard we put on the side. I did explain that some elements have heat prior. Also asked if you would like anything else when I came over. If you felt it wasn't value for money, please in future tell us. Feedback is important in hospitality and gives us the chance to fix things and give you something else so you walk away satisfied. Going onto trip advisor after the fact, firstly doesn't give you the value for money you desired and secondly it doesn't give me the chance to get a happy, satisfied customer. We both loose. Just tell us in future while at the restaurant and we both win! It's why I came over and asked if everything's ok with the meal. Feedback won't hurt our feelings if we have a chance to fix it on the day. It only hurts after the fact because we couldn't satisfy the customer.

Telling me it taste good but is a little spicy and not wanting anything else, gives me the impression you like it but the heat on one of the elements is too much. It doesn't let me know you felt it wasn't value for money. I've personally been to lots of restaurants where I adored the food, felt the value for money was amazing but the heat was too much (thai for example). So when someone has an issue with the heat, I don't automatically assume they didn't like it or didn't feel it was good value for money. Had I known you felt it wasn't value for money I would have made sure you and your partner walked out on cloud nine by way of value for money. Please just tell me next time.

I'm glad you liked the cocktail, but I really wish you would have loved it so much you would come back for it again. Maybe you'll give us a second shot to impress you? Come down and have a cocktail and a bite to eat on me. I'd love you to try some of the other items.

And lastly, regarding the printed cocktail list, we don't have a full printed cocktail menu due to the fact we're an island themed tiki style bar, so having them written on the wall is part of the decor. We are also quite a small sized bar for the volume of customers we get, so we are limited to the variety of cocktails we can offer until we do a full renovation in the winter and expand the space and more importantly set the bar up to serve cocktails. We bought a bar that was not set up correctly to allow cocktail making in volume while maintaining high quality. So until then, we have 6 house cocktails on the wall that rotate based on fresh ingredients, plus the bartenders can make anything you like as long as we have the ingredients. We just hired a world class mixologist so I'm certain you will love our cocktails going forward not just feel they were ok.

Again very sorry we didn't meet your expectations. We are only 10 weeks old, with a totally new team all trying to find our feet in the busy Waiheke summer season. We bought the bar 3 days before xmas and it wasn't properly set up for cocktails or food. So it feels like we're drinking from a fire hose some days, lol, however we have a great team, we're kicking goals every week and enhancing what we've already established as the coolest bar on the island week by week. This weekend we just won 1st place in 2 of the 4 categories at Culley's King Of The Cue BBQ competition at Meatstock 2018. Huge achievement! We were the only team out of 60+ teams in the entire competition to win two 1st place trophies. So please come back in and I'm certain you will walk out with a smile. Like I said your cocktail and meal is on me.

Giving a 1 out of 5 to a new business when the service was good, the cocktail tasted good and the food tasted good is not really a fair rating. It's damaging to a business like ours so new, please give us the chance to fix it.

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Reviewed 18 February 2018 via mobile

This is the best bar on Waiheiki Island! The decor and layout of the bar is a relaxing island tiki style that welcomes you immediately. There are great views of the beach with a really cool patio.
It is a great spot to grab some food during the day with a tasty varied menu.
At night the bar really comes alive with different events every night e.g karaoke, themes, DJs and live bands. The staff are friendly and provide a great cocktail menu.
If you want to have a good time any night of the week, a visit to Smugglers is essential! Could not recommend it enough!

Thank Ferdia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2018 via mobile

matt's bloody mary is easily top 3 bloody marys ive ever had! 23 ingredients of wonder! lovely friendly staff and great location. highly recommend.

Thank ilikesparklystuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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