Ben Gusto, Howick

Recent reviews

We walked in for lunch but the staff were all behind the counter, not even acknowledging us. The dining area was uncomfortably hot and we were waiting for someone to come and let us know what was happening. After a few minutes, we looked for one of the tables outside and helped ourselves to the menu. The table was precariously positioned so we decided against sitting there. Headed back into the dining area, put the menu back and left. The waffles smelt nice but felt like they didn't need any more customers since the outside area was full.

I'm not one to write reviews or go out of my way to write a negative one but this place was ridiculous. I ordered the hot cakes which on the menu was said to be served with caramelized banana and berry compote. Instead I received pre-made hotcakes, fresh banana, apple and pear (??) With strawberry syrup, all drenched in whipped cream for $15. While I would've liked to give feedback in-store after we were served our meal, no waiters even came around to where we were sitting (in the outside area) and we weren't asked about our meal by the preoccupied waiter that was taking our payment. Terrible experience.

Preparation was not good. I ordered pasta of the day which was this mushroom fettuccine. All it had was mushrooms there was hardly any fettuccine. Not good.

Im all for new opportunities but the start of this year has seen Ben lose his Gusto. Had a bad experience mid 2016 with a voucher they didnt seem to want to honour although they werent busy. Was told they were fully booked when we mentioned the voucher on the phone and that we should try another time. Phoned a little later to book a table and was given a time. I then mentioned the voucher and there was a hestitant confirmation. Tried again today 01/01/2018 and the service was just as poor, despited all the "under new manament" notices. New management with the same staff doesnt mean much. Waited 30 min for coffee and had to tell them 3 times what my order was. Had a muffin while we waited...not the freshest tasting muffins at all. Eventually cancelled the coffees and paid for the muffins. We will not be giving Ben Gusto a third chance.

Went in for their waffles as I heard its Ben Gusto's speciality. The waffles were average, not presented as nicely but tasted alright. For the amount I would say you could get better waffles from places like The Obroma. I wish they put in more effort with the presentation and had more or thicker chocolate sauce that you could actually taste. We also got curly fries to munch on something until our waffles came. The curly fries tasted great, there were two sauces with it and it was a huge plate full. Ben Gusto has an amazing unique looking exterior of wood. Its at the end of the street with all the Howick shops, and has handy parking on the street beside it. The store inside is very welcoming as well. I just wish their outside seating had full doors instead of half hanging doors that covered the wind from coming in as we decided to sit in the outside bit since inside the seating was to close to each other. I won't give it any more than 3.5 because of these reasons.

Best cafe at Howick, we tried waffles, hot chocolate, ice chocolate and cake as well, Friendly staff, fast service... Even one of the staff literally had a conversation with us, if you need any help in Auckland do let me know...That was so Kool, like who says this to a total stranger... Best place to spend evening or weekends... Good food... Kuddos Team Ben Gusto :)

Ordered a set of gluten free waffles which was all fine until the guy had to come back and ask me twice what I ordered because he couldn't remember, my friend was half way through asking the lady a question and she walked off half way threw to attend to some other thing which was rude. I was told my waffles would take a little longer which I was fine with but then I ended up getting my huge waffles within 5 mins and my friend who ordered only one waffle took 35 minutes to get her food and the place was not busy. The food was nice however my friend then at the till was told to pay $2 more than she was supposed to, my friend showed her the menu that said her order was $9.90 but the lady persisted to ignore it and still charge her more. No one was in charge and service was poor, will not be going back, it's a pity because I have been before and it's been splendid but it has now lost it for me

We planned a Sunday lunch & chose this beautiful location cafe in Howick. We were warmly welcomed & comfortably seated. The cafe has a nice ambience. I found their menu had an excellent range of food & beverages. They had breakfast as well as brunch & lunch options. Their staff looked after our table quite well. We chose an Eggs Benedict + Salmon, Mushroom & chicken breast burger, omelette al-Fungi, curly fries, coffees & waffles. The portions were ample & proved excellent value for money, at the right temperature & beautifully prepared & perfectly presented. The egg yolk was beautifully soft & only slightly oozy but never hard & was just perfect. The Latte & Affogato were just divine. Their Barrista deserves good praise. Their Chefs did an amazing job with the omelettes & the chicken in the burger was tender succulent, rightly cooked throughout & seasoned just right. A successful test of great cooking is; you should not need to have to think about adding any further salt or pepper to it. A novelty item was their most original water glasses. The piece de resistance I have to proudly share with you; are their amazing waffles. If I may say so, the food was already awesome & this was the perfect topping to a great lunch. If I had not had such a fulfilling lunch i'd have had another waffle again. Maybe next time I'll go light on the main items. But Waffle you must! I appreciated the staff for their excellence & cannot stop praising them enough. I learnt that Ben Gusto is now under new management, so some of the earlier reviews from say three or more months ago would not hold out for now; especially based on what excellence we experienced today. We are very pleased to have enjoyed a delightful lunch & your hospitality. Been such a pleasure. The bill was most reasonable & the entire experience has been a real pleasure. I am positively looking forwards to more culinary expectations at Ben Gusto. Highly recommended to all & in parting, I shall add :: Waffles are a must have!

Delicious but a little pricey in my opinion, we ordered the seasonal fruit waffle, oreo waffle, and corn fritter stack which were all pretty big servings. Service was average but friendly.

Im not usually the one giving negative reviews but overall not a great experience with customer service. First of all, walked in waiting to be seated, all the staff looked at us, but no-one attended to us. Secondly we had a voucher which stated we had to book online via online booking tool (which we did) and were told by staff we weren't allowed to use the voucher since we didn't make a "phone" booking and should come back another day. And the restaurant was fairly empty. So I mentioned whether I could ring on the spot and book for half an hour later, but still weren't allowed. The fine prints clearly did not mention anything about "phone" booking. Although we ended up being able to eat there after all the hassle. The staff still continued trying to proof us wrong. I believe we are not the only ones experiencing bad customer service, so sort your management and customer service out in order for customers to have a pleasant experience in your restaurant!

Had the mushrooms on toast. Deliciousness on a plate. Mango smoothie is pretty good. Staff are lovely. The music is my favourite part. Loving that old school feel. Makes the atmosphere so much better.

Tucked away in a corner of Howick town, this cafe is certainly a little gem of a place. The menu has quite a variety of options and has ample seats inside. Having been here a couple of times, I have found the food to be well done during each visit. The service is quick and friendly. There is a good variety of pastries on display and are reasonably priced....most of them anyway. Having had the waffles at about $16 a serving is one of the few items that I found pricey however. As shown in the picture, it is quite a generous serving which almost makes up for it. The coffee was very good and the waffles was splendid so definitely no complaints from me. I will be back again to spend another lazy Sunday with the family here.

Had brunch with a bunch of friends here today - helpful, friendly service. I had the Eggs Benedict with bacon and hash brown which was really tasty - beautifully poached eggs (so many restaurants overcook the yolk!). The French Toast my friend had was loaded with bacon, banana and whipped cream - looked amazing. My coffee tasted a little bit burnt but I didn't really mind because the food was so good. Will certainly return! :)

Went to this place for breakfast, great service and great food. Looked busy in the morning however the food did not take long. Coffee is great too. Will come back again. Thank you

Went here for dinner because it was relatively empty (for reasons that quickly became evident). Ambiance was average - some music, mishmash decor, nothing too flash. Customer service was very average. I noticed when our drinks were served to us, the waiter didn't place them in front of each of us (you know, like in a normal restaurant) rather he made a half-hearted attempt to give them to us, meaning that the people at the other end of the table had to reach over and grab them off him. Food was atrocious - three of us ordered what was supposed to be sirloin steak (2 medium-rare, 1 medium). Don't know why they bothered asking us how we wanted them done because they each came out burned to a crisp, totally inedible and with a thickness comparable to schnitzel. We each took one bite, then sent them back and didn't pay the nearly $30 each they wanted to charge us for them. Another of us ordered a meal with grilled chicken which was also served burnt and dry. The only redeeming meal any of us had was the fettuccine carbonara. Basically 0.5 star each for 1) being open, 2) not being busy, 3) the pasta. To put into perspective how bad it was, we ended up going KFC to get Double Downs afterwards which was a lot more pleasant, a lot quicker, and their chicken was tender, juicy and not burnt! Really disappointing - will NEVER be going back, and would not recommend at all. Plenty of other decent places in Howick to spend your money at.

Service shit, food meh I enjoyed the pot pie hated the steak here's a pic of what they think is a medium rare steak. So over priced. If I were to to come back which I would most likely NOT I'd get the pot pie.

Not the best experience. Water glass wasn't quite clean, food stuck to the bottom and overall hygiene wasn't great. I got the toasted muesli. Large portion size, but I believe the ratios were a bit off with the amount of honey and yoghurt given. Also got a hazelnut decaf coffee , was pleased with that 😊

I really really enjoyed the food here! We had Corn Fritters and Salmon Stack really tasty and fast. The kids had pancakes and berry waffles which they Loved! Our waitress forgot a coffee so took it off the bill and provided one free so we were stocked! Definitely coming back

I came here a while ago and haven't written a review. Food was delicious and presentation was marvellous. Very friendly attentive staff. I loved my dinner and dessert, would love to visit again and see how things are going.

Really disappointing! Coffee tasted disgusting ! Had one sip and didn't touch the rest . One of my friends ordered 'gluten free' waffles asked a few times to double check that they definitely were and he then about 20 minutes later he was in the toilet for over an hour due to them clearly not being gluten free ! When we spoke to the man at the counter about the coffee he didn't take the criticism so well , all I said was I wasn't happy with the coffee it was not drinkable and I don't want to pay for it , any other place would apologise but unfortunately not here. Sadly we won't be returning again.

First time and never going back. It didn't look like anyone was taking charge. I ordered 2 coffees, the lady didn't put them through the till and all the other 5 people were walking around doing nothing. After 10 minutes, I left without any coffees. Bad management overall is what it felt like.

I bought a grabone voucher for a seafood platter and two glasses of wine. When we arrived the guy at the counter said we had to call up and book to use the grabone voucher- we hadnt booked but the restaurant was quite, so not sure what the fuss was about. The seafood platter was below average- the prawns were clearly off- they had put some horrible sauce over them that made them taste even worse than just being off!  The salad on the plate was wilted and slimey. The spring rolls were alright, as were the squid rings. These are pretty hard to screw up though being ready made. The house wine was nasty cheap cask wine and my wine glass had a huge crack all the way down the glass. Was not impressed. We left without finishing hardly anything. Will not be back.

Great experience, friendly service with great tasting food. Steak with mushroom sauce was delight while my wife's mango salad was perfection. We visited here after 5 moths or so but we were blown away by acknowledgment & Welcome by staff at Ben Gusto.Highly Recommended!!!

we were here for breakfast today. and before with couple of friends this place is really good , i really love the menu alots to choose from...did tried cofffee so good, very friendly and food are just amazing will  be back.

Absolute rubbish food was crap service equally as bad. Attempted to make us a cocktail and no idea. Even the pizza was rubbish. Plenty of other choice in Howick so would avoid this place

Came for dinner ( a grab one ) steak chips and salad when asked how we would like our steak we said rare both came back over cooked and chewie smothered in mushroom sauce to cover it up ! Won't be back! !

Ordered the Pasta of the Day, which was chicken and vegetable. Pasta itself was well cooked, the sauce was quite thick. Enjoyed the first few bites as it was full of flavor, but later became a bit too much due to its thickness and strong flavor. Though the portions were very generous. I ordered the ice coffee for a beverage. Came in a sundae cup with a thin layer of chocolate on the glass. Quite surprised with what I got as I thought it would be a light drink, but can tell it was made with ice cream which made the coffee quite weak. Time for us to receive our meals was about 10 mins for our drinks, and then another 15 mins after, so felt a bit slower than usual. The store was about 80% full at the time of order. Atmosphere is very lively with friendly locals. Also feels safe with the security cameras they have set up. Outdoor setting is quite good, nice and cold for the hot summer. Indoor is not air conditioned but not a problem. There are quite a few flies that buzz around which is something that should be addressed. Staff and service is good and don't have any problems. Very professional with their black formal uniforms.

We went to Ben Gusto in Howick for dinner tonight. We used a voucher that included a shared entree, two mains and two glasses of house wine.  The entree was delicious - we had crumbed calamari.  We both ordered sirloin steak with mushroom sauce for our mains - this was cooked to perfection and very tasty.  The house wine was good and we received a nice big glass each.  Service was prompt and friendly and we found the whole experience to be very pleasurable.  We will be back real soon.

Called in last night in a party of 10 for a meal. We had texted and called but somehow the messages didn't get to the staff on duty. No matter they coped admirably with no fuss. Entrées were cooked to perfection, it's a little difficult to get calamari right but theirs was excellent. Our party included a couple of diners with particular culinary choices. Staff were more than helpful accommodating them. Highly recommended.

Went there for breakfast. Excellent service, not too busy in the morning so didn't have to wait too long. I got the special omelette and friend had the big breakkie. Serving size was massive and I could not finish. The omelette was cooked to perfection, not over cooked at all, it was soft and gooey with sausages, mushroom and cheese on it. Heard about their legendary waffles so will defiantly return to try them!!

Very enjoyable here good food good coffee, and very good service.i really highly recommend this place to the rest of my friends & family, keep up the good work guys.

This was our second time here and found the food very oily. We ordered the big breakfast and French toast. Couldn't finish the food because it was too oily (we didn't use maple syrup on the French toast too). Big portions. Not much attention was given to us which is fine. What I found weird is when I called twice to check closing times etc, the person who answered the phone just said "hello" which would question whether you have rung the right place.

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21 Picton Street, Howick, Auckland 2014
09 5379376, 021 687771, 021 712912
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Ben Gusto, Howick