Culture

First date restaurant review: K Road’s Lovebucket

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Intrepid singleton Anny Ma reviews bars and eateries on a sliding scale of first-date suitability

Love Bucket, 309 Karangahape Rd

Location: Love Bucket is tucked away in the back of K’ Road’s new Food Workshop. With minimal signage, you may panic that you’re in the wrong place. Never fear, continue straight on ’til the Andrew J. Steel mural. Proximity to Moustache HQ is a highlight if you’ve got a sweet tooth and a not-so-sweet date. Peanut Butter Cookies > Dating. 4/5

Bathroom: Unisex bathrooms can be hit and miss. Love Bucket’s unisex loos were clean and tidy, with no traces of a man who can’t aim (#NotAllMen). They lost points for having hand lotion instead of soap sitting on the sink. 3/5

Atmosphere: Love Bucket, while beautiful, feels like a hotel bar with a lounge vibe; I half expected a grand piano to be wheeled out. Actually, I longed for one to fill the compulsory awkward silences. The playlist needed some curating (like my Tinder matches), and the lighting kept dimming and brightening – I get it, I look better in the dark but I’ve still got a date to scope out, okay?! A K’ Road hipster crooning with a guitar wouldn’t go astray here. 2/5

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Food: I have a few rules to live by, namely, “Don’t swipe right on guys holding fish in their Tinder prof pics” and: “Melted cheese on bread will never let you down”, so I can always get behind somewhere that has toasties on the menu. I ordered the mushroom, goats’ chèvre, and truffle honey toastie, and well, it’s pretty hard to make cheese and bread not delicious. Every date should have cheese – the literal, not figurative, kind. If your date’s not a fan, immediately get up and leave their blasphemous butt behind. The food here is snack-sized, so if you want something more substantial (with or without company) K’ Road’s many eateries are nearby. 4/5

Drinks: As a Hallertau Brewery bar, there’s an extensive beer offering.

It’s quite overwhelming if you’re not a craft beer type, or even a beer type. I decided to gloss over the beers rather than nag the staff to explain them to me. I ordered a ‘Pinker Gin’ – navy gin, rhubarb and orange – and I can see why other people might like it, but I found it overpowering. Sparkling water was complimentary, and topped up by the astute staff as needed – not that my personality needs any more sparkle tbh. 3/5

Service: The staff are super-welcoming and eager to please, which are traits that make them highly dateable now that I think about it. Please do not go to this bar in the hopes of harassing the staff for a date though. Nobody likes a creepy customer who thinks they’re being charming. Stop it. 5/5

Verdict: Love Bucket, like my dating life, seems to be finding its feet. Once they’ve settled into the groove it should be an excellent dating spot. I’d go here again if I were meeting a craft beer enthusiast. 3/5

Words: Anny Ma
This article was first published in Paperboy magazine.
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