Where to Eat: Mr Toms

Mr Toms is the latest bar and eatery to hit Ponsonby Rd

Co-owner Jason Whalley (left) and head chef Tom Williamson. Picture / Guy Coombes.

Mr Toms is not about white linen and curtsies, says co-owner Jason Whalley.

“We’re here for fun. It’s not hoity-toity. It’s really approachable.”

The latest bar and eatery to hit the popular Ponsonby Rd strip is on a corner location famous for enticing summer revellers. Mr Toms will take up two levels in the former Bar 151 and United Kitchen building, the dining room downstairs, and a casual area to sip a cocktail upstairs.

Head chef Tom Williamson (right, formerly of United Kitchen, and before that, Oyster Inn and Ebisu) is moving on from the high-end bistro-style cuisine he produced in his last gig, delivering Mr Toms’ signature pizzas, plus salads, mains, and small plates designed to appeal to a wider audience.

“The biggest thing for us is good, old-fashioned hospitality,” says Jason. “Service that’s attentive and knowledgeable — but not in your face.” Don’t be surprised if the chef himself visits your table for a chat.

Mr Toms is with Future Bars, a hospitality company that also owns the Minus 5 Ice Bar, Rhino’s Ski Shack and hip new bar Little Blackwood in Queenstown.

They bought the property in August and set about transforming it into a light, casual space, all warm whites and greys, vibrant artworks and handcrafted furniture.

“It’s about no-nonsense food, great cocktails, beers and the best of New Zealand wines,” says Jason. “We’re keen to give people a good time.”

• Mr Toms, 151 Ponsonby Road, opening in the next few days. Ph 09 360 9138 or visit mrtoms.co.nz

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