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Tony Astle does not want progressive customers

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, May 24th, 2014 - 100 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, helen clark, john key, national, same old national - Tags:

Tony Astle

Tony Astle, National Party fundraiser extraordinaire and under this Government the recipient of an award as Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit is apparently a quite good chef and allegedly has good taste in food.  Unfortunately he has very bad taste in politicians, having publicly backed John Key and National to the hilt.  He has also made some rather weird public comments.  He is obviously not afraid of the prospect of putting off wealthy progressives from frequenting Antoine’s Restaurant.  But he should talk to a lawyer because he appears to be discriminating against people because of their political beliefs.

Rachel Glucina, social gossip columnist and official National Party propaganda spreader, said this recently:

The eccentric “godfather of New Zealand chefs” has banned Helen Clark – and jokes that David Cunliffe could be in his sights.

“I would have to consider banning Mr Cunliffe, should he ever become prime minister.”

Antoine’s, the favourite haunt of Prime Minister John Key, who is a frequent Sunday diner with his wife Bronagh, has entertained the great and the good for more than 40 years.

Astle is bringing out a book next year, and says he’ll dish the dirt on some of his more scurrilous patrons.

Len Brown, he says, was a frequent diner, coming as often as four times in one week before the SuperCity election. “But we don’t see him as much now.”

Astle is a staunch Tory supporter. The glittering 40th anniversary party he threw for Antoine’s last November billed Mr Key as a main attraction and many rich-lister Nat donors as guests.

Astle should talk to one of the many lawyers who frequent his restaurant.  Discrimination on the basis of political opinion is prohibited.   And banning Helen Clark and being willing to ban David Cunliffe is stupid at so many levels that it is hard to know where to start.

Astle no doubt thinks that his Remuera, Mission Bay, Epsom, St Heliers clientele will approve of his obnoxious privileged view.  This may be so but there are a group of well heeled liberals who will probably never set foot in his restaurant ever again.

For me I would prefer to frequent the likes of the Hardware Cafe or the Refreshment Room or La Rosa or the Stripe Cafe where wonderful food and exquisite company can be experienced at a price which is within the range of most of us.  Of course we need a society where this is within the range of all of us.

Astle and his kind would squirm at the suggestion that ordinary people could have a great meal and not subsidise his obnoxiously privileged lifestyle.  But he is a dinosaur whose world view where he occupies a position of privilege is clearly wrong.  There are multitudes of ordinary people whose contribution to our society is way more valuable than Astle’s contribution.  And they have the decency to respect human rights.


100 comments on “Tony Astle does not want progressive customers”

  1. Grumpy 1

    Wanna phone and try to make a booking? Let us know how you get on………

    • fender 1.1

      Yeah I suggest hundreds of reservations get made for customers that never turn up..

    • cinesimon 1.2

      Because for grumpy, the only thing that matters is that rich people eat at an asshole’s restaurant.
      Because actually reading an article before he decides to make childish and bizarre comments is just TOOOO MUCH, MUUUMY!!!

    • Murray Olsen 1.3

      I know what you mean, Grumpy. The telephone service can be atrocious:

      • North 1.3.1

        Fukn Marie Antoine-ette Ponce ! Ramsay with a carrot up his arse.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.2

        Hah, that’s an awesome review 😈 😆

      • Olwyn 1.3.3

        Given such reviews it looks as if it would be more fun being banned from the place than going there – sort of like being banned from Fawlty Towers.

  2. the card 2

    If he’s had Len brown dining there it means he clearly accepts anyone at his restaurants, it would probably be advisable though to arm his waitresses with pepper spray if Brown comes back to visit.

    • cinesimon 2.1

      Oh so you think he’s a rapist, or do you just think rape is a good laugh? You’re probably projecting your own issues with women onto others.
      Grow up, you hateful little child.

  3. Hamish 3

    His website is a pile of shite too.


    He should get that sorted before banning people.

  4. karol 4

    Ah yes, there’s some good restaurants and cafes around Titirangi. Also, I’ve been to a few around Henderson & New Lynn. Most are propably a little more down market than Titirangi, but I have been to one or two with a good vibe & some dood food.

  5. ianmac 5

    “This may be so but there are a group of well healed liberals….” Maybe healed from the hope that National had intended to help all people but instead ripped off the poor.

    Astle probably follows the belief of the sort of people who live in gated communities so that they can signal their imagined superiority over the ordinary folk. They need an inferior group to bolster their advantage.

    [Right you are. I blame autocorrect! – MS]

    • ianmac 5.1

      Meant no offence. Just find accidental mistakes can often appeal to my sense of humour.

  6. Marty 6

    I know you and David got the dosh Greg, but I can’t even think of eating at places like that. No great loss, to be honest. Nothing wrong with a decent burger 🙂

  7. Grumpy 7

    Wow, how the left have evolved……..The Standard now becomes the vehicle for silver service restaurant critiques…………..meanwhile, the poor people wait………

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Seriously Grumpy, what do you care?

      • Grumpy 7.1.1

        Perhaps it could become a feature, you know, from a left wing point of view naturally…….

        • Colonial Viper

          Well there is an upper middle class liberal set who believe that buying a new Prius is their bit to help prevent global warming, and they always love new eateries to drive to and try out.

          • grumpy

            I think you are describing Greens voters…………..

            • karol

              You know this how?

              Doesn’t describe this Green voter, who walks, or uses public transport as much as possible.

              • mickysavage

                But describes in part this Labour voter who is middle class and owns a Prius …

                But I am trying to cut down on consumption!

            • cinesimon

              You’ve got to be one of the most childish little trolls I’ve seen in quite some time, kiddo.

              • TightyRighty

                i’ve watched you migrate from the daily blog. you never add anything but hate and bile to the conversation. Here is a list of people who you will call trolls at some point here who have deviated from your absolutely set and narrow line
                – CV
                – MACRO
                – Anne

                There will be others, but it will be these three you blindly lash out at first.

  8. captain hook 8

    with a bit of luck he might choke on a frogs leg or swallow a bad snail!

  9. tc 9

    Bet he has been encouraged along with others to play some distraction politics in GE year.

    Boosting his book sales is a bonus as some back scratching is indulged in to keep his clients happy.

  10. fender 10

    Living at the other end of the island I know nothing about this fuckwit and his discriminatory (emphasis on the tory) eatery, but it sounds like the kind of place a runaway bulldozer needs to make a target out of (after hours of course).

    It’s a rather foolish businessman who effectively alienates half the potential customers available to him I would have thought.

    • fender 10.1

      Maybe he’s having financial problems and is trying to attract an arsonist so he can collect insurance..

      • Populuxe1 10.1.1

        Given that you are alluding to Indochine, I think you know exactly who he is

    • CnrJoe 10.2

      for your interest Astles restaurant specialises in offal dishes

      • fender 10.2.1

        Oh ok, that must explain his mad cow disease issues..

      • joe90 10.2.2

        Am I alone in thinking it’s mightily offensive offal, once vital to the nutrition of working folk, has been appropriated by clueless nobs and is now priced out of reach of most.

        • Rosie

          Yes, apparently offal is the new thing, it’s ALL the rage darling. I’ve read about it and am quite disgusted being a pescetarian an’ all. It’s called nose to tail dining and chefs are trying to emphasise the importance of not wasting the any part of the animal to be consumed.

          Fair enough point but you’ve got to wonder how many people eat these things because it’s the new fashion.

          Do you know that salmon and oysters were once the food of the rural and working classes?

          In Ireland and Scotland, their well loved fish, “The Salmon Of Knowledge” (who ate from the hazelnut tree, the Tree Of Knowledge when the nuts fell in the river, so the story goes) was abundant and was freely and widely eaten by all until the English started up with their colonisation and oppression of the countryside and Highlands. They fished the salmon out until numbers dwindled and barred access to the rivers so the traditional food of the indigenous people became the food of the elite on vast privately owned estates, once the habitat of the locals.

          The oyster was the common food of those living along the river Thames in London until they became so scarce that the elite took up eating oysters as a sign of their power – they were the only ones able to afford the scarce resource.

          So, whats next on the menu, Pam’s sliced white bread with one’s consommé?

    • Murray Olsen 10.3

      I doubt if he’s alienating many potential customers at all. People eat at Antoine’s because it’s snobbishly Tory and they like to show each other their company expense accounts can afford it. Lefties, except perhaps for the Blairs and Goffs (hardly lefties, I know) don’t tend to be into such conspicuous consumption. It’s a restaurant for the Aaron Gilmores of this world. The food has apparently not changed noticeably since I went there somewhere round 1980, and it wasn’t really that flash then. The place was weird, all Upstairs Downstairs type of ambience. I should have gone to Al and Pete’s instead.

      • Colonial Viper 10.3.1

        People eat at Antoine’s because it’s snobbishly Tory and they like to show each other their company expense accounts can afford it. Lefties, except perhaps for the Blairs and Goffs (hardly lefties, I know) don’t tend to be into such conspicuous consumption

        Len Brown said he used to go to Antoines all the time, and still does occasionally.

        • Murray Olsen

          How is Len Brown different in his politics to Blair and/or Goff?
          Maybe it was conveniently close to the wharves so that, after discussing how to smash the union with the idiots at the port headquarters, he could drop in for a quick bite to eat.

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    Another arrogant we’re-too-good-for-your-kind Tory

  12. Macro 12

    Went there once – about 40 years ago when living in Parnell – was ok but just as good dining to be had elsewhere – obviously the man is seriously up himself now.

    • Tracey 12.1

      it appears people go there to see the other people who go there, or to be seen there.

      i went once 32 years ago with my family. never been back.

      • Macro 12.1.1

        Yes that would be it – and be seen to be paying exorbitant prices for not very much – a sign of visible extravagance which is very important those who confuse goodness with money.

        • Colonial Viper

          a sign of visible extravagance which is very important those who confuse goodness with money.

          It’s a more legal way of keeping the riff raff and the working classes out. In the old days you would just put out a sign saying “No Blacks or Chinese”.

    • Colonial Viper 12.2

      So, a man who set himself up in business during the security of socialist NZ – then cheered on as it was dismantled and sent to the scrap heap. Another example of the 60+ generation who have screwed the youth of the nation.

    • North 12.3

      It’s that Ramsay carrot Macro.

  13. Linz 13

    Today’s fine dining is tomorrow’s shit, so basically Astle and his ilk are early-stage shit merchants.

  14. sabine 14

    Ahhh, arrogance always comes before the fall.

    there is a loot of good food in Auckland, and well one chooses their company to have dinner, lunch and or breakfast with.
    Let him ban David Cunliffe, surely D.C will find another eatery just as fine and accomplished, and who knows ……makes culinary history in Auckland again.

    • Murray Olsen 14.1

      I think it would be difficult to find a worse restaurant, particularly in terms of value for money and clientele. The time I flew first class on Emirates, the food was better. In fact, if you wanted to do a 70s nostalgia evening, you could hire a Fokker Friendship from somewhere and get Astle to do the catering. The funny little rooms and tiny tables make dining there a bit like eating on a plane.

  15. Simon Buckingham 15

    You notice that he has no idea how to update a website:

    You’re invited! Please join us for a glittering evening of fine wine, delicious fare, dancing and non-stop entertainment at one of Auckland’s most spectacular new waterfront venues to celebrate

    Forty Fabulous Years!
    The 40th Anniversary of Antoine’s Restaurant

    Friday 8 November 2013, 7:00pm
    Shed 10, Queens Wharf, Auckland

    Please note the line:

    Friday 8 November 2013, 7:00pm

    What a complete hooray henry!

  16. Populuxe1 16

    (1) quoting Porkchop Glaucoma, a barely literate gossip columnist, as a reliable source.
    (2) spinning that into a conspiracy despite the obvious fact that if all left wing pollies were banned, Len Brown wouldn’t be dining there.
    (3) reverse-snobbery restaurant spruiking.
    (4) it’s his restaurant and private property, and he may be a scumbag but he can ban anyone he wants so long as it isn’t discriminating against something protected by law.
    (5) You missed out all the funny stuff about Kim Dotcom.
    (6) FailOil has run this as a story too – Can’t we do a little bit better than that?
    Classy. Bored now.

    • grumpy 16.1

      Wasn’t it Whaleoil that coined the name “Porkchop” for Glucina

    • felix 16.2

      “(2) spinning that into a conspiracy despite …”

      Could you please indicate where someone has alleged a conspiracy?


      • Populuxe1 16.2.1

        Hmm, that would be summed up in the title:
        “Tony Astle Does Not Want Progressive Customers” – a fairly bold assertion of a state of affairs

        • felix

          That’s nice dear, but the line you quoted neither says nor implies anything about a conspiracy of any sort.

          Care to try again?

          • Populuxe1

            No, I think it’s best if I avoid one of those tedious threads you like to spin whereby you use semantic gymnastics and deliberate obtuseness to wear the other party down in a petty attempt to always get the last word. You can have the last word. I don’t care enough to begrudge you, though you have always struck me as being like one of those nasty old vulture ladies who during the French Revolution used to knit while they gleefully watched the beheadings.

            • TheContrarian

              “those tedious threads you like to spin whereby you use semantic gymnastics and deliberate obtuseness to wear the other party down in a petty attempt to always get the last word.”

              Heh, Felix to a tee.

              • North

                Poor old Popsicle. The Tory pus-thinking leaking out – as usual. While always proclaiming he/she is left wing. Fantasist I reckon.

                • Populuxe1

                  Yes, of course, I don’t mindlessly agree with something so I must be a Tory. Maybe the political spectrum is just a little bit more complicated than that.

            • felix

              Semantics, Pop? Well yes, I suppose it is.

              What you wrote was only untrue in the sense that words have meanings.

              If we accept that you can use any old word to mean any old thing then yeah, sure. You’re totally right and I’m being totally petty.

              massive 🙄

  17. millsy 17

    I wonder how he treats his workers…

    I imagine the 90-day trial period is strictly applied there.

  18. Tracey 18

    thank goodness he only discriminates on the basis of political belief and doesnt own an autographed churchill, hitler or stalin book.

    • Populuxe1 18.1

      I bet he doesn’t have “racist day” in the work place

      • Tracey 18.1.1

        i cant imagine what you would base that bet on. would you be ok if it was jews he banned from his restaurant?

        • Populuxe1

          If I said Ariel Sharon was an evil murderous bastard who deserves to rot in hell, and Bibi Netanyahu was a warmongering scumbag, would you stop trying to paint me as some kind of Zionist? It’s annoying, childish and doesn’t say much for your mental sophistication. Unless of course you’re some kind of anti-Semitic neonaz1

          • Tracey

            was the question too hard for you, or did it just hit your double standard nerve.

            • Populuxe1

              (1) I don’t imagine Jewish people often throw their religion into the conversation when booking tables, and (2) NZ law forbids that sort of discrimination, (3) I would not be ok with it, (4) nor would I be ok with it were they Muslims, (5) you are a dick.

              • Tracey

                i dont imagine anyone booking a table throws their politics into the conversation either.

                hitler put communists in camps and mccarthy hounded many to suicide. astle is basically hanging a sign on his door stating anyone with different political views to himself need not enter.

                you spent two days almost apoplectic over a man who bought autographed books from world war ii leaders who persecuted and killed many for religious and political reasons. you are strangely calm about a guy with discriminatory practices who raises alot of money for “his” party… calm except for the name calling.

  19. J.Caulfield 19

    Tony Astle is not worth worrying about. Just to show my age, I went to Antloines when it first opened over 30 years’ ago and again 7 years’ ago. The food style is stuck in the seventies, rich and heavy. These days there are some fabulous restaurants in Auckland that far surpass Antoines. Ignore him – he’ll hate that!

    • Huginn 19.1

      So true. So true.

      Antoine’s menu is dated – it’s like he’s missed the point of the great things that have been happening with NZ cuisine over the last twenty years – he probably has a very good understanding of his clientele.

      There are some great restaurants in Auckland at the moment – wonderful, intelligent, creative chefs making fantastic meals.To eat a meal with them is a happy, pleasurable occasion that affirms basic human relationships – maybe even with people you who don’t share your political views.

  20. greywarbler 20

    I hope his colon coils round itself and chokes him.

  21. Big dog 21

    The amazing thing is that he’s still alive!The name Tony Astle is one you would associate with Morris 1100’s,walk shorts and telethons.

  22. repateet 22

    I see the on the menu in the small print, “gst exclusive.” Don’t you have to pay gst there?

    And I’m disappointed people are getting at Rachel Glucina. Surely as one of the Herald’s chief political reporters and National Party leaksperts she deserves respect?

    • karol 22.1

      Doesn’t GST exclusive refer to the menu prices – and that means, GST will be added to what people are charged?

    • Anne 22.2

      “gst exclusive”. Don’t you have to pay gst there?

      Nah… what he meant was that as a very exclusive restaurant, their gst is of the exclusive variety. Not the ordinary common garden gst. That’s for the plebs like us. :mrgreen:

      • Colonial Viper 22.2.1

        It means that he expects patrons in his restaurant to be of a professional business variety who will write off their lunch and wines against their business accounts, thus getting the GST portion of the bill subsidised by the tax payer as well as a deducting the rest off their profits as a “business expense.”

      • greywarbler 22.2.2

        Anne LOL

  23. infused 23

    This particular post sums up the left so well.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      It’s fascinating isn’t it, history is replete with episodes where the wealthy and power elite push too far, take too much, denigrate too harshly.

      It never ends well for them or anyone else of course (people tend to lose their heads or end up swinging from lamp posts), but yet, they do not seem to learn one whit preferring to think of themselves as somehow different.

      • North 23.1.1

        Yes CV. They always know best. They own it all. In all things they and theirs personally reflect the zenith of human development. Hilarious that delusional snobbery should dominate lives so.

    • appleboy 23.2

      Your post sums up all that’s wrong with the right – Narrow minded, don’t give a shit about anyone else outside of your little “I’m all right” bubble. Poverty does not exist. People who are poor are just lazy. You on Planet key are doing just fine where billions in tax cuts get given to the wealthiest 5%. Assets owned by generations are sold off to a well off elite of kiwis who buy shares . Yeah that’s just great..for you and your ilk.

  24. appleboy 24

    Oh my god. Astle runs a restaurant where prices exclude GST and doesn’t take eft post. Funny how the well off can be so greedy. Over priced and so greedy he wants you to subsidise his business by YOU paying his bank fees. Staggeringly greedy.

  25. Cancerman 25

    I suggest a campaign of people organising on here and making reservations and then not turning up.

    • Anne 25.1

      I was going to make a similar suggestion, but the patrons would turn up and towards the end of the meal hold up signs with “Cunliffe for PM ” written on them. They would presumably be thrown out without having to pay for the meal.

  26. JanM 26

    By the look of that photo he could do with spending some of that restaurant profit on a decent hairdresser 🙂

    • fender 26.1

      +1 🙂

      And a shirt that fits his skinny (red) neck properly…

      And give the John Banks glasses back to John, he’ll need them find his cell…

  27. minarch 27

    I can guarentee for the right “consideration” or celebrity all those tory ideals would dissolve into nothing….

    would he turn away lucy lawless if she arrived looking for dinner ?

  28. Tamati 28

    Perhaps Phillip Mills should ban Gerry Brownlee and Paula Bennet from his gyms in retaliation?

  29. big bruv 29

    What a great idea!

    Being able to dine without ones evening being ruined by low life lefties.

    • felix 29.1

      This from the moran who thinks his civil rights are being violated every time he gets banned from someone else’s blog.

  30. Liam Hehir 30

    Surely the word “jokes” is an important part of the sentence that has so upset the writer.

  31. Will@Welly 31

    Anyone who has ever seen Peter Greenaway’s “The Cook, the thief, his wife, and her lover” will remember the final twist.
    Perhaps that should be Tony’s final offering – sausage du Key! A meal fit for a real plonker, full of sinew!

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    The number of working New Zealanders needing to stop Kiwisaver payments is another sign that many people are not seeing benefit from growth in the economy, says Grant Robertson Labour’s Finance spokesperson. "There has been an increase of 14 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fight Club failings
    The Corrections Minister must take full responsibility for the widespread management failings within Mt Eden prison, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rethink welcomed
    The Labour Party is pleased that Craig Foss is reconsidering the return of New Zealand soldiers buried in Malaysia, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “For the families of those who lie there, this will a welcome move. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disappointment over UN vote
    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Party all hui no-doey on housing
    The Māori Party should stop tinkering and start fixing tragic Māori housing statistics in the face of a national housing crisis, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to eliminating child poverty
    Labour accepts the challenge from Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft to cut child poverty and calls on the Prime Minister to do the same, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago