Cock and Bull (Newmarket)

I haven’t had a bad stint for a while, so it’s about time I got one.

I decided to pay a visit to a very common pub around the Auckland area – Cock & Bull, this particularly one in Newmarket. It always seems lively in Cock & Bull, with lots of people, probably due to the beer and SkySports. This is a good thing. Obviously, I wasn’t here for the beer. I was here for some good ol’ pub food. An Australian tourist once told me it’s the kind of food that fills you up – I guess the word is hearty? I was going to say wholesome – but things like chips, beer, deep-fried isn’t exactly healthy. =)

Some of the pub food I tried:

Scotch Fillet ($29.95).

Cock & Bull Platter ($19.95).

CaesarĀ Salad ($20.95).

Scotch Fillet wasn’t too bad, and I think a great dish to have when you’re watching a football match etc. However, the Cock & Bull platter and Caesar Salad (with smoked chicken) were quite disappointing The platter was mostly full of the cheap stuff – wedges and onion rings. It wasn’t horrible tasting, it just lacked a lot of creativity and variety. The caeser salad had a pungent smell, maybe because of the parmesan or anchovies. Something wasn’t quite right with this all-time favourite of mine. The pricing was OK, I guess it’s standard price.

I’ve always liked pub food, and it’s everywhere in Auckland. Perhaps if you do pop into Cock & Bull, better stick to the basics like chips or pizza. I wasn’t quite so engrossed with some of the selection above.

My rating =5/10.

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The Happy House Restaurant

Thanks to a special reader for recommending this place – Happy House Restaurant in Northcote. It’s right next to the Tofu Shop. I don’t normally venture across the bridge – it’s actually quite a rare occassion, but apparently I do know people who live there. So once in a while, I make the trip across and combine it with a feed. I have to admit, Happy House is in a great location, it has lots of eateries and shops, and parking is damn easy to find. I think Happy House opens late – which is a good thing. Below are samples I tried:

Fried Pancake with Char Siew – $9.50.

Fried Pancake with Shredded Pork in Garlic Sauce – $9.50

Sichuan Fried Rice – $8.

Fried Cumin Lamb – $15.50.

I like this place. Food is cheap and the portion is generous. The dishes are really nice, especially the fried pancake with shredded pork and friend cumin lamb. A great recommendation from one of our readers. I’ve been here twice, and I’ve had to ask for a takeaway box. Great value.

Rating = 9/10.

Raviz (Ponsonby Branch)

I found this place thanks to another one day voucher. Raviz appears to be a franchise of some sort, with branches around the city. The voucher only applies for Raviz Ponsonby and this branch is located near-ish to Franklin road. I can tell why Raviz Ponsonby needed this promotion, it’s rather quiet on a Friday night especially in Ponsonby. But I think maybe it’s a highly competitive area. Samples below:

Mixed Platter – $16.

Lamb Saagwala – $16.90.

Butter Chicken – $16.90.

Keema Naan – $4.00.

To be honest, I’m a big fan of Indian food. This place is quite good. The banquet-discount-esque promotion is awesome. The more of it, the better. If I were to go to this place without any promotion, I think the price is little high compared to some places that I’ve been to. Overall, taste is great, portions are above average, service is good, I can’t complain.

Rating = 8.5/10.

Malay Restaurant

Malay Restaurant was opened recently in Newmarket – very near to T Mark and Archie’s restaurant. It’s a fresh competitor for Malaysian food in the Newmarket area, competing against Selera, MyStop and Laksa House. My first impression was good – from outside I think it shows a lot of promise, quite nice decorations and appears to have authentic Malay food. So, it was harmless to give this placeĀ  a try – samples below:

Prawn Noodle Soup.

Mee Goreng.

Curry Chicken on Rice.

If I can remember, each dish was $9.90. The food was not horrible but not that great. It’s still an alternative Malaysian food place and well situated as well. Parking is not that hard to find especially at night. But I thought some of the dishes had too much MSG. Hopefully, someone can recommend something else they tried here and was great, but for now I am not sure if I’ll be back.

Rating = 7/10.

Ka Pai Mussels

Ka Pai Mussels are a regular at the Auckland Lantern Festival. In the last 4 years, I’ve never tried them until this year.

Sweet Chilli Mussels – $10 (for eight).

There’s other flavours like garlic butter, and coriander and coconut. It’s very nice and must try. But the line is long! I’m sure these guys will be around at other festivals.