Rakuten

Another quick bite at a Japanese restaurant in town. Rakuten is hidden between Albert and Hobson Street (you could say). Nice place, and lunch menu special is reasonable. I think this dish below was $12. Quiet surrounding and friendly staff. If you want a quick bite, worth trying.

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Katsu Don (Chicken)

Tanto

Once in a while I will pop into Epsom and you will be pleasantly surprised with the meals at Tanto. It’s now open on Saturday for lunch. The meals are carefully presented and it’s not too heavy. They have a decent pricing, I believe around $15 or less, but don’t expect large portions. We ordered the meals below. These dishes are great – no complaints! The quality is there.

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Sauce Katsu on Rice

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Teriyaki Salmon on Rice

Daikoku Ramen @ Victoria Street

Another rainy day in Auckland, and another attempt to find parking in the CBD for good Ramen. It’s hard to find it these days, I mean the ramen places, not parking – that’s just normal now. Aucklanders, give me some options, cause this is the only one I usually go to.

Anyway, for any Japanese feed, there’s always an urge for “sides”. So this place has it all, extra corn, extra this, extra that. It’s even got sushi and rice options if you’re sick of ramen. We ordered the usual, tonkotsu and tonkotsu-shoyu ramen, both $10 each. Extras are fried rice $4 and gyoza $6.50. It’s not gonna break the bank so I like this place. I do wish the place was a little brighter, not sure what’s the deal with Japanese dining places and darkness. I can think similar places for the dungeon-like decor i.e. Heizo and Renkon (Parnell).

The ramens are always a favourite, the flavours of the soup is what I always go for. Don’t expect a huge portion but I think it’s enough. If you’re hungry – get the extras. I guess that’s why they’re there! The fried rice and gyoza – can’t complain. Also, the staff are friendly.

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Tonkotsu Ramen

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Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen

 

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Fried Rice

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Gyoza

Heizo Teppanyaki Restaurant

Hidden in Newmarket is this delightful Teppanyaki restaurant. If you’re lucky enough to be in Newmarket on a week day, try this place out. It’s a little small and dark but that’s no drama. I’m mighty impressed with the quality of food for a $15 lunch plate. I’m only focusing on the lunch plates, I believe there are 6 sets (chicken, salmon, seafood, beef patty, eye fillet and scotch fillet).

We tried the chicken and scotch fillet lunch plate. The sides include rice, salad and miso soup. The lunch plates include the meat, broccoli, potatoes and tomato. Yum yum sauce is offered, so accept this good gesture from the cook. This is a good wholesome meal for $15. Worth a try if you’re having lunch in Newmarket… on a weekday. đŸ™‚

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Chicken Lunch Plate

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Scotch Fillet Lunch Plate

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Sides

 

Hokkaido Restaurant & Bar

Hokkaido Restaurant & Bar is located in Lunn Ave where all the new shops are. Looking from outside, it is not bad. So, went in and gave it a try.

Sashimi (M) – $25 for 15 pieces.

Chan Chan Yaki – $18.50.

Sukiyaki Pot – $13.90.

Overall, this place is OK. The sashimi and sukiyaki pot was not bad tasting. But very disappointed with the chan chan yaki, which didn’t taste special and practically not much salmon, but a lot of cabbage.

The portion is kinda small for the price, so don’t expect value for money. I won’t be coming back. Rating = 5/10.

Bien (Newmarket)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (including the Chinese version)! I have returned from my long holiday and am going to post my first review for 2012. Enjoy.

Bien has several franchises. I tried out the Newmarket branch on a Thursday night. It’s quiet but can’t complain, the bar next door has outdoor music – so free entertainment? I have to admit the pricing is reasonable, not overpriced. You’d just need to find a parking if driving to Newmarket. Here are some samples.

Tuna Tomato Petite Salad – $4.00.

Salmon Sushi – $3.00 for two pieces.

Spicy Chicken Don – $11.00.

Lemon Grass Chicken Don – $11.00.

Salad and sushi roll are good small bites – excellent as entres. The chicken dons are not bad as well, I preferred the spicy chicken don. Good value! Bien (Newmarket) is definitely worth a try. Rating 8.5/10.