Kang Nam Station 2

I have this in my draft for a bit too long, so it’s time I took it out for the world to share.

Kang Nam Station 2 is somewhere near the Auckland City Library and SkyCity Cinema. That probably didn’t help as there’s probably like 3 to 4 Korean restaurants around there. It’s not the one directly opposite Borders or the library, but in between those two, right around the corner. It’s not hard to spot and they apparently have two parkings available.

Kang Nam Station has an original (no. 1) which is quite nearby I believe. Actually, I don’t know where the original one is, but I’m thinking somewhere near the row of Korean shops on Upper Queen St. It’s a weird restaurant because when you enter the place, there’s a pokie machine section on the right hand side. I don’t know why, maybe it’s like some Korean dual business thing. But pokie machines in a restaurant can be a bit weird, and plus, those machines attract a different kind of crowd.

Some samples of the food are shown below:

Kang Nam Station 2 (2) - Copy

Steamboat package.

Kang Nam Station 2 - Bulgogi - Copy

Bulgogi.

Kang Nam Station 2 - Bibimbap - Copy

Bibimbap.

The price of the Bulgogi and Bibimbap are $12 each, and they were pretty good. I do, however think they’re getting a bit stingy with the side dishes. But otherwise, for the price, they have good meat dishes.

The steamboat package from memory comes in three or four types – I can’t remember what they were. This one above cost $35. For this one, I got everything, vegetables, meat, rice, soup and also noodle. It’s very filling and tastes great on a cold winter night.

My rating is a decent 8/10. The pokie machine section can be easily ignored and the slight stinginess is bearable (as most Korean restaurants are going that way unfortunately). However, the positive is relatively cheap, great tasting Korean food.

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Full House Korean Restaurant

Ahhh. Not another Korean restaurant. Yes, another one.

Full House Korean Restaurant is hidden on Eliott Street. You’ve gotta really spot it. Initially, you’d think it’s a strip club with all the neon lights outside and it’s apparently underground. The selection of this place is based on the fact that the bloody Atrium foodcourt was closed. Plus, it was a “recommendation” from a work colleague.

Two usual dishes were sampled. Have a look.

full-house-korean-restaurant-bbq-pork-on-rice 

BBQ Pork with Rice.

full-house-korean-restaurant-potato-and-pork-rib-soup-on-rice 

Potato and Pork Rib Soup with Rice.

full-house-korean-restaurant-side-dishes 

Side Dishes.

Both of the main dishes were $12. I thought the BBQ Pork tasted quite good. It was flavoursome and dry. Soup was OK. The pricing was OK also, a bit on the “premium” side for another run of the mill Korean restaurant. Furthermore, they limit the side dishes due to recession (stated on the menu and entrance). I thought that was pretty cheeky considering that they were already charging $12. Personally, it wasn’t too bad, but nothing special.

My rating is 7/10. Same old same old. There are more places which are cheaper. But good to try if you really can’t walk towards Queen St for the hundreds of Korean restaurants there (and cheaper).

Newmarket Plaza Food Court

This is the infamous Newmarket Plaza Food Court (and a massive post). I know, I’m probably boring everyone with the same old type of food and “area”. But don’t worry, I am working on going to the outskirts of Auckland very soon – seriously! But this post will have variety as I have collected a few things for everyone to see. If you’re one of those people working in Newmarket on weekdays, or those who shop there during the weekend, maybe this post will help with your barrier of resistance when pondering into the land of the unknown – that is the Newmarket Plaza Food Court.

Personally, foodcourts tend to confuse potential customers with billions of choices at affordable prices. At times, I really hate it. It drives me crazy. And also, how do these places come up with all these ideas and fit so many pictures in one menu. But, rest assure, Newmarket Plaza is a milder version. There is no overkill of choices, still plenty but not unreasonable like some places *ahem* CBD *ahem*.

LAKSA HOUSE

This is a Malaysian place – two things tend to be quite popular here. The Hainanese Chicken Rice and Hokkien Mee (based on observation). I’ve tried the chicken rice and it’s fantastic. I haven’t tried the Hokkien mee yet. Occassionally I try the other stuff, for example, the Kueh Tieu Mee shown below. This dish costs me $9.50 I believe.

Kueh Tieu Mee.

Personally, I would recommend the chicken rice, and the rice noodle dishes i.e. kueh tieu mee, wat tan hor and char kueh tieu. They’ve also got curry chicken on rice and curry laksa noodle soup, but I haven’t tried them in a while. My rating? Based on the recent dishes I had here – it’s an 8/10. It’s very nice and you’d expect to pay $10.

PASSION FOOD

This place has a Hong Kong flair to it – dead poultry hanging for all to see. It’s hard to notice this place because they are the odd one out, hiding in the corner on the way to the toilet. One thing you have to try is the combination rice. You’re thinking *yawn* combo rice again!? But hey, I love that stuff.  Remember that it’s not listed in the menu (only one meat with rice is listed). But just ask for it i.e. a two combo rice. Not surprisingly, my favourite is the BBQ pork and soya chicken. For this post, I tried the roast duck and soya chicken. Again, a fantastic combo and it’s cheap! Around $10 only.

Combination Rice (Roast Duck and Soya Chicken).

Hard to rate this place. It may be difficult to eat the meat dishes because of the bones etc. But there is no complaints from my side. The standard rating, 8/10. You ain’t gonna be disappointed. If so, let me know!

NEW VILLAGE KOREAN FOOD

You can’t go wrong with Spicy Pork on Rice at this Korean place. $10 is the price you pay for most of the dish, and it usually comes with three side dishes and a soup. Magnifique! On a different occassion, we bought two dishes (BBQ Chicken and Dolsot Bibimbap), and they gave 5 different side dishes! That’s generous!!

Spicy Pork with Rice.

Dolsot Bibimbap

BBQ Chicken with Rice

New Village rocks because of their generosity. The bibimbap and bbq dishes are my recommendations. The serving size is also large. My rating for this place is 9/10. It’s got flavour, variety and all for $10 (usually).

SILK THAI

I have almost no recollection of this dish but it’s that Thai place. It’s not particularly popular for some reason. Maybe because they’re not noisy enough and don’t have big flames in the kitchen. I’ve tried one of their curry dish below, I think it’s mango curry or something. Silk Thai has come a long way, about a year ago, they were severely lacking in appeal. I think they probably got a marketing guy to help them out and I think it helps. They’ve got pictures now and the food looks good.

Unknown Curry Dish.

From memory, the curry dish is reasonable (curry soup didn’t look “curry-ish” enough, as if they put lots of cornflour). Other than that, no issue whatsoever. Also, I’ve tried the satay chicken before, and it’s what I would recommend as a side dish. Price wise, I have almost no recollection.

A rating would be unfair as I only have one single dish reviewed, and I don’t even know the name of it. But, Silk Thai offers an alternative to its high-performing neighbours (New Village, Passion Food and Laksa House). Thai always seems to be a “Kiwi” favourite and perhaps they’re taking advantage of it.

BAR IN THE CAFE

I had a post about this place a couple of months ago – just for one drink! The Asian Coffee is highly recommended by me.  Seriously, don’t buy those sugary bottled drinks, try the fresh sugary coffee instead. If it’s too hot, get the iced version – the Iced Asian Coffee is only $4. It’s like the funky Asian version of the Starbucks Frappuccino.

Iced Asian Coffee.

If you want to rate this place, it’s hard. For bottled drinks, it’s not worth rating. For desserts, I’ve never tried it. For the fresh coffee, damn good! 9/10!

My friends, overall this is my pathetic attempt to do a bundled “foodcourt” review. It’s hard because I can’t seem to remember prices and things like that – so prefer one off visits. But if you have comments, please feel free to make them!

The Newmarket Plaza – it has variety, it is affordable and depending on which dish you choose, you can get a fantastic meal (and drink).

Nol-Bu-Ne

Okay, I am not a super big fan of Korean. They just happen to be everywhere, especially in the CBD. Don’t ask me, but it’s just there. One night after work I went with my girlfriend to Nol-Bu-Ne, a strangely located restaurant. It’s on 10 Wellesley Street, on the 1st Floor. So you need to use an elevator to access it, that means a bit of waiting.

I wasn’t going to do a review of this place because we’ve had our fair share of Korean food in this blog, and plus, the food was pretty much standard price ($10-ish). However, the thing that bugged me is disturbing.

As I was waiting for my order of Bul Go Gee (Beef dish), I went to the toilet to wash my hands. When I was in the toilet, one of the waiters went in there as well, and he didn’t wash his hands! Yes, no washing hands after going to the toilet to pee. Shocking!

Shame on you Nol-Bu-Ne! Not going back there, even though the guy was serving food only, I was pretty much disgusted. No rating for them at all, WASH YOUR HANDS after you go to the toilet boys. It’s not that hard.

Buttumak

This is a short post and without pictures – sorry! But it’s pretty much standard Korean food and apparently their hot pot is the thing to have. Pricing was OK – I think nothing was below $10, and for the hot pot dishes (large dishes with a mini stove), they’re at least $35. They’re located in upper Queen Street, one of the many Korean restaurants over there.

Annoying bit about this place – their side dishes are pathetic. There were at least 5 people on our table, and our side dishes could only feed 2, perhaps 3. Let me give you an example, the sweet potatoes had only 4 small potatoes, and our table had 5 people. And also another side dish, a glutinous rice ‘dumpling’ had only 4 tiny pieces. That’s hopeless, To make it worse, they hardly (or most likely hesitated) to top up.

My rating 5/10. C’mon guys – don’t be so stingy!

Il Mee

Good ol’ Korean food. Il Mee is located in Upper Queen St, where the other Korean restaurants are. For the guys, it’s the row of shops opposite the White House. A lot of selection of restaurants, so it’s difficult to pick which one is good. Generally, I go for the place which has more people. Haha.

Il Mee is generally not too bad. The environment is clean and tidy, and the staff are friendly. The place opens late which is good if you’re a late-eater. That night we ordered a variation of the Bibimbap and Beef Soup on rice. Most of the Korean soups have a Kimchi base. Il Mee has a standard offering of side dishes, and their fresh Kimchi is damn good! I strongly recommend it.

Beef soup with rice.

Bibimbap.

The two dishes above are good, the Bibimbap flavoursome, similarly with the Beef Soup. Although, the soup lacked the important items like…. beef. Prices were higher than the others, at least $10 for each dish. They have a large selection of Korean dishes, like the usual bolgogi (shredded meat) and BBQ buffet type arrangement.

Just on this occassion, I will give Il Mee an 7.5/10. Good tasting dishes, but not so good if you want to spend less than $10 on a dish. The next place I’ll review is much cheaper.