J’s Tea

One of my favourite places for a bubble tea fix is J’s Tea. It’s a shame that parking is getting difficult to find here, strange considering this is not near the CBD, but there’s just lots of things there – an indoor stadium, Chinese supermarket, Caltex and a very busy road with bus lanes. But normally I get my parking on Dominion Road close to J’s Tea, I believe it’s a furniture shop with a restaurant on top.

Anyway, back to J’s Tea, on top of the bubble tea, I don’t normally go for the meals since I just pop in and pop out. This time I stayed longer and ordered dinner! We tried the chinese sausages  – yummy for $7 and the pork chop on rice and its variant spicy salt pork chop on rice. The original is much better, the spicy salt is just…. too salty! 🙂 But both dishes came under $15 and very good value considering it includes 3 sides. I love sides.

I think Taiwanese dishes are very wholesome, I’d stick to the all-time Taiwanese favourite of pork chop on rice. I haven’t tried the other stuff yet. Bubble tea is very popular there – so try that too!

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Taiwanese sausages

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Pork Chop on Rice

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Spicy Pork Chop on Rice

Cha Time

I guess it’s about time. When Auckland gets Meet Fresh, Pappa Rich, Gong Cha, H&M, Zara etc…. Cha Time normally follows. “World” famous, it’s one of my favourite bubble tea drinks in South East Asia, and has been here for a while already. It has 2 shops on Queen Street and one in St Lukes Mall. Maybe there’s more, let me know.

I can’t fault this batch I had tonight. $6.50, for a large, and you can customise sugar, ice etc. Get a loyalty card as some people might get addicted. There’s still lots of competition I think for this bubble tea market, but the Cha Time branding should keep it very favourable.

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Pearl Milk Tea

My Kitchen

Sorry guys – I’ve been lazy. Period. But have been eating a lot as I have gained weight, or probably a combination of being lazy and eating.

My Kitchen is located on 543, Dominion Road. They have a takeaway section, and dine-in section upstairs. Weekends tend to be quite busy. I’ve been here a few times, some samples below:

Wine Chicken.

Dumplings.

Taiwanese Sausage (Spicy).

Tofu with Century Egg.

Beef Brisket on Rice.

Curry Chicken on Rice.

Fried Chicken Chop on Rice.

Japanese Pork Chop on Rice.

I didn’t manage to take note of the price – but the dishes that come with rice are reasonable, hovering around $12 I think. There are plenty of side dishes which are great, I think around $10. Portions are good.

There isn’t much to say but it’s a great place to try out. Do go for the rice dishes, unless you’re really hungry, you can get the side dishes. There’s been many times the food cannot be finished!!

Rating = 8.5/10.

J’s Tea

If you’re a big fan of bubble tea and hanging out late, J’s Tea is the place. It’s right at the end of Dominion Road (in Mt Roskill). The size of the bubble tea is huge and drinks are well-made. They even have the right sweetness, and this I like, because normally all bubble tea are too sweet for me!

Sesame Bubble Tea with Pearl.

They have a range of snacks and food, but bubble tea is the main item here. J’s Tea is often packed, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, so be prepared to go for take away.

Highly recommended, 9/10.

Momo Tea House

It’s been a while since I’ve been to Meadowlands. Maybe my behaviour is now different after not having a company car =). But thanks to a good friend, I’ve paid a visit to this place by recommendation – Momo Tea House. There’s obviously a couple branches, Birkenhead and Mt Albert.

This one at Meadowlands is a former KFC I believe, and it’s got a defunct drive-thru. Parking is easy and free, and environment of the place is great. Maybe it was good old furniture from KFC?

Anyway, I sampled some dishes, see below:

Fried Black Pepper Chicken Chop and Eel on Rice ($12).

Spicy Wonton Noodle Soup ($6).

Deep Fried Salty Chicken ($7).

Taro Pearl Milk Tea ($6).

Overall, food’s taste is great, no disappointment at all. The prices are very reasonable. There is a variety of food and drink (I think there’s a Malaysian section). Also, the place opens very late, I am not sure what time, but from what I remember, after midnight!! So a great place for supper.

Rating = 9/10. Fantastic!

QQ Rice

QQ Rice sells assorted rice rolls. They used to have a shop on Dominion Road, but I think that closed. They now only have one shop in the city (on Wellesley St). It’s quite a good place to experiment with because you’ll be blown away by the choices you have to make. It’s good if you’re a fan of rice. However, sometimes, choices are better left as little as possible, but not for QQ Rice. I wasn’t sure how much the rolls are, maybe $6 each? They also added a few other additional dish types, such as a the lunch box, QQ wrap and dessert.

Assorted Rice Roll.

It’s not a bad place – worth a try. Make sure you don’t spill the filling and rice when eating the rice roll. Just be prepared for the choices!

Taipei Kitchen

Taiper Kitchen is actually quite a familiar place – it was formerly Lai Lai Noodle House.  It looks like the owners changed hands, and first impression, the interior is much better. I was expecting to order the usual stuff (beef noodle soup or something), but it appears the menu’s have changed also.

Some samples below:

Pork Mince Rice with Meat Soup ($10).

Pork Chop on Rice ($9.50).

Atmosphere is much better, price is reasonable, food is quite good, however menu is partly translated into English (only drink items are translated and not food!). This new place also sells drinks such as milk tea, so it appears to do more than before. Perhaps to include more younger people.

My rating is 8.5/10. Not bad at all.

Neighbour’s Restaurant

Neighbour’s Restaurant is not affiliated to the Australian drama – but it’s quite a nice place to go to . I found this restaurant next to Pho Vietnamese Restaurant on Lorne St. They are located “underground” but have a menu just before you go in. The menu with pricing helps differentiate if it’s cheap or expensive compared to places nearby *ahem*. I have to say, it’s kinda cheap, $10 or less unlike some places. =)

A couple of dishes were sampled on a cold winter night:

Neighbour's Restaurant - Pork Chop on Rice

Pork Chop on Rice.

Neighbour's Restaurant - Sesame Oil Chicken Noodle Soup

Sesame Oil Chicken Noodle Soup.

The place serves Taiwanese cuisine and first impression, I like it. In terms of pricing, it’s cheap and flavour-wise, it’s on-par with another one of my favourites, T-Mark. The place is also clean and green (I mean literally).

My rating is a biased 9/10.

Hulu Cat

Hulu Cat.

The last time I’ve been to this place was like 2007. That was a while ago and for a good reason. They’re located on Anzac Ave, near the Beach Road end. First, they seriously need to clean up their toilets cause I can smell pee like 3 metres away from the toilet door. Secondly, the damn place is cursed with no parking. I think they’ve removed like 90% of parking spots on Anzac Ave, so good luck to those who wants to “drive” to Hulu Cat. A couple of sampled drinks:

Hulu Cat - Wheat Tea with Pearl

Wheat Tea with Pearl.

Hulu Cat - Mango Slush

Mango Slush with Pearl.

I have to admit, their drinks are great provided you don’t let them go nuts on the syrup. What I’ve learnt, is that you have to request for less sugar for all these milk tea drinks. The staff just love to pile on the syrup. I wasn’t taking note of the price of these drinks but I think they were around $6. From what I remember, it wasn’t expensive or cheap, so pretty much standard price.

Anyway, they are famous for their pearl tea and quality is good. Environment is great and cosy, as long as you don’t sit near the toilet. Otherwise, a pain in the bum to go for a drink because of lack of parking around the area.

My rating is a favourable 8/10.

ATT Cafe

In between two highly-rated places (Mentatz and Pho Vietnamese) on Lorne Street is the ATT Cafe.  A quick glance at this cafe, it looks more like a canteen. I thought I’d give this place a try, no harm when you’re hungry and sick of going to the same old place. A couple of dishes were sampled as shown below:

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Deep Fried Chicken Drumstick Noodle Soup.

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Garlic Gravy Pork on Rice.

Both dishes cost $9.50, which is quite cheap. The noodle soup did taste a bit plain, I wish there some kinda sauce that could boost up the flavour. However, the rice wasn’t bad. I can’t really say much, because it was just a meal. Not gourmet or anything at all. Apparently, they do deliveries within the city.

A rating is hard to justify, but it’s average. Not bad but not good, 7/10.

Chalin Tea House

A quick post during Easter. Happy holidays everyone.

Chalin Tea House is on Dominion Road, formerly known as Easy Way. There’s always a Beamer outside the place – most likely the owner who also works there. Anyway, I hardly go to this place because it’s kinda far. I ordered the Honey Dew Milk Tea with Pearl for $5.90.

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Honey Dew Pearl Milk Tea.

My rating is 7/10. It’s too powdery for me. No actual “tea” taste. But I know this place is quite a popular one, so didn’t get too biased.

Lai Lai Noodle Cafe

This place is kinda cool. Lai Lai Noodle Cafe is a tiny place hidden among the shops in Remuera. To be exact, it’s right inside Remuera Mall. If you know where the Remuera shops are, it’s on the right hand side coming from Newmarket. I guess the first mission is to find it.

I’ve been to Lai Lai Noodle Cafe many times, often for lunch. It’s quite a refreshing place, especially the noodle soups. Apparently, it’s an establishment, as it is owned by the same person for 11 years (I read this somewhere). So, it’s got history, plus I think the owner is some martial arts expert!

On this particular review, there were two dishes we tried as seen below.

Minced Pork on Noodle.

Hainanese Chicken Rice.

Both dishes were affordable and delicious. I couldn’t remember the exact price but I think the Hainanese Chicken Rice was $9 and the noodle was $7. However, the thing that bugs me is that they have no Eftpos – so you need to bring cash. Also, they close on one of the days during the weekend, which sucks as well.

They also offer other dishes like fried chicken with noodle soup, beef noodle soup etc, as well as side dishes. For a small place, it’s pretty outstanding and I think the reason why it’s still there for 11 years. Personally, I recommend the noodle soup. If you’re on a diet, stay away from the fried dishes.

My rating for this place, a cool 8.5/10. You gotta find the place first though. Good luck!