Sakebar Nippon

Sakebar Nippon is located in Epsom, very close to ASB showgrounds. The reason I was at this place, because I wanted an alternative to KK Restaurant nearby.

First impression for this place; loud drums banging and some Japanese guy saying something when you or anyone comes into the door (welcoming?), and good-looking chicks. ūüôā

Some samples below:

Salmon & Avocado Sushi ($14).

Karaage Chicken ($9).

Okonomiyaki ($12).

Grilled Prawn Skewer ($8).

Overall, the range is good. Pricing is a little high but of good quality I think. The environment is noisy and lively. The food is tasty especially the salmon & avocado sushi roll. Be prepared to pay $25 per head or more, since the portions are not huge. Worth a try.

Rating = 9/10.

Mamak Malaysian Restaurant

If you’re craving Malaysian in Auckland CBD, you’re in luck. We have Mamak Malaysian Restaurant, located at 50 Kitchener Street. Generally, most Malaysian food are in food courts, especially in the CBD, so it’s great to see one located by itself.

Some samples below:


Tofu Salad ($8)


Nasi Lemak with Beef Rendang.

Satay Chicken on Rice.

Beef Murtabak


Teh Tarik.

I didn’t keep track of the prices, but they are around $13 per meal. The tapas¬†are around $8. It’s located in a nice place. If it’s not too cold or windy, it’s a great place to eat outside. In terms of pricing, the dishes are a bit on the high side, especially the tapas for its rather small portion size. The staff is friendly and the dishes are not bad. The laksa, mamak mee goreng, beef murtabak and curry chicken dishes are recommended.

Have a go. Rating = 8/10.

Masala

There was a time in my life when Mission Bay was the place I went to – all the time. Not now, maybe because I am old.

Anyway, if you’re keen on some Indian food – you can go for¬†Masala. If it wasn’t for the $10 lunch special, I would not have spotted this place. It’s on the 2nd floor which make it difficult to spot. So I guess a little marketing helps.

As usual, samples I tried are shown below:

Butter Chicken ($10 lunch special).

Lamb Saagwala ($10 lunch special).

These $10 lunch specials always come with a catch – don’t expect a lot of meat and expect plenty of sauce. Naan wasn’t too bad. I thought the paper-based table cloth was a bit strange. I have had dinner here before, and the portions were reasonable. Overall, not the best Indian in town but it’s in Mission Bay – so you could say the atmosphere compensates. They have live bands apparently, which is a bonus.

So if you’re in the mood for Indian in Mission Bay, it’s a good try, but don’t expect too much in terms of food satisfaction. Rating = 7/10.

Bistro 65

Bistro 65 is the neighbour of two very good restaurants (Safran and Archie’s Pizzeria). I say good restaurants, because they’re always busy, especially Archie’s. It was one strange afternoon (lunchtime obviously) that I passed by the area and decided to give this place a try. It’s awkwardly placed, as it is squeezed in between the two restaurants mentioned above. The inside is kinda empty and hollow, so I decided to eat outside.

Had a look at the menu and ordered the selections below:

Vegetarian Lasagne ($12).

Mixed Seafood Platter ($28.50).

Chicken Pizza (cashews cranberry finished with an avocado aioli) $12.

To be honest, the food is pretty good. The platter is really nice and tasty. ¬†The lasagne not bad. The pizza also not too bad, a bit too cheesy / salty. For the price, it’s actually quite reasonable and if you sit outside, you won’t feel so lonely. If you are confused what to have here, go for the platter. The service was good too – friendly manager (I think).

Rating = 8/10.

Kiwi Country Fast Food

This is one of my favourite places to go in town. But not everyone likes this place – especially my work colleagues. Perhaps it’s the deep fried part of the dish. I am cutting down, I hope.

Kiwi Country Fast Food is located right next to BBQ King (on the corner of Queen St and Durham Lane). ¬†It’s not on the ground level, but at basement level. So it can be hard to spot.

Chicken Chop, Tofu and Vegetable on Rice ($10.50).

Herb and Spicy Chicken on Rice ($9.50).

My favourite would have to be the Herb & Spicy Chicken. The curry sauce has some addictive elements that I can’t get enough of (MSG?). ¬†The pricing of the dishes are very reasonable and food is served quite quickly. The taste is pretty good, but again, it is different for other people (i.e. my work colleagues). Dishes are served with a side of vegetables – which is not bad. But try to avoid eating the deep friend chicken – not great for your health.

I will be bias, because I quite like this place. Rating = 9/10. Great price and great food. At least try it once.

Musashi Japanese Cuisine

OK – I’ve crossed the bridge again. So, a very rare occassion. ¬†There is this place in Milford (North Shore). I believe it used to be called Eiji. It’s now called Musashi Restaurant. The other branch is in St Heliers. It is a bit far to go for Japanese, but thanks to their Entertainment Book voucher, this place was worth the visit. Some samples below:

Soft Shell Crab Karaage ($12.50)

Salmon Hooba Zen ($15).


Salmon Hooba Zen – zoomed in ($15).

Chicken Kushi Katsu Zen ($15).

To be honest, the variety in the lunch dishes are awesome. There is just so many side dishes. It’s great value for money, staff is great and depending on the dish you buy, you get to see or do some “action”. Presentation is great!

Excellent place. Highly recommended, 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 place¬† 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.

Murder Burger

Another burger joint I encountered courtesy of a GrabOne voucher. I love their promos. =) Murder Burger is quite a noticeable burger joint on Ponsonby Road. I do love gourmet-ish burgers and this place appears to fit the bill.

They have various types of burgers, for e.g. beef, chicken and fish. Their website have more details on the menu items. Samples below:

Gourmet Beef Avo and Bacon- $12.90.

Gourmet Sirloin Steak Angus – $14.90.

First impression was not up to par, the serving staff (female) was quite emotionless, and not really friendly or helpful at all. Maybe that time of the month, who knows. I would strongly suggest the staff to reconsider her career path in hospitality, or her selection in jobs, perhaps less customer facing.

Regarding the food, I thought the gourmet beef avo and bacon was fantastic. Delicious! The gourmet sirloin steak angus (from the “cult burger” section) wasn’t really cult-like unfortunately. It was average.

Overall, based on this small sample size, I think Murder Burger has good burgers, you just gotta choose the right one. Price is good for the beef burger, but not worth it for the sirloin steak burger.

Rating = 7/10. Worth a try.

Happy Hour

It surprises me places like Happy Hour exists. It’s located in a building that looks like a trailer, the door slides funny and there’s no toilet. But I have to admit, the food is top notch. I got recommended this place by a work colleague (and now friend). It’s exact address is 947 New North Road. I’ve been here many times, and here are some of the samples:

Steam Chicken with Chinese Mushroom on Rice (Small Size = $8.50).

Happy Hour – Steam Chicken with Red Dates and Kei Chee on Rice (Big Size = $10.50).

Steam Pork Spare Ribs with Black Bean Sauce on Rice (Big Size = $10.00).

Crispy Chicken.

Tofu Dessert (Small Size = $3.00).

Stew Long Yan, Red Date and Egg with Rock Sugar ($6.00).

Tofu Dessert ($4.00).

To be honest, I think Happy Hour’s prices are fantastically value for money, and taste wise it’s great. There are so many options from steam chicken and pork dishes to desserts and snacks. The service is great, in fact, I believe they serve the tea quite quickly. Parking is quite easy to find. It’d be great if you can speak Chinese, but don’t be intimidated, they have an English menu (with pictures), it’s just unfortunate the specials are in Chinese. =)

I quite like the place, and recently, have been a regular visitor. My rating 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!

Gina’s Pizza and Pasta Bar

Gina’s restaurant is always an all-time favourite in Auckland. My brother told me about this place when I first came here, and I have to admit, the atmosphere is pretty good. I had the ol’ Entertainment Card voucher, so used it up for this particular occasion. For the ladies, they will enjoy the sight of the Italian men.¬† A table at Gina’s is difficult to find, so better book in advance through the online system (if it actually works) or the old fashion way (phone call).

For this particular occasion, a few dishes were sampled below:

Calamari Fritti ($15).

Fettucine Mare e Monti ($19.50).

Massimo Grande ($20).

Lasagna ($20.50).

Personally, all dishes were great and reasonably priced.¬† But I think Italian is no longer a desired item for me. I can find reasonably good dishes, such as pizzas and pastas at many places now. But I guess the reason for Gina’s is the environment. You can tell by the amount of noise, it is quite deafening. I have no bad things to say, everything is reasonable. It may take a while for dishes to arrive, so have many things to say!

My rating 8/10. Have a try.