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.

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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.

Wagamama (Sylvia Park)

I don’t know what I was thinking, but I popped into Wagamama Sylvia Park the other night while waiting to watch a movie. From the outside it looked like a nice place to eat as I’ve been there before, and I think I had fond memories.

Samples I had below:

Chicken Katsu Curry ($17.50).

Chilli Ramen with Sirloin Steak ($24.50).

Overall, it’s quite average and too pricey. I guess the place does suit some people (apparently it’s fusion) and it’s popular. But I can find better tasting and seriously cheaper Japanese out there.

My apologies to all Wagamama fans, I don’t get this place. Rating 5/10.

Oh Calcutta

It’s not very often I go to Indian restaurants, especially for “fine dining”. So, this was a treat for me. Also, I’ve always wanted to try the place out as I drove or walked past it many times. Oh Calcutta is based in Parnell, very near Movenpick and parking isn’t too difficult to find if you know your way around the narrow back streets. I tried a variety of the food – see below.

Complimentary Papadums.

Oh Calcutta Mix Platter.

Dipping Sauce for Mix Platter.

Punjabi Saag Ghosht.

Prawn Malabari Curry.

Garlic Naan Bread.

I’d say before you go to this place, it’s not the standard foodcourt Indian and the environment is totally different. Therefore, be prepared to pay for higher than usual prices. Thank goodness I had my Entertainment card to soothe the pain. 🙂

There was free Papadums when I was initially seated and I noticed the waiters were quite friendly. For the entre, I asked for the mixed platter which is $9 per person, very good I think and I get to try almost everything in the entre menu. I also ordered the Mango lassi and it’s not for the faint-hearted, it’s sweet and thick. I wasn’t sure how much it was, probably like $6. The mains we had were the Punjabi Saag Ghosht, $22 and the Prawn Malabari Curry, $23. A garlic naan bread was ordered as a side, $4. The rice came along with the food for no charge (I think), and I didn’t manage to finish the rice.

Overall,  I quite like the place. Although I have to admit the inside was a bit too dark for my liking. Perhaps some dimmed lights might have helped. The service was acceptable. The price was reasonable. The quality of the food were very good especially the entre. I wasn’t disappointed at all, only except the fact that I couldn’t finish everything. Personally, I think it’s worth a try if you’re bringing your partner to Parnell for a romantic dinner, and all you can think of is Indian food!

My rating, 9/10. Good food. No complaints.

Sri Mahkota

This is a quick one for the month. I have a few in the pipeline, but haven’t uploaded pics and stuff. I was recommended to Sri Mahkota by one of the readers. First impression when I was there, a lot of people so it must be good! This was lunchtime in the weekend. It’s a small place, located in the industrial area of East Tamaki (ish). The food they sell is pretty much the standard Malaysian dish. However, I realised the fish head soup was quite popular – I see lots of big bowls.

However, keeping to my conservative side, I chose the same ol’ stuff. Samples below:

Sri Mahkota - Char Kuey Teow

Char Kuey Teow.

Sri Mahkota - Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak.

Sri Mahkota - Curry Puff

Curry Puff.

To be honest, I didn’t come out of Sri Mahkota with a “wow” and I forgot how much each dish was! But the dishes above wasn’t anything special (sorry). The food isn’t horrible, but not something I’d drive 10-15 mins for and wait outside. Perhaps the dish above is too common / bland.

My rating is a 7.5/10.

Nite Spice

Nite Spice is a discreetly located Indian restaurant on Khyber Pass Road, very near Selera. Apparently, it is one of four branches in Auckland. Of all the foods I’ve eaten and packed into my already bloated stomach, Indian food is quite a a rare one for me. Nite Spice apparently has a lunch time deal which gives you a curry, naan, rice and a drink! So I went there immediately for a try. Samples below:

Nite Spice - Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken.

Nite Spice - Lamb Saagwala

Lamb Saagwala.

The combo is $10.99, and I thought it was fantastic. The curry doesn’t appear to be mass-produced like the ones you see in the food court. Furthermore, they had a variety of curries which I can’t remember but all can be seen in the Menu on their website.

I was impressed with the overall package, you get a good drink, delicious curry, good ol’ favourite naan and rice. I can’t complain and will have to give this place a favourable 9/10. I think it’s a great option for lunch if they keep this combo deal going.

Food Junction – Tastes of Malaysia

If ya’ll didn’t know, today is the Malaysian National Day (Hari Kebangsaan), so I will post something Malaysian. 🙂

I found this place thanks to a friend of mine. We keep in touch in the strangest ways; random texts at odd times of the year but hardly meet up. He’s probably a better reviewer and writer than me. Anyway, this recommendation of his is quite a pleasant surprise. My first thoughts of Food Junction – it’s in friggin’ Manukau! That’s far!

Although far, the Food Junction is located at the Te Irirangi off ramp on SH1, very accessible if you think about it. It will take about 10-15 mins from the city. The Food Junction is a food court with a lot of a variety, but for this occassion, I am targetting the Malaysian store – Tastes of Malaysia. The first thing I spotted is the fresh roti they make – which is the second time I’ve seen (after the Sri Lankan place at East Tamaki).

Samples of some of their dishes below:

Tastes of Malaysia - Mamak Mee Goreng

Mamak Mee Goreng.

Tastes of Malaysia - Roti Telur

Roti Telur.

Tastes of Malaysia - Murtabak

Murtabak.

The Mamak Mee Goreng is pretty good, and costs $9.50 It’s… dare I say it, better than the one at Sri Puteri in Panmure. It’s not wet, but not dry – just right and flavoursome.

The roti is probably their “flagship” product – the roti telur costs $9.50 and the murtabak costs $10. Both rotis are great, but I preferred the roti telur as it is not “heavy”. The curry sauce was fantastic, with at least one drumstick in there.

My rating for this occassion is a favourable 9.5/10. I am definitely going back again!