The Happy House Restaurant

Thanks to a special reader for recommending this place – Happy House Restaurant in Northcote. It’s right next to the Tofu Shop. I don’t normally venture across the bridge – it’s actually quite a rare occassion, but apparently I do know people who live there. So once in a while, I make the trip across and combine it with a feed. I have to admit, Happy House is in a great location, it has lots of eateries and shops, and parking is damn easy to find. I think Happy House opens late – which is a good thing. Below are samples I tried:

Fried Pancake with Char Siew – $9.50.

Fried Pancake with Shredded Pork in Garlic Sauce – $9.50

Sichuan Fried Rice – $8.

Fried Cumin Lamb – $15.50.

I like this place. Food is cheap and the portion is generous. The dishes are really nice, especially the fried pancake with shredded pork and friend cumin lamb. A great recommendation from one of our readers. I’ve been here twice, and I’ve had to ask for a takeaway box. Great value.

Rating = 9/10.

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Ming Garden Chinese Restaurant (Te Anau)

My apologies for the absence. I’ve been away for these reasons (1) laziness, (2) irresponsibility, (3) work, (4) recent holidays and (5) lack of material.

Anyway, a quick post for today. I was at Te Anau for the long weekend. I had a craving for some Chinese food (it was one of the very few Chinese restaurants there). I ordered the roast pork fried rice for $9. It was a shocking dish, the crappiest dish I’ve had. It was low quality. But I guess I can’t complain too much since it’s in the middle of nowhere.

But to be honest, make your own fried rice if you’re craving it in Te Anau. Ming Garden does a shocking piece of work.

Selera

Another Malaysian place. I know. Boring. But why not? =)

I hardly go to Selera, which is situated in Newmarket (also near where I live). I was there about 10 months ago and I got pee-ed of with the “quality” of the food and price. But I’ve heard they’ve changed ownership and/or management. Some things that annoyed me previously was the crappy fatty left-overish char sieu they put on their kon low mee and the very MSG-ed laksa. I had to drink a bucket of water after that. That was before.

So during the weekend, I decided to have a look. Two dishes were sampled:

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Kon Lo Mee.

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Nasi Lemak.

After trying the two above dishes, I was pleasantly surprised. Although the price is still expensive (above $12), they have tried to reduce their price only for lunch during the weekdays ($8.90). The Kon Low Mee, flavoursome although still lacking substantial protein. The Nasi Lemak with Beef Rendang was tender and moist. I can’t complain, although price-wise it is high they have specials for the weekday.

My rating is 8.5/10. They do still have some work to do in terms of reducing their price. It’s just $2 more expensive (on average) compared to the nearest Malaysian restaurant (Laksa House at the Newmarket Food Plaza).

Do give Selera a try – only during weekdays for lunch. =)

Malaysian Noodle and Rice House

It’s been too friggin’ long. I know, it’s my fault. But I’m back.

My day starts at 9am to 7pm everyday since I returned from my holiday in Melbourne – that was early last month! So work is keeping me very busy.

Anyway, I was venturing out to the West and found this supposedly good Malaysian restaurant. In fact, I used to go there when I first arrived in Auckland. I lived in Blockhouse Bay about 3 years ago, and what I’ve noticed is that there is a fair number of Indians there.

This “cafe” is called the Malaysian Noodle and Rice House on Wolverton Street, Avondale. It’s in an industrial area, a strange place to put a Malaysian place but ideal for suburbanites. Two dishes ordered for this review:

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Fried Rice with Chicken and Salted Fish.

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Char Kueh Tiaw.

The price is not too bad. The fried rice is a bit on the high side, $10 and the Kueh Tiaw is 8.50. A good eat out especially the Kueh Tiaw, but not exactly the best tasting.

My rating as I am in a hurry (again!), 7.5/10. It’s not bad, but it’s not the best.

Sri Intan

My apologies for the long, long update. I have been pre-occupied with work. Yes, I do have a day job which I surprisingly enjoy. There are the odd weirdos at work, but not as bad as my previousy employer.

I am a bit shocked that it took me a month to update. Anyway, today’s post is a Malaysian place in Mt Albert called Sri Intan. If you know where Momo Tea is, it’s further down the road going towards West Auckland.

They have a mixed cuisine, personally, I’d say Chinese, Malaysian and Vietnamese. I only try their Malaysian stuff and they do have one unique dish, the popiah. A few dishes were sampled as shown below:

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Popiah.

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Salted Fish and Diced Chicken Fried Rice.

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Mee Goreng.

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Char Kuey Teow.

Obviously the above dishes are generic Malaysian, sorry about that. Their service is great and friendly owners. Apparently, they now have a buffet. The fried rice was a bit wet but not bad, the other dishes tasted good. I would say the popiah is the dish to try, mainly because I haven’t seen much of them around. Their pricing for the dishes is above $10, I can’t remember exactly.

It’s kinda unfair to rate them since I totally forgot their exact pricing! But based on taste and environment, they get a generic mark of 7.5/10. I feel that their pricing is a bit on the high side, maybe because of the recession or something. But I can find Malaysian places that charge cheaper than them. Good to try out and let me know what you think.

Diamond Takeaway

I have been a bit neglectful recently. Work has been keeping me really busy.

Anyway, it’s a random post today (Isn’t it always random?). Diamond Takeaway is one of those local chinese takeout for the Greenlane/Remuera area. I’ve always enjoyed some of their dishes, and one great thing you can do at this place – you can watch them cook. By memory, I think they have up to 6 woks. So up to 6 cooks simultaneously frying the rice, noodles etc. 

It’s quite amazing how the arrangement is at Diamond takeaway. A group of cooks that churn out takeouts like an assembly line. They just look at the orders and start cooking with ingredients all ready and prepared at their disposal.

A couple of dishes were ordered during a night of hunger. The combination fried rice and steak Hor Fun.

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Combination Meat Fried Rice.

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Steak Hor Fun.

My impression, a reasonably clean place and clearly designed to just make money. I do pity the cooks, they look a bit bored and depressed, but what can you do if all night you’re cooking fried rice etc. I hope they’re getting above minimum wage! =)

In terms of taste and price, it’s not bad. $15 for the fried rice and $14 for the steak hor fun. Generally, all their dishes are around $15 for a very large portion (enough for 2). The dishes were delicious but during the cooking, you can see them add a teaspoon of white powder (MSG!!). Apparently, their chips won an award for least fat (can someone confirm this?).

My rating, 8/10. Good to try once in a while. At times, I do enjoy the odd fried rice. They do make ’em good!