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.

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.

 

Deli & Noodle Bar @ Sky City Casino

The Deli and Noodle Bar at the Sky City Casino is always an all-time favourite for me. It opens late, and there’s plenty of pokies and slot machines to keep you entertained for the whole night – that is if you’re a gambler. 🙂

On a late winter night, I was trying to figure out where to go for dinner and decided upon the casino as I haven’t been there for ages. The Deli and Noodle Bar isn’t exactly a quiet place to eat and lighting isn’t that great. Also, your meals don’t get served to you. I decided to try the Noodle Bar since I had fond memories of the beef brisket. Samples below:

Sky City Deli & Noodle Bar - Beef Brisket on Hor Fun

Beef Brisket Hor Fun.

Sky City Deli & Noodle Bar - Soya Chicken on Rice

Soya Chicken on Rice.

For most of the meals, you have a choices of either rice, rice noodles, egg noodles etc. The soya chicken cost $10.50, while the beef brisket cost $8.50. So, price-wise, it’s standard. Flavour-wise, the soya chicken is tasty, while the beef brisket needed extra flavours from the chilli. Overall, it was quite a good meal for the time frame as well as flavour. My rating is 7/10.

The other thing you could always try is the Deli which has various Western options. But the best way to utilise the Deli is to register for the Action Card (which is free I think). That way you can get discounts on meals.

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).

BBQ King

I knew this place through a friend of mine. I was new to Auckland that time, and was amazed since Christchurch never really had the atmosphere. As the name implies, BBQ King have a great selection of BBQ dishes. It’s like little Hong Kong in Auckland. I think it’s fantastic. The first thing you get when you have a sit is a bowl of complimentary soup and tea. Real service. Personally, I never really had anything other than the combination rice because I think it’s great. The other stuff just looks more Europeanised (sweet & sour, wontons etc), no offense!

The complimentary soup has a strong flavour with meat and carrots, and to be honest, it’s damn good for free soup. I tried two “different” types of combination rice at BBQ King recently, different meaning I always have the BBQ Pork and Soya Sauce Chicken, and if they didn’t have it, I’ll try the Soya Baked Chicken or Roast Duck.

Personally, I recommend a two Combination meal, it gives a bit of variety and costs only $11. Plus, it’s enough for two people! So if you’re only buying for one person (i.e. yourself) then you have the option to pack it home in a container to bring home. Pretty good eh?

Complimentary Soup.

Combination Rice 2 – BBQ Pork and Soya Baked Chicken.

Combination Rice 2 – BBQ Pork and Soya Sauce Chicken.

For this occassion, I quite like the rice meals. No complaints at all. Large portions and quick service. However, BBQ King is located in the central city which can be difficult in terms of parking. If you want to know where it is, it’s in a small road off Queen Street near the Qantas Building.

In terms of rating, just for the serving size, flavour and freebies, I’ll give them a 9/10, and only if you try the meat combination dishes!

Muse Cafe

It’s the start of August so I better post a review. Then I’ll probably procrastinate till end of the month and post another one so that I could convince myself I post “regularly”. Anyway, Muse Cafe is what I’ll talk about today. It’s located near the Newmarket Plaza, just around the corner. If you know where the Tofu shop is, I believe it’s right next to it. That’ll give you some idea. Parking is easy for this place, just go to the Rialto car park and make sure you validate your ticket!

Muse Cafe is unique – but not quite so if you compare it to a typical “Honky” restaurant/cafe. Their dishes has a strange mixture of European and Asian influences, primarily because you get words like “Portuguese” and “Spaghetti” in the menu. I’ve tried a few dishes here and I’d have to say the lunch menu is one of my favourite. I’ve also tried the breakfast menu.

They have a variety of breakfast menu but I really hesitated except one time. I tried one of the breakfast specials during brunch, which includes a good package having toast, ham, sausages, eggs and coffee (espresso-ish). It’s not bad as a whole and very good value for money. It’s under $10. However, the breakfast special is a tad too oily for me, the meat isn’t what you call high-grade (a bit chewy) and the bread is average. I guess the good part was the coffee and it didn’t hurt my pocket.

Breakfast Special.

However, I do recommend the lunch menu. A lot of variety from the rice dishes to the spaghetti dishes. I’ve tried the rice dishes as you can see below, the lemon grass pork and portuguese chicken. Both very delicious and at the right price. You’d expect to pay around $10. With the spaghetti dishes, you’d pay a bit more. Recently, they’ve illustrated their menu, posting high resolution pictures outside their cafe for undecided customers. Personally, just go in and order these two below, or be a bit adventurous and try one of the spaghetti dishes.

Lemon Grass Pork on Rice.

Portuguese Chicken on Rice.

Overall I think Muse Cafe is very good. I feel that the dishes are quite “homey” and unique. It’s cool to see spaghetti used in an Asian manner. Plus, they have a huge range for their breakfast and lunch menus. A must try is the Yuan Yang (coffee-tea drink). Price-wise it’s good, less than $15 generally if you eat there. Additionally, they have lots of literature (comics/magazines) but you’d probably need to know how to read Chinese. Haha.

I’ll give Muse Cafe 8/10, a generic score as it’s good as a lunch destination, but not something I’d recommend for their breakfast dishes – a tad too oily.