Kermadec

If you’ve been to the viaduct, you could easily miss this place out. It’s a bit out of place so need to spot it, but I have heard good things. Kermadec is located at the Viaduct, right next to Degree. The restaurant is apparently quite high up, so you sorta get a view of the viaduct. The interior is OK. Anyway, since this was a “seafood” restaurant, a seafood bias was taken, although I do prefer my land animals. =)

Big Glory Bay Salmon Tartare ($16.50).

John Dory “Saint Peter’s Fish” ($37.00).

Slow-Cooked Perendale Lamb Shoulder ($36.00).

The food is pricey as you can see above. It’s not for the light-pocketed, unless you have some form of discount vouchers – or you feel like splashing out. The salmon and John Dory was very good. I was impressed with the presentation – so it was good to see that. The lamb shoulder is OK, rather fatty, maybe it was suppose to be that way(?). Who knows, fine-dining to me these days are small portions and pricey – and this was the case. But I am not complaining and it was worth a try.

Unfortunately, for this case, I am not coming back to Kermadec. It didn’t leave an impression at all. The environment was OK, I think Hammerheads feels way better. For fine dining, I think maybe it’s worth a try – only if you feel like seafood and you are stuck in the viaduct. The final thing, I was not impressed with the manager during my visit and from my own opinion compared with other places, Kermadec is hopelessly at the bottom of the pile in the customer service department – only because of their manager.

Rating = 4/10. Sorry Kermadec. If you do like this place and would like to try it out, I hope you can avoid the manager I had to deal with.

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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.

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.

Mecca Stonehouse Cafe

It’s not common I drop by in a place like this very often, primarily because the food is expensive but the place is nice. I guess that’s the price you pay for fine dining. Mecca Stonehouse Cafe is located in Mission Bay, it’s not at the row of shops that people tend to walk pass by, but on the other side where the fountain is.

As you have may have probably guessed, it was an online voucher that got my attention to this place. The menu is not bad, and here are a couple of samples below:

Lamb Shank $35.90.

Prawn and Scallop Fettucine ($34.90).

I found the lamb shanks OK, but surprisingly have had better at another place (BlueStone). Perhaps a bit too wet? The fetuccine was kinda rich, i.e. too much cream but otherwise, still nice.

I can tell this place is where you splash the cash for a date, so I recommend for that. Because afterthat, you can take your date our for a walk and ice cream =). Otherwise, I doubt I’ll be returning. Sorry.

Rating 7/10.

The Bluestone Room

In an attempt to update the blog in a regular fashion, here you go!

Bluestone Room is a local pub for my workplace. I rarely go here in fact, but it’s favourite hangout for some of my work mates (little do they know, they have a problem with alcohol). Just kidding =) Actually it’s a favourite hangout because of it’s generous Happy Hour Deals. They serve the Tower for only $20 or a pint of beer for $4 during Happy Hour.

One of the great deals they have here is a 2-for-1 meal deal (need to apply for a loyalty card), at the moment, the deal is on Monday and Saturday. Not bad to be honest. One night, I decided to give it a try, here are two samples:

Bushwacker’s Boar ($24.50).

Double Lamb Shanks ($24.00).

To be honest, the lamb shanks are great. The boar isn’t too bad, but a bit tough. One meal worth mentioning is the Bluestone Burger; and that is a work of art! Most of their dishes doesn’t really need any sides at all. For all the good things they have, they achieve a higher rating in my books. 9/10.

Turkish Cafe

The Turkish Cafe is a very noticeable cafe, next to Warehouse Newmarket, opposite the Skycity Cinemas (Broadway). It’s one of those cafes that I wanted to try out for a while, so I had my chance. Tried a couple of things – see below:

Donor Kebab.

Kiwi Salmon Delight.

I can’t recollect what the pricing of the above items were, but I think they were some part of a lunchtime deal, so should be reasonable. But I have to admit, the food was not memorable. Surprisingly, the place lacks people at lunchtime. I’m not sure why, stiff competition from the other cafes? I thought they had a decent location.

I do admit, it’s one place I’m not going back to. Food didn’t taste horrible and I think that was the problem, I couldn’t remember if it was good or bad, so probably one of those “average” places. Therefore, a rating of 6/10.

Herbal Legend

I heard this place was THE place to eat Shanghai food. Herbal Legend is located on Dominion Road at Mt Eden. It’s close to the shopping area where Foodtown is.  The first time I went to this place, I couldn’t get a spot and had to settle for somewhere else to eat. This time though, I didn’t have any problems finding a spot. However, it is noticeably packed for some reason and I wanted to know why.

Cumin Lamb with Bread.

Sweet & Sour Pork Rib.

Mapo Tofu

The prices for the dishes in this restaurant range quite a bit. The cumin lamb is $22 and appears to be the most popular dish. The sweet and sour pork is $16 and the Ma Po tofu is $10. Out of the 3 dishes, I didn’t like the Ma Po tofu cause it was kinda average, however the other two wasn’t too bad. I quite like the cumin lamb with the bread. One thing I realised is the ridiculous speed they made the dishes! I think it took less than 10 mins for them to prepare the 3 dishes above, which leads to the question – how so? Probably they had like 10 chefs in the kitchen or it was too easy to cook? Who knows.

Anyway, I did hear good things about this place but in the end, I found that it was alright. Perhaps it doesn’t suit my palate. The price is great and service not too bad (friendly I thought). Taste is OK as I said before. Ratings 7.5/10. Perhaps might suit some people, but not me.