Hokkaido Restaurant & Bar

Hokkaido Restaurant & Bar is located in Lunn Ave where all the new shops are. Looking from outside, it is not bad. So, went in and gave it a try.

Sashimi (M) – $25 for 15 pieces.

Chan Chan Yaki – $18.50.

Sukiyaki Pot – $13.90.

Overall, this place is OK. The sashimi and sukiyaki pot was not bad tasting. But very disappointed with the chan chan yaki, which didn’t taste special and practically not much salmon, but a lot of cabbage.

The portion is kinda small for the price, so don’t expect value for money. I won’t be coming back. Rating = 5/10.

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!

Bing’s Authentic Malaysian Restaurant & Cafe

This is a strange place to find a Malaysian restaurant. It’s located in the Auckland Hotel on Hobson St. It’s almost impossible to find, in fact, it was a work colleague who told me about this place. I’m surprised how they manage to put a place like this in a hotel, but I guess it must work for both parties. The environment is a bit strange. The pricing of the meals are above average, all above $10 if I can recall, but the portion is huge.

Char Kuey Teow.

Wat Tan Hor.

Mee Goreng.

It’s not a bad place, the meals aren’t the best I’ve tasted. The portion is huge but that’s reflected on the pricing. The staff is friendly, but the environment is a bit different.  My rating is 7.5/10. It’s a good place for a Malaysian food if you want portion, and if you’re in the vicinity of the Auckland Hotel.

Tanpopo

I got recommended by a friend to this place a while ago, it’s Tanpopo around the corner of Anzac Ave and Beach Road. It’s very difficult to spot, and on top of that, it’s hard to find a parking space. Anyway, I had a couple of samples, see below:

Tanpopo - Shio Butter Corn Ramen

Shio Butter Corn Ramen.

Tanpopo - Shio Ramen

Shio Ramen.

The Shio Ramen is $10 and the Shio Butter Corn Ramen is $11.50. There’s really nothing outstanding to say about this place. The environment is kinda plain and that goes with the dishes. Perhaps it’s the lack of variety because they only had ramen and nothing else. The pricing is about the same as any other Japanese ramen shops.  The staff is quite friendly. To me, it wasn’t worth finding a parking for (Sorry!). To be honest, if I was to park around there, I’d just go to Saigonz which has the best Vietnamese noodle soups!

Anyway, my rating is a 7/10. There’s no negatives but no positives as well. Good for ramen if you’re craving that kind of dish in that particular area.

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!

Angie’s Kitchen

I got recommended to this place and heard lots of good things about it. Angie’s Kitchen is located very near to AUT in the CBD. Parking is quite a pain to find, but on the weekend it’s alright. The place is also a halal restaurant which is pretty good.

Samples below:

Angie's kitchen - Kapitan Curry Chicken on Rice - Copy

Kapitan Curry Chicken on Rice.

Angie's Kitchen - Braised Beef Noodle Soup - Copy

Braised Beef Noodle Soup.

Angie's Kitchen - Teh Tarik

Teh Tarik less sugar (with a free apricot biscotti).

Angie's Kitchen - Kopi O

Kopi  less sugar.

I thought the Kapitan Curry Chicken was very good, but the braised beef noodle was plain. The mistake was probably not selecting “traditional” Malaysian food, i.e. Nasi Lemak, Laksa or whatever.  The price of the food was above average, I don’t remember it being less than $10, so not a cheap option. The coffee and tea drinks didn’t taste that great.

My rating is average, 6.5/10. The pricing didn’t help.

Wagamama (Newmarket)

Fusion is overrated. It’s a good excuse to charge double the price of a typical Asian meal. But that’s what I think. 🙂

Wagamama seems quite popular as I see the Link Bus ads all the time (brainwashed?). This particular one I popped into is on Nuffield St in Newmarket. There are others in the CBD and Sylvia Park. Anyway, samples below:

Wagamama - Koumi Chicken

Koumi Chicken.

Wagamama - Ramu Kare Lomen

Ramu Kare Lomen.

Wagamama - Tori Kara age

Tori Kara Age.

Pricing-wise, the Koumi Chicken was $18 and Ramu Kare Lomen was $18.50. Note, first choice for the chicken meals weren’t available for some reason, so selection was limited for that night (not good).  The Tori Kara Age was $10. The Koumi Chicken was very plain, which was very disappointing. For the price, it was not worth it. The Ramu Kare Lomen was not bad, as I was a fan of coconut-based curry. The Tori Kara Age was also not bad. Overall, taste-wise, nothing to worship about.

I thought their pricing was a bit too much but they were fusion, so they could do anything they want in terms of price. Perhaps the environment was the reason to go to Wagamama, but I didn’t feel it.

My rating is 6/10. Wagamama ain’t worth it unless you have a voucher to burn, or you really can’t find anything else open (they seem to open quite late).

Neighbour’s Restaurant

Neighbour’s Restaurant is not affiliated to the Australian drama – but it’s quite a nice place to go to . I found this restaurant next to Pho Vietnamese Restaurant on Lorne St. They are located “underground” but have a menu just before you go in. The menu with pricing helps differentiate if it’s cheap or expensive compared to places nearby *ahem*. I have to say, it’s kinda cheap, $10 or less unlike some places. =)

A couple of dishes were sampled on a cold winter night:

Neighbour's Restaurant - Pork Chop on Rice

Pork Chop on Rice.

Neighbour's Restaurant - Sesame Oil Chicken Noodle Soup

Sesame Oil Chicken Noodle Soup.

The place serves Taiwanese cuisine and first impression, I like it. In terms of pricing, it’s cheap and flavour-wise, it’s on-par with another one of my favourites, T-Mark. The place is also clean and green (I mean literally).

My rating is a biased 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.

Saigonz


Finally, another decent Vietnamese restaurant in town. Saigonz is apparently a new Vietnamese restaurant on Beach Road. It’s quite near Foodtown, but parking is difficult to find like any place in the city. I think the place caters for the nearby businesses and residents. Just by initially looking at the place, which is small with only a few tables and with their dishes served in plastic bowls. Their menu is small, which makes decision making somewhat easier. They have a website, and  even an 0800 number (0800 SAIGONZ).

Anyway, the dishes sampled are shown below:

Saigonz - Beef Pho 

Beef Pho.

Saigonz - Lemon Grass Chicken Rice 

Lemon Grass Chicken on Rice.

Saigonz - Lemon Grass Chicken Curry 

Lemon Grass Chicken Curry.

Saigonz - Pork & Prawn Summer Rolls 

Pork and Prawn Summer Rolls.

 All of the above dishes cost $9.50, except the rolls, which cost $7.00.  I have to admit, all the dishes tasted great! The only niggle is the plastic dishes they were served in. A bit too takeaway-ish for me, but I guess that’s what the business is catered/designed for. I was hoping the rolls would be cheaper, perhaps like $4 or $5. Perhaps we need more Vietnamese immigrants like Melbourne. =)

My rating is a very favourable 9/10. It’s something new, the flavours and pricing do not disappoint. The rolls could be cheaper but I guess they’re one of two Vietnamese restaurants in town.

ATT Cafe

In between two highly-rated places (Mentatz and Pho Vietnamese) on Lorne Street is the ATT Cafe.  A quick glance at this cafe, it looks more like a canteen. I thought I’d give this place a try, no harm when you’re hungry and sick of going to the same old place. A couple of dishes were sampled as shown below:

att-cafe-deep-fried-chicken-drumstick-noodle-soup

Deep Fried Chicken Drumstick Noodle Soup.

att-cafe-garlic-gravy-pork-on-rice

Garlic Gravy Pork on Rice.

Both dishes cost $9.50, which is quite cheap. The noodle soup did taste a bit plain, I wish there some kinda sauce that could boost up the flavour. However, the rice wasn’t bad. I can’t really say much, because it was just a meal. Not gourmet or anything at all. Apparently, they do deliveries within the city.

A rating is hard to justify, but it’s average. Not bad but not good, 7/10.

Thai Friends

There is an odd-looking place on Parnell Road called Thai Friends. I say odd because it doesn’t exactly look like a big place at all when you pass by. I always thought it was a bit strange for them to run a business with tables and chairs (about a handful) outside. Little did I know that they had more room/space at the back! But that’s probably reserved for dinner.

I decided to try out this place for lunch after a long day at looking for overpriced property around the area. Also, they’ve got awards and stuff like that. So I wanted to see what the big fuss was about. Initial observation of the menu will definitely give you a heart attack. It’s really odd, of all the Asian cuisine, Thai and Indian are always overly priced comparatively. Why is that?

Anyway, thank goodness they had a “Special Lunch Menu”. Two dishes were sampled as shown below:

thai-friends-thai-hot-green-curry-on-rice

Thai Hot Green Curry Chicken.

thai-friends-thai-seafood-laksa

Thai Style Seafood Laksa.

The chicken green curry is a traditional, all-time favourite and it costs about $13.50. It’s not bad. The Thai style seafood laksa was a unique one. I thought the laksa was very good. The seafood is quite fresh and the flavour of the laksa soup was delicious. For $17.50, I thought it was worth it. Of all the laksas I’ve forced myself to try, this was the best (I’m usually not a big fan of laksa). It’s not full of MSG, and the seafood is real seafood. It’s not frozen seafood like fishballs, fishcakes, surimi, etc.

Based on the two above dish, I thought Thai Friends is worth a try, for lunch that is. I am not sure about dinner. It may be a bit overpriced, especially during this difficult economic time. My rating, 9/10.