Cafe Hanoi

This is an old post but may have changed. They have a website: http://www.cafehanoi.co.nz/

Tried some of the dishes, samples below:

Beef Broth “Pho” ($10.50)

Summer Rolls ($12.50).

Crispy Shrimp ($14.00).

Unfortunately not my type of food, the portions were small (very tapas-style) and flavour-wise – I think Saigonz is better just down the road. My rating is 5/10. Food was sample approximately 5 months ago, so things may have changed…. for the better ūüôā

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Andrea Ristorante Italiano

I am back – finally. Hello everybody!

Anyway, I will start off this year’s blog in a bad note (trying to do the opposite of any articles). Andrea Ristorante Italiano is a nicely located restaurant in the “heart” of the ever popular Mission Bay. But after going to this restaurant, there is only¬†one word – extremely disappointing to say it in a nice way. This is reflected on the no. of people going to their restaurants (almost none). Here were some samples from

Scallops ai funghi e pancetta ($19.50).

Pork Belly (to die for) – $28.50.

Seafood Pizza – $21.50.

The entre was actually not bad, but a little too salty. The pork belly was average, and NOT to die for. It was rather plain and overcooked for a relatively high-priced item. The seafood pizza had a very funny taste (and probably caused my bowel movement the next day). I’ve had better seafood pizza for half that price. Perhaps maybe because traditional items were not ordered on the night, but still very disappointed with the food, especially for the price we paid for.

Personally, I wouldn’t be going back here anymore, and they seriously need to review some of their menu items. Rating = 2/10.

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.

 

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.

Taipei Kitchen

Taiper Kitchen is actually quite a familiar place – it was formerly Lai Lai Noodle House.¬† It looks like the owners changed hands, and first impression, the interior is much better. I was expecting to order the usual stuff (beef noodle soup or something), but it appears the menu’s have changed also.

Some samples below:

Pork Mince Rice with Meat Soup ($10).

Pork Chop on Rice ($9.50).

Atmosphere is much better, price is reasonable, food is quite good, however menu is partly translated into English (only drink items are translated and not food!). This new place also sells drinks such as milk tea, so it appears to do more than before. Perhaps to include more younger people.

My rating is 8.5/10. Not bad at all.

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.

The Don

When you mix cheese with Japanese food, it’s surprisingly good. The Don is one place I’ve noticed using this technique (there’s probably more of this and people need to tell me!). The Don is located on High Street and has been highly recommended in other blogs. I’ve been here a few times and have taken a fair amount of photos. Here goes:

Don - Chicken Namban Don

Chicken Namban Don.

Don - Pork Cheese Katsu Don

Pork Cheese Katsu Don.

The Don - Pork Katsu Don

Pork Katsu Don.

The Don - Soy Sauce Braised Beef Udon

Soy Sauce Braised Beef Udon.

Don - Prawn Cheese

Prawn Cheese.

The Don - Beef Cheese Roll

Beef Cheese Roll.

To save writing up prices of the meals that will certainly confuse you all; the meals costs $11 or $11.50, the Pork Katsu Don and Beef Udon at the higher end. The side dishes (tapas) such as the Prawn Cheese and Beef Cheese Roll cost $7 and $6.50 respectively. So expect to pay around that per side dish, which isn’t too bad. Oh, they’re only available after 5pm.

Overall, I’m impressed with the dishes. No disappointment on my visits there and environment is good for a quiet meal. The pricing and quality of the dishes are above average with just the right amount of variety. My rating is 8.5/10. The cheese can be overwhelming (and I believe fattening). A must try though. =)