Golden Ducks Charcoal Roast

Just a quick post. If you want some duck, roast pork etc, this guy has it. He’s located at the Newmarket asian corridor, whatever they call it these days. It’s opposite the food court, same row as the meat shop and bakery.

Roast Duck ($19/half).

The above is their normal roast duck (half), it’s not bad. For a full duck, I think it’s $36.¬†Apparently, this shop is the only shop that does the charcoal peking duck. I don’t have a picture of it, but it’s pretty good. The guy gives you the duck bones and you can do anything you want with it. But the guy recommends you cook congee with it. The charcoal peking duck is $40 for a full duck, $3 for the pancakes and $1 for the Hoisin sauce.

Just for the Peking duck – it’s pretty good. The guy is friendly too. Rating = 8/10.

Golden Barbeque Noodle House

You’re thinking, doesn’t this bozo ever go out of the CBD to eat? I say, yes! Here’s a place at Eden Valley. Actually, it’s still relatively near town. ūüė¶

It appears very popular, I couldn’t find a place to sit for some reason. It’s your typical Chinese restaurant. I think it used to be called Max or something. Samples below:

qian-li-xiang-soya-chicken-and-roast-duck-on-rice

Soya Chicken and Roast Pork on Rice

qian-li-xiang-wat-tan-hor

Wat Tan Hor

As usual, I couldn’t remember the price of the dishes but it’s reasonable. I thought the dishes were great tasting. I highly recommended it. My rating is 8/10. Give it a go.

Tang’s Soup Cafe

The Easter weekend is finished but I have another day off. That gives me a bit of time to talk about this cafe I “bumped” into recently – Tang’s Soup Cafe. It’s near the roundabout in Royal Oak.

It’s a strange place because initially it appears as if there is no English menu. But rest assure, it does. The good thing about the place is the amount of variety and it opens late – so good supper option. The variety comes with a price, not all dishes are great and it really depends what you get.¬†Anyway, some of the dishes tried are shown below:

tangs-soup-cafe-chinese-sausage-on-rice-served-in-wooden-cask

 Chinese Sausage and Dried Duck on Rice Served in a Wooden Cask.

tangs-soup-cafe-steam-chicken-with-kei-chee-and-red-dates-on-rice

Steam Chicken with Kei Chee and Red Dates on Rice.

tangs-soup-cafe-steam-chicken-with-hot-and-spice-sauce-on-rice

Steam Chicken with Hot and Spice Sauce on Rice.

tangs-soup-cafe-quail-braised-in-chuan-bei

Quail Braised in Chuan Bei.

The wooden cask dish is $12.50. The steam chicken dishes are $8. The soup is $11.50. Of all the dishes above, I prefer the steam chicken dish. It’s tasty and darn cheap. However, the other two dishes are not bad and more specialty (I think). It is worth to experiment on. The wooden cask dish is kinda salty for me because of the dried duck. ¬†The soup is quite good and apparently has health benefits. But it’s kinda expensive for $11.50. Again it may be because it’s special. Someone can educate me.

Anyway, I am pleasantly surprised with this place. I think the food overall is good and very unique. It’s also a great supper hangout, and well done to them for opening late-ish for the night owls.

My rating is 9/10. Unique dishes, opens late and good value for money (mostly). Worth a try.

Zap 4

Zap 4 is like the evil twin of Zap 2. Nah, I’m just kidding. It’s the other branch.

As I was waiting in line to buy my lunch at Zap 4, I keep hearing the same thing ordered from menu. Yes… yes, that’s right. Friggin’ Pad Thai!!! I’m gonna shoot myself if I hear someone say, spring rolls, wonton soup, pad thai and fried rice!! ARGGHHHH… just kidding!

Zap 4 is a good place for Thai to be honest. A bit dodgy at times for charging for rice though, which ticks me off a bit. They charge extra for rice, so if you think you’re ordering a curry, you do get a curry just without the rice!!! How the heck am I gonna eat my curry without rice.

Anyway, the usual. Here are pictures of what was sampled. Very similar to Zap 2.

zap-4-roast-duck-curry

Roast Duck Curry.

zap-4-pad-ped-fish

Pad Ped Fish.

zap-4-green-curry

Green Curry.

zap-4-larb-gai

Larb Gai.

In summary, the roast duck curry and pad ped fish was $12 (premium dishes??), and the green curry and larb gai was $10. For the rice, it’s an extra $2. DODGY!!! But anyway, the curries are good – can’t complain. My favourite would have to be the pad ped fish. It’s lovely. Larb gai is an interesting dish, some people like it, some people don’t (like me). Zap 4 also sells the usual, pad thai, fried rice etc. One thing they do sell that’s somewhat familiar to me is the Guay Jab (not sure if I spell it right). It’s thick rice noodle in a pork soup/broth. It won’t suit some people because of the strong pork flavour. On top of that, there’s intestines, liver etc. A good try if you don’t mind those body parts. =)

Anyway, if Zap 4 weren’t so dodgy with the hidden cost (extra rice!!), I’d give them a very high rating. But they are reasonably priced. My rating for this occassion, 8/10. Not absolutely fantastic. Where’s my next 9/10??

Zap 2

Ah, the infamous Zap 2. It’s always featured in the Metro Magazine or the NZ Herald, yada yada yada! And I can see why – it’s popular because of its reputation for bringing out some of the best dishes.

It was a random day at work when a friend from Christchurch called me. He was up here for training and wanted to catch up. I thought “Cool”, why not bring him out to have good Thai food. So, I thought Zap 2!!! This Thai place is located on Dominion Road, in the suburb of Balmoral. The first thing when we came into the restaurant, it was pretty much packed and this was mid-week. I guess if you’re keen on trying this place out, booking is a must during the busy nights. Below were some of the dishes we tried that night:

Pad Ped (Spicy Stir Fried Fish).

Roast Duck Curry.

Phuket Island.

One thing I noticed while dining was that some tables were having their dishes individually. A bit strange when you can share – something I do encourage. If you’re worried about hygiene and all, use a common spoon. It’s not hard!

Now to the ratings, the roast duck curry is quite the bomb. It’s got fantastic flavours with the tomatoes and pineapple. Although I think that they should put a bit more duck in that meal as it was seriously lacking meat. The Pad Ped is also very nice for $14. It’s fried fish, stir fried with other vegetables in spicy sauce. A great meal and one I strongly recommend. The Phuket Island was a strange one. It’s stir fried chicken, squid and prawn with vegetables. It’s got a lot of variety but to me, it’s just got that hint of “standard” dish. The word “Phuket” is most likely used to target (market) a certain group of customers – if you know what I mean =) For $15 it’s OK but not something I’d buy again.

A couple of negatives about this place. The table that we sat in was very low as if they bought it from a 2nd hand shop. I felt that I was still in kindergarten, and personally I had to hunch to eat my food. Also, they charge additional $2 for rice which is quite uncommon for a lot of Asian places. The least Zap 2 could do with the extra cash they’re earning is buy some decent tables and chairs. Anyway, it’s still good food!

They have a website and you can check their menus. They also have a branch in the city called Zap 4 and it’s not bad. My rating for this place is 8/10. Try the curries and beware of the “extra” cost for rice. If you get a low table, get it changed as it is quite uncomfortable.