My Kitchen

Sorry guys – I’ve been lazy. Period. But have been eating a lot as I have gained weight, or probably a combination of being lazy and eating.

My Kitchen is located on 543, Dominion Road. They have a takeaway section, and dine-in section upstairs. Weekends tend to be quite busy. I’ve been here a few times, some samples below:

Wine Chicken.

Dumplings.

Taiwanese Sausage (Spicy).

Tofu with Century Egg.

Beef Brisket on Rice.

Curry Chicken on Rice.

Fried Chicken Chop on Rice.

Japanese Pork Chop on Rice.

I didn’t manage to take note of the price – but the dishes that come with rice are reasonable, hovering around $12 I think. There are plenty of side dishes which are great, I think around $10. Portions are good.

There isn’t much to say but it’s a great place to try out. Do go for the rice dishes, unless you’re really hungry, you can get the side dishes. There’s been many times the food cannot be finished!!

Rating = 8.5/10.

Bien (Newmarket)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (including the Chinese version)! I have returned from my long holiday and am going to post my first review for 2012. Enjoy.

Bien has several franchises. I tried out the Newmarket branch on a Thursday night. It’s quiet but can’t complain, the bar next door has outdoor music – so free entertainment? I have to admit the pricing is reasonable, not overpriced. You’d just need to find a parking if driving to Newmarket. Here are some samples.

Tuna Tomato Petite Salad – $4.00.

Salmon Sushi – $3.00 for two pieces.

Spicy Chicken Don – $11.00.

Lemon Grass Chicken Don – $11.00.

Salad and sushi roll are good small bites – excellent as entres. The chicken dons are not bad as well, I preferred the spicy chicken don. Good value! Bien (Newmarket) is definitely worth a try. Rating 8.5/10.

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.

 

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!

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.

Eiji Japanese Cuisine

My first post for the year. I hope everyone had a good holiday.

I went to Eiji for lunch with a couple of friends sometime before Christmas. I didn’t even know this place existed especially in the suburbs (St Heliers). I guess you have to be living around there.

Unagi Kabayaki Bento.

Zangi Don.

Salad Side.

First of all the service is great, I guess Japanese restaurant staff tend to be more friendly. The food is quite good, although the price is a bit on the high side, we had the Entertainment card to reduce some of the costs.

The bento costs $22 and the don $14, which is quite reasonable. Although I have to admit, realistically it will be difficult for most people to go to Eiji as it is not “centralised”. But it’s worth a try especially if you’re at the beach in Mission Bay, or have friends / relatives in that area.

My rating is a favourable 8.5/10. Very good.

Sri Mahkota

This is a quick one for the month. I have a few in the pipeline, but haven’t uploaded pics and stuff. I was recommended to Sri Mahkota by one of the readers. First impression when I was there, a lot of people so it must be good! This was lunchtime in the weekend. It’s a small place, located in the industrial area of East Tamaki (ish). The food they sell is pretty much the standard Malaysian dish. However, I realised the fish head soup was quite popular – I see lots of big bowls.

However, keeping to my conservative side, I chose the same ol’ stuff. Samples below:

Sri Mahkota - Char Kuey Teow

Char Kuey Teow.

Sri Mahkota - Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak.

Sri Mahkota - Curry Puff

Curry Puff.

To be honest, I didn’t come out of Sri Mahkota with a “wow” and I forgot how much each dish was! But the dishes above wasn’t anything special (sorry). The food isn’t horrible, but not something I’d drive 10-15 mins for and wait outside. Perhaps the dish above is too common / bland.

My rating is a 7.5/10.

Ming Garden Chinese Restaurant (Te Anau)

My apologies for the absence. I’ve been away for these reasons (1) laziness, (2) irresponsibility, (3) work, (4) recent holidays and (5) lack of material.

Anyway, a quick post for today. I was at Te Anau for the long weekend. I had a craving for some Chinese food (it was one of the very few Chinese restaurants there). I ordered the roast pork fried rice for $9. It was a shocking dish, the crappiest dish I’ve had. It was low quality. But I guess I can’t complain too much since it’s in the middle of nowhere.

But to be honest, make your own fried rice if you’re craving it in Te Anau. Ming Garden does a shocking piece of work.

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.

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. =)

Nite Spice

Nite Spice is a discreetly located Indian restaurant on Khyber Pass Road, very near Selera. Apparently, it is one of four branches in Auckland. Of all the foods I’ve eaten and packed into my already bloated stomach, Indian food is quite a a rare one for me. Nite Spice apparently has a lunch time deal which gives you a curry, naan, rice and a drink! So I went there immediately for a try. Samples below:

Nite Spice - Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken.

Nite Spice - Lamb Saagwala

Lamb Saagwala.

The combo is $10.99, and I thought it was fantastic. The curry doesn’t appear to be mass-produced like the ones you see in the food court. Furthermore, they had a variety of curries which I can’t remember but all can be seen in the Menu on their website.

I was impressed with the overall package, you get a good drink, delicious curry, good ol’ favourite naan and rice. I can’t complain and will have to give this place a favourable 9/10. I think it’s a great option for lunch if they keep this combo deal going.