Genzui Ramen Bar

I forgot to apologise in my last post for not posting regularly, I’ve been lazy. Typical excuse. But it’s holiday time for me now, so perhaps more time for me to post some of my material. Here’s a good place that I strongly recommend, Genzui Ramen Bar. It’s next to the lobby area at the Crowne Plaza on Albert St. It’s a small place but the food packs a good flavour and it’s cheap!

Some samples below:

Spicy Chicken Don.

Shoyu Ramen,

.

Miso Katsu Chicken Don.

Grilled Squid with Miso Paste.

Most rice and ramen dishes hover around $10, portion is good, and taste is great. I don’t normally get the entres or sides, but it’s a bonus since the dishes are quite affordable. Staff is friendly. My favourite dishes here are the spicy chicken don and the curry katsu chicken don. Damn great place, and if they keep it up (the prices and the flavour), they are hard to beat.

My rating 9.5/10. Good on ya! Oh Merry Christmas BTW.

Gina’s Pizza and Pasta Bar

Gina’s restaurant is always an all-time favourite in Auckland. My brother told me about this place when I first came here, and I have to admit, the atmosphere is pretty good. I had the ol’ Entertainment Card voucher, so used it up for this particular occasion. For the ladies, they will enjoy the sight of the Italian men.  A table at Gina’s is difficult to find, so better book in advance through the online system (if it actually works) or the old fashion way (phone call).

For this particular occasion, a few dishes were sampled below:

Calamari Fritti ($15).

Fettucine Mare e Monti ($19.50).

Massimo Grande ($20).

Lasagna ($20.50).

Personally, all dishes were great and reasonably priced.  But I think Italian is no longer a desired item for me. I can find reasonably good dishes, such as pizzas and pastas at many places now. But I guess the reason for Gina’s is the environment. You can tell by the amount of noise, it is quite deafening. I have no bad things to say, everything is reasonable. It may take a while for dishes to arrive, so have many things to say!

My rating 8/10. Have a try.

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.