Dumplings and Aucklanders go hand in hand and boy, have we got some news for you! The lucky peeps in West Auckland have had access to one of the best dumplings and Asian bites ever and now those closer to the central city don’t have to travel so far to indulge. That’s right, Mr Zhou’s now has a sister site in Mt Eden and we couldn’t be any. More. Excited.
Mr Zhou’s serves the two-bite morsels at lighting speed—huge piles of sumptuous dumplings either boiled or pan-fried—right for your dining pleasure. Our favourite flavour is the classic pork and chive, though give the beef and coriander a nudge—you won’t be disappointed. We’ll admit, we came for the dumplings but tried an array of dishes from the menu and encourage you to do the same. The sizzling pork was perfectly crispy on the outside, juicy and tender in the middle and served with lashings of tangy sweet and sour sauce. Hand-pulled noodles also caught our attention alongside a tofu and cucumber salad. Fresh and light, it was the perfect interlude to the mountains of dumplings.
Mr Zhou was behind the OG New Flavor on Dominion Road when it first opened and has spearheaded the dumpling campaign Auckland has been in the throws of ever since. When we visited, Mr Zhou’s was so new that large bouquets of fresh flowers adorned the entrance to the restaurant from well-wishers congratulating Jing and Bin, the owners, on their ever-growing Cantonese food empire.
We were lucky enough to meet Bin Zhou’s wife Jing, and what a wonderful treat that was. Jing is running the show here and you can catch her wrangling a restaurant full of hungry customers with grace and ease. Being the proprietress of the restaurant, Jing shared intimate knowledge with us—like how good the fried tofu, black bean and chili stir fry is.
And boy, are we glad she did! It’s not something we’d usually order, but the tofu was melt-in-your-mouth tender and the black bean was spicy and hot. The final addition of garlic was the perfect crispy finish to an outstanding dish.
A former takeaway shop, the space has been renovated to reveal a bright, fresh interior. It is simply laid out, with a dining room that seats around 40 guests. The kitchen is hidden out the back, but you can catch the talented team of chefs prepping in the small alcoves in the restaurant’s interior during lunch service.
Rustle up a group of pals and take a detour from the usual suspects on Dominion Road—we promise you won’t be disappointed!
Image credit: Kate Rose