We’ve come to love team lunches at The Blue Breeze Inn. While we try to visit as many different restaurants as we can, the memory of those dumplings manage to hit us right at the moment when we’re deciding where to go, and so…yep, we’ve been there a fair few times.
We love walking up the steps and into the vibrant restaurant. We’re always greeted with a smile and love the colourful shirts all the staff wear. They’ve got a relaxed vibe, but are always professional.
The décor will take you from work to holiday mode with its pacific flowers offset against wood with plenty of windows. Look upwards and you’ll find palm trees painted on the ceilings with fans that look as if they’re part of the tree—very cool. If you’re lucky, there are seats on the balcony of the restaurant for a little Ponsonby Road people-watching if you’re so inclined. Goodbye work stress, it’s time settle in.
Chef Che Barrington, of MooChowChow fame, has created a mouth-watering Chinese menu with a Kiwi twist. Based on China’s culinary history of extracting the maximum flavour of each ingredient, The Blue Breeze Inn serves up a variety of combinations that may surprise and will definitely delight. This is Chinese food, but not as you know it.
Made for sharing, the menu changes on the reg, but it follows an offering for small appetites, big appetites, vegetables, little things (such as steamed rice in a not-so-little serving size) and sweet treats for those who still have room afterwards.
We can’t go past the steamed pork and prawn wontons. Every. Single. Time. Served up in bamboo dishes, you may feel a little disheartened to only find four. But, never fear, these big dumplings are filling and super delicious.
Another team fave from the small appetite offerings is the steamed bun starring roasted pork belly and pickled cucumber. These are so tasty that one hardly seems enough, but then there’s plenty more to come, so while it would be tempting to just eat another and another, move on people…
The big appetite menu is varied and great to supplement those wontons. We love the stir-fried egg noodles with XO sauce and pork belly (notice a theme yet?) but also enjoy the stir-fried wagyu beef just as well. We’ll def be back for the the Chinese roasted duck (whole or half) and the fish drowned in heaven-facing chillies, native spinach and Sichuan peppercorns.
Of course it’s always a good idea to get some veges into your belly. The wok-charred broccoli in oyster sauce with ginger and almond will tempt even the staunchest of vegetable haters. For the vegetarians, don’t despair, because The Blue Breeze Inn caters for you, too. Those steamed buns of goodness are also available with tofu, there’s Sichuan aubergines and around half a dozen other vege-friendly options. If you’ve got a dish that looks delish but it’s got meat in it, just ask one of the staff to swap it out for tofu or vegetables and they’ll deliver on most items.
Although we’re often wishing we were in our stretchy pants at this point, two words: Choc. Pot. Yep, this is your sweet tooth dream. The lava mini cake, served with ice cream, coffee syrup and chocolate upon chocolate is a visual and gastronomical feast. #gramworthy
All the food and we haven’t even started on the drinks. What better way to get in the Pacific beachy mood than with a rum? These guys are experts at merging the lush bounty of Polynesia with the exotic tastes of Asia into a glass of goodness. If you’re heading back to work afterwards, it might be an idea to stick to just one…or two. If that sounds like too much, they’ve got handcrafted beer and a selection of wines.
All up, we rate The Blue Breeze Inn as a top-notch spot for lunch and dinner, whether it’s a work day or the weekend. The décor, the vibe, the location and the explosion of flavours makes this place one we’ll be returning to again (and again).
Get more details about The Blue Breeze Inn, including opening hours here.
Image credit: The Blue Breeze Inn