Auckland and Asian fusion seem to be having a moment. A tribe of restaurants are jazzing up all sorts of dishes in ways our taste buds have never experienced and we can’t seem to get enough. To help you dive head first into the Asian fusion invasion, we’ve done the hard yards and eaten our way round this city of ours.
From snazzy joints to humbler (but no less delicious) establishments, here’s where to get your Asian fusion fix in Auckland.
White & Wong’s
If sea views and delicious eats are two things you like to prioritise, then a trip to White & Wong’s is in order. Overlooking Auckland harbour, this restaurant has a stellar vibe, but it’s the food that will have you coming back for more. There’s kingfish sashimi, dumplings, roti rolls, curries, wok fried hapuka, noodles and that’s just scraping the surface. Want it all? Opt for the Grand or Emperor banquet, chocka block with a range of White & Wong’s best dishes, made to share. Cocktails are compulsory—get amongst the Blushing Buddha or the Tiger Sour with St Remi, Demaine de Canton, lemon juice and honey syrup. Yum!
The Blue Breeze Inn
Pork buns, tiki cocktails and chocolate lava pots are what’s in store at this Ponsonby gem. The Blue Breeze Inn is onto a very, very good thing. They serve up ‘modern Chinese with an island breeze’ in the form of bang bang chilli chicken, pork belly egg noodles, wagyu beef and wok-fried greens, and really delish bevvies from The Rum Jungle. If you’re dining with your boo, order the Toolong a Lover—a fresh, baby coconut with coconut-infused rum, hand-smashed pineapple and a rocket-red cherry.
Takapuna’s Asian fusion scene went up a couple of notches last year thanks to TOK TOK, and it still seems to be the talk of the town. TOK TOK merges the best of South East Asian cuisine into one delicious menu, including small plates, big plates, sides, salad, and of course, dessert. Kick things off with popping prawns, fresh pork and prawn summer rolls and moreish beef brisket steamed buns. Some of the big plate highlights are duck pad Thai, crispy hapuka curry and shaking beef, with a green papaya salad to freshen your taste buds. Be sure to leave room for the pandan tapioca desserts with pineapple, lychee and chilli cashew candy—yass!
The clever cats at A’meza have created one of the best Asian fusion experiences in Auckland. Sitting pretty on Dominion Road, the interior and dishes are equally stunning. From prawn beignets to beef bulgogi, confit duck and market fish with laksa risotto, there’s a high chance that you’ll be in foodie heaven. The chefs and owners are from the Philippines but take inspiration from all over Asia and beyond, so don’t be surprised if a trip to A’meza rocks your world.
For a solid Asian fusion feed in Ponsonby, look no further than Mekong Baby. This trendy restaurant serves up all sorts of scrumptious delights that are perfect for sharing with your food-lovin’ crew. There are prawn cakes, spiced lamb ribs, crispy soft shell crab, pad see ew (delicious rolled noodles with braised beef skirt) and a seriously epic duck massaman curry, best mopped up with flaky roti. Yep, Mekong Baby really is the bee’s knees.
The Kimchi Project
Hidden away in Auckland’s CBD is The Kimchi Project, a Korean-inspired restaurant with an innovative menu and beautiful, sun-drenched courtyard. For something a bit different, start with their Asian bruschetta topped with Thai mango salsa and grilled prawn, kimchi waffle fries or chicken dumplings before getting amongst their sweet and soy ribs, slow-cooked pork belly and spicy chilli chicken. This, dear Aucklanders, is Asian Fusion like you’ve never had before.
Dubbed as an ‘oriental smokehouse and whiskey works’, Woodpecker Hill merges Eastern flavours with Western techniques to create mouth-watering food. There are the likes of kingfish with pomelo, lemongrass chilli jam and lime, beef brisket spiced curry, soft-shell crab with turmeric, chilli and tamarind and a badass apple doughnut with miso butterscotch caramel—mmm! Chef Che Barrington has whipped up some seriously impressive fusion creations and trust us, you don’t want to miss out.
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Image credit: Lauren Matilda Matthews