Cheap and cheerful weekend

I’ve been looking for a chance to review places to eat out in Auckland, but have discovered that I’m not very good at taking my opportunities.  This weekend has really been one full of eating out, but unfortunately I didn’t take any photos for two of them.  When I’m out with friends and everyone is really hungry and eager to tuck in, I feel bad holding people up to document what we’re doing.  So I apologise for the fact that two of these restaurants have no visual support!

The three places that we have eaten at this weekend are all what I would class as cheap and cheerful.  All are Asian food places, with not-so-great decor, but with tasty, cheap food and efficient service.

So here goes…

Shaolin Kung Fu Noodles

Address: 636 Dominion Road, Balmoral
Phone: 623 6298

Friday night was a chance to catch up with some friends – a “triple date”, as one of them called it.  Initially, we had planned to go to Wang Wang’s on Dominion Rd for some pancakes etc, but it was completely full.

So instead, we wandered up Dominion Road and went to Shaolin Kung Fu Noodle instead.  It was also busy, but had room for us.  The place is known for its hand-pulled noodles and cleaver-sliced noodles, as well as its spicy Northern Chinese style of food.  The menu has no pork dishes – my dad tells me this is because the head chef is Muslim.

We ordered far too much for six of us: chicken skewers, beef and celery dumplings, fried hand-pulled noodles with chicken, Chinese beef “burgers”, deep fried blue cod with sweet and sour sauce, braised eggplant and fried lamb with cumin.  Everything was very tasty (and quite spicy) and in the end, I think it worked out to be about $18 a person.  Good value, in my opinion, considering we couldn’t finish it all.

Try It Out

Address: 79 Atkinson Ave, Otahuhu
Phone: 276 9339

Saturday afternoon saw the hubby and I head off to Otahuhu to pick up some furniture we had bought from a factory (we’re in the middle of organising our house and the room for the baby).

Since we were in the area, we decided to head to Try It Out, which is a Vietnamese restaurant we had been to a few times before.  This place has truly terrible decor, but the service is amazingly efficient.  There is a huge digital clock on the wall (that also includes seconds) and my husband and I were surprised when the lychee milkshake I ordered arrived within three minutes of placing the order.

We ordered the chicken rice noodle soup and the rare beef and tripe rice noodle soup.  We happily scooped in all the fresh beansprouts and chilli, squeezed in the lemon juice and slurped it all up.  Well, not quite – we both couldn’t finish as the servings were pretty big and we weren’t too hungry after having the oeufs en cocotte for breakfast.

For the two noodle soups and a lychee milkshake, lunch cost us $28 all up.  It was a warming and delicious meal, as well as being easy on the pocket.

Just note, there is another branch of Try It Out in East Tamaki as well (the restaurant is a bit nicer) – 20 Torrens Rd (Unit L), East Tamaki.

Food In Guangzhou

Address: 424 Khyber Pass Road, Newmarket
Phone: 524 6868

My dad decided he really wanted to go out for dinner before the Super Rugby final, so we headed off to a rather random restaurant in Newmarket.

Food in Guangzhou would be easy to miss – the doorway is tucked in next to the large Cock and Bull Bar and Restaurant and you have to head up these blue-carpeted stairs to actually get there.  It specialises in claypot rice and hot pot dishes, which is great for a dinner in the middle of winter.

We had two different claypot rice dishes – one with Chinese sausages (lap cheong) and preserved pork, the other with chicken and salted fish.  Both had a great, savoury flavour and I just love scraping the crispy bits of rice off the bottom of the claypot to eat.

Steamed claypot rice with salted fish and chicken

Steamed claypot rice with salted fish and chicken

Dad also ordered a dish of bean thread vermicelli with seafood and tofu, as well as a huge beef brisket hot pot.  This bubbled away while we added vegetables and tofu to it to cook.  The beef brisket was melting and tender.

Beef brisket hot pot

Beef brisket hot pot

I can’t tell you how much it cost as it was my parents’ shout (thanks Mum and Dad!) but the menu seems to be reasonably priced.  Also, the service was friendly and the place was clean.  If you’re looking for some delicious and warming dishes during this cold season, this would be a good place to check out.

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4 thoughts on “Cheap and cheerful weekend

  1. I love Shaolin Kung Fu Noodles. It is our “go to” place for dinner with friends. A firm favourite and it is always less than $15 each so you must have had some great ledtovers! We always get the Sensational Spicy Chicken with extra noodles plus dumplings.

    I haven’t tried the other two places but do you know if Guangzhou used to be a yum cha place? I remember going upstairs by Cock n Bull for yum cha but last time we went, we found there was no yum cha there.

    • Yes, it was definitely a LOT of food! I can see it being a place we’ll add to our cheap places to eat. Food in Guangzhou used to be a place called something like Newmarket Kitchen and it did serve yum cha I think. I recall it having pink tablecloths! This place has a better health rating now, which is good too.

    • That place used to be Newmarket Chinese Kitchen and served yum cha. Then it became Hot Pot Restaurant, and most recently Food in Guangzhou… lots of places around there I jeep meaning to try, but never get around to.

      • I didn’t realise there had been another place between Newmarket Chinese Kitchen and Food in Guangzhou. Yes, that prt of Khyber Pass has heaps of small Asian eateries. You’ll have to let us know what else is good if you try anywhere else around there.

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