Auckland seems to have had a spate of new eateries lately which fall into the genre of what I (endearingly) term as ‘Asian hipster’. One of these new places is Peasant, where Two Monkeys on Dominion Road used to be.
Peasant serves modern Vietnamese food in an industrial style setting. Exposed concrete floor, wooden and steel furniture and potted succulents and herbs make the place look contemporary and clean, while black and white family photos on the wall add a nice personal touch.
We went along with some friends to check it out in the weekend. We started out with their fish buns.
These were really delicious – the skate was meaty with a nice flavour from the turmeric and dill. Everyone really liked these!
One of our friends had the pork belly which he said was well-cooked. I think the portion size might have been a bit small for him, especially as he was trying to cut back on carbs and it came with a bowl of rice!
Another friend had the egg tofu, which came crumbed and fried and served on a red pepper sauce. The egg tofu had a nice custardy texture with a crisp outer and she really enjoyed this dish.
Hubby ordered the beef vermicelli salad which he thought was tasty, although the beef was a bit dry. For him, the portion size was also a bit small.
I had the duck leg which came with a zingy herb salad and crispy taro chips. I really, really liked this dish. The duck meat was tender and the skin was crispy and fragrant. The salad had a nice bit of heat with it and the chips added a nice texture to the plate. I would come back for this!
We didn’t try the pho or banh mi which is what most people think of when it comes to Vietnamese food, so can’t comment on how they do these traditional dishes. I wanted to try their mango, sticky rice and coconut dessert but was too full by the end. Overall, we enjoyed the food and the prices are reasonable. It may be a bit of a pricier lunch, but is definitely an affordable dinner. The service was friendly and it was nice to see that they offered Hopt sodas instead of the usual soft drinks. The food was beautifully presented and delicious, although the portion sizes a little bit small if you’re pretty hungry – you may want to order some of the sides or smaller plates to top up your meal if you have a big appetite.
(On a side note, my parents went the following weekend when it was very busy. It sounds like they are struggling a bit with the sudden surge in popularity. Apparently the service was slow and my mother’s duck was rare inside – so rare that she couldn’t really get the meat off the bone! As well as that, their opening hours are a bit misleading – their dinner service apparently doesn’t start until 6.30pm. Hopefully they can work out their teething problems!)
Address: 191 Dominion Road, Mt Eden, Auckland
Phone: (09) 638 6403
Open: Monday to Sunday, 12 midday until 10pm