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Best Cheap Eats 2014: Epsom, Royal Oak and Mt Roskill

Oct 9, 2014 Cheap Eats

 Cafe Abyssinia, AucklandCafe Abyssinia


Tulja Centre, 190 Stoddard Rd, Mt Roskill
Still the only place to get Ethiopian fare, and remarkably good it is, too. Rich, earthy spiced stews are mopped up with enjera, the spongy, fermented teff-flour pancakes that act as cutlery.



1 Pah Rd, Epsom
Owner Thomas Ng wears a permanent smile and a braided sailor’s cap, for he is the captain of chips, winner of Auckland’s best chip shop title. The fish is also excellent, hand-picked by Ng at Seamart and battered or crumbed (recommended).
Fish & chips



754 Manukau Rd, Royal Oak
Impressive South Indian food. The different spice blends in each dish are pleasantly evident. Try the chicken 65 entrée: marinated dry-cooked pieces of thigh redolent with tamarind and fenugreek. The appam, made with fermented batter rather than yeast, are quite wondrous.
South Indian



463A Manukau Rd, Epsom
This is one of our favourite laksa joints — when you can get a table. The tofu with chilli and cucumber is a fantastic addition to any feast — large soft chunks with a tangy sweet chilli sauce. It’s straight forward service, and generous portions too.



Tulja Centre, 190 Stoddard Rd, Mt Roskill
A real find. Everything is present — kuttus, dosas and hoppers — as well as a mouth-watering chicken curry and crab curry on weekends.  The cheese rotti is particularly fine, and ordering the squid curry ahead of time is worth the effort.
Sri Lankan



415 Manukau Rd, Epsom
In possibly the closest good food/entertainment pairing in the city, Sake Bar Nippon is right next door to the Lido cinema. Check it out. Yakitori, sushi, sashimi (by train, if you like) and more, plus a sake list and Sapporo on tap.



1270 Dominion Rd, Mt Roskill
After 20 years of cooking beautiful food,  Santhiya ’s is just as good as ever. We love the rotis, flaky and softly layered, teh tarik (Malaysian pulled tea) and the masala thosai. At the serious end of the menu, the dry goat curry is a must.
Malaysian/South Indian



1278 Dominion Rd, Mt Roskill
From a very plain but clean shop come wondrous Gujarati vegetarian curries made to “the mother-in-law’s recipe”. The smoky, lightly spiced eggplant is a favourite. Weekdays you’ll find great-value thalis, washed down with buttermilk.



164 Stoddard Rd, Mt Roskill
Warning: once you’ve had the chicken tikka here, you won’t want it anywhere else. Smoky flavours from the tandoor oven are all over the menu. This is no reheat joint, but the wait of 20 minutes or more for great food will be well worth it.
Indian TOP 10



1001 Dominion Rd, Mt Roskill
If you forgive the disco lighting and walls in fluorescent colours, you’ll be rewarded with fantastic food. Famous for its enormous soups — broths of fish (bones and all) and tofu you share, and flavour you can tell has been brewing for hours.



1238 Dominion Rd, Mt Roskill
If you like Sichuan, you’ll love Hunan food, which is spicy and fragrant with red pepper and chilli. Zheng Kee has a big menu — stick with the Hunan dishes, including a “dry pot” of spicy chicken and stirfried pork; the offal is brilliant.


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