Best Cheap Eats 2015: Eastern suburbs, Mt Wellington, Otahuhu and Waiheke
BIG J’S TAKEAWAYS
4/1 Melton Rd, Mt Wellington
Talk about big in the ’burbs. Big J’s is crowded every time we go. The classic cheeseburger, tarakihi burger, chips and raw fish are all delicious, and they have specials! The cheeseburger is giant-sized, crammed with caramelised onion and salad, and costs a mere $5.50. Excellent.
Little Oneroa Beach, Waiheke
The best takeaways on Waiheke are at Little Oneroa, where the woodfired oven in the caravan offers all manner of Mediterranean flavours, in pizzas, pocket breads and calzone. Relax, scoff, relax, swim, relax, scoff. Swim. Life’s good everywhere on Waiheke, of course, but Dragonfired Pizza makes it really special.
HONG KONG KITCHEN
292 Apirana Ave, Glen Innes
A traditional eatery with all the expected attractions: roast pork served many ways, honey BBQ pork, roast duck and soy chicken served on rice or in noodle soup. On a recent visit, one of our judges, taking the advice of his aunties to “be adventurous because you will be well rewarded”, chose the braised eggplant and salted fish casserole, along with the pan lum tau foo (tofu and fish). His verdict? Always listen to your aunties.
D/87 Picton St, Howick
There’s lots to eat here in our price range, most notably the chicken rice — perfectly poached chicken and a knock-out fresh chilli ginger dip. But if you do want to splash out, ring ahead and order the Golden Pillow. It’s a delicious Nyonya chicken curry enclosed in just-baked bread, which they cut open for you at the table.
47 Mayfair Place, Glen Innes
Since 1967, this family-owned joint has been serving up some of Auckland’s best fish and chips: the fish is twice cooked, the chips are hand-cut; the smoked fish roe is heavenly. And on Tuesdays, you can take your own catch in for a 12-hour cold smoke. How good is that?
Fish and chips
150 Queens Rd, Panmure
Takeaway roast and BBQ meats do a roaring trade here, because, as the locals know, they serve the best roast pork with skin so crispy you can’t stop eating. Start your meal with a complimentary lai thong (everyday soup), and follow it with crispy-skinned egg tofu. (Tofu sceptic? This will convert you.) The Peking duck done three ways is fabulous, too.
16/29 Aviemore Drive, Howick
A favourite with locals, Paradise Roast has BBQ pork, poached chickens and marinated ducks hanging in the window, waiting to be cut up and put on your rice or noodles. It’s very cheap, and friendly, and everything we’ve eaten there has been extremely tasty.
15 Princes St, Otahuhu
This family-operated restaurant serves everything big and full of taste. The chargrilled meatballs, chicken or pork, served with thin rice noodles and generous portions of fresh crisp vegetables, is a winner. So are the fresh Vietnamese rolls, full of the taste
59 Queens Rd, Panmure
Yeung Tan’s menu is Malaysian Chinese with a mee bias. Each of his noodle offerings has its own unique taste. Interestingly, Tan has transformed the traditionally Chinese kong po chicken into a unique Malaysian version, with tastes of sweet, sour and soya sauce, laced with dried chilli. Equally good are the beef rendang and laksa curry.
TRY IT OUT
79 Atkinson Ave, Otahuhu
Fond of pho? You’ll want to try it out in Otahuhu, where the classic beef noodle soup is among the best in the city. They offer meat cooked to your liking — we recommend you ask for rare.