Oct 22, 2013 Cheap Eats
7 Siri Taste of Sri Lanka (photo: Ken Downie/Metro)
40 Beach Rd, CBD
Their mission statement is to bring “Vietnamese food to the masses”, and the clean and bright flavours here are a great introduction to that country’s delicious cuisine. Nothing on the short menu breaks the $12 barrier.
160 Symonds St, Grafton
With the laidback vibe of a surf shack in Chiba, Japan’s surfing capital, Sakanaya feels unlike any other Japanese joint in town. It’s a good place for seafood lovers, with options including snapper and flounder. The ika geso (deep-fried squid) may just be the best in town.
15 Princes St, Otahuhu
There’s a handful of Vietnamese places in this part of South Auckland, but Samwoo — housed in a huge old car showroom — stands out for the brightness of its flavours. They do a range of Chinese BBQ dishes and stir fries too.
708 Dominion Rd, Balmoral
This happy and friendly place is always full of Chinese families sharing big hotpots and fish dishes. San Bao’s vegetarian eggplant dish — copious slices cooked to perfection in a sweet, sour and spicy sauce — is memorable.
9 Commerce St, CBD
Charming service is a hallmark of this cute Commerce St eatery. You’ll find all the usual Korean favourites, plus homestyle “family meals” for (generous) sharing.
1270 Dominion Rd, Mt Roskill
Chef/owner Youges Subramaniam has been serving Malaysian Indian food to hungry Aucklanders since 1993. The rotis are gorgeously flaky and the curries burst with flavour. Try the coconut-rich dry goat curry — it’s out of this world.
Malaysian / South Indian
1278 Dominion Rd, Mt Roskill
Located in an unpromising stretch of Mt Roskill shops, Sasuma serves spectacularly good vegetarian food, including an amazing-value thali and their signature dish, chole bhature: a spicy chickpea curry served with crispy puffed bread.
17 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn (and K’ Rd, Mt Eden and Sandringham)
Satya has set the standard for Indian food in Auckland since its first restaurant in Hobson St, fully (cough cough) years ago. There are several chasing hard for that honour now, but Satya is still among the very best. The food is from the south (less creamy than Mughal curries) and much of it is vegetarian (there’s a vegan menu some days now too, though not at Great North Rd). Their dahi puri — potato cakes with chickpeas, tamarind chutney and yoghurt — is a classic Auckland dish.
Selera (photo: Ken Downie/Metro)
487 Khyber Pass Rd, Newmarket
The beef rendang here is spectacularly good, as is the laksa. Perfectly sited on the edge of Newmarket’s retail precinct, this is a great place to refuel after shopping or before a movie.
7 Siri Taste of Sri Lanka
580 Sandringham Rd, Sandringham
Visit this place more than twice and Nandasiri and Ramani Alwis will be treating you like an old friend. Their food is fabulously tasty and beautifully presented, and they’ll happily guide you through it.
Shaolin Kung Fu Noodles
636 Dominion Rd, Balmoral
The owners are Hui, a northern Chinese ethnic minority who practise Islam — so no pork here, but we guarantee you won’t miss it. Try any dish featuring their thick kung-fu noodles — which you can watch being hand-stretched to order — particularly the rich, cumin-spiced cleaver beef noodles.
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Shefco Cedar Bakery (photo: Ken Downie/Metro)
Shefco Cedar Bakery
827 Dominion Rd, Mt Roskill
A deli/kebab shop where they make their own pita (you can buy bags of it, piping fresh, to take home with you) and the meat and salads are among the best of their kind. If you’re passing mid-morning, try a spinach-and-feta pastry or lahem bajeen, a “breakfast pizza” with juicy minced lamb, herbs and spices.
557 Dominion Rd, Balmoral
Small and sparse, with very good pork-and-chive dumplings. The foil pork rib is an enormous slab of ribs wrapped in tinfoil, and is really tasty. As for the staff, they are the friendliest we’ve ever encountered in a Chinese restaurant. We do love that.
533 Dominion Rd, Balmoral
Don’t be dissuaded by the opaque windows and bare-bones interior: some excellent Sichuan eats are to be had here. Noodle and rice dishes come in under $10, and the dumplings are served with a Sichuanised dipping sauce.
Sri Pinang (photo: Ken Downie / Metro)
356 Karangahape Rd, K’ Rd Precinct
What makes a cheap-eats classic? Unfailingly charming service, and a BYO licence, sure, but what really keeps the K’ Rd hordes coming back to Sri Pinang is the spectacular food served in wonderfully generous quantities.
South Indian / Malaysian
59 Queens Rd, Panmure
This East Auckland institution offers Indian and Chinese dishes, but it’s the Mamak (Malay-Indian Muslim) Malaysian food that attracts people from all over town.
South Indian / Malaysian