Address: 149 Quay Street, Cnr Lower Hobson and Quay Street, Viaduct Harbour
We were very impressed with the décor of this restaurant, which incorporates themes from countries including Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand. Street food aromas fill the venue upon entry and the décor is chic and modern.
We were greeted by a friendly waiter who showed us promptly to our seats which were inside and next to an extremely noisy table of high pitched “tweens”. Given we could barely hear each other due to the screeches and somewhat challenging acoustics, we asked for another table and were promptly moved to a table in the enclosed area outside, which looks over the water. Heaters were in abundance and we certainly weren’t cold.
Whilst service was very prompt, we seemed to have been forgotten about when we were seated outside. We flagged the waitress multiple times and once we had her attention, we were very well looked after.
The menu lists an assortment of dishes, focusing specifically on Asian street food. From dumplings and buns, to BBQ and roast meals, dishes on offer included prawn and coriander crystal skin dumplings, peking duck, prawn toast and crispy fried sweet and sour pork. Banquet menus were available however it is worth noting that you must have at least four diners to order these.
The menu is broken up into sections – woktails, bits/ bites, raw/ cold cuts, dumplings/ buns, soups, hot starters, BBQ/ roast meals, curries, “a bit more”, rice/ vegetable/ salads, and refreshing/ sweet things. There were a lot of familiar Asian dishes on offer and those with dietary requirements are well looked after. Vegetarian and gluten free dishes are clearly marked within the menu and each section had at least one or two options available. Also, all curries can be provided gluten free and/ or dairy free on request.
After a tough choice, our table sampled the prawn crackers with chilli salt, char siu pork buns, the crispy soft shell crab, Chinese roast duck with plum and mandarin sauce, and the wok fried crispy hapuka dry curry. The pork buns were exceptional however the crispy soft shell crab was the standout. The serving was very generous and the sichuan pepper sauce was delectable! Be sure to coat the crab in the sauce (which is at the bottom of the dish) prior to eating as it can easily be missed. The duck was cooked to perfection however we found the plum sauce slightly bitter- the mandarin sauce was definitely the favourite among the group. We couldn’t fault the crispy hapuka dry curry… it was absolutely delicious! It is definitely a dish though for spice lovers so keep this in mind. The fish was moist and the accompanying ingredients (broccolini, peanut, mint, coriander and kaffir lime) really complimented it. We accompanied our food with a bottle of the 2014 Balancia Pinot Gris from the Hawkes Bay and we found it really complimented the spices we encountered throughout the evening. Overall, we were very impressed with the flavours, creativity and presentation of the dishes.
Delicious, delicious, delicious. White + Wongs never fails and is exceptionally consistent. We really liked the fact that the vibe was casual yet classy – you would not feel out of place if you were in formal evening attire, or jeans and a polo. We did not have to wait long for our meals and the service was prompt. The acoustics inside weren’t great so if you’re planning to visit, we’d highly recommend that you request a table out on the deck…. And with the summer months coming, we think this restaurant’s outdoor area is hard to beat.