Fine dining and degustation seem to be a thing of the past but that has been arrested with a fresh sense of endeavour from what is probably Auckland’s best Chinese restaurant.
Behind the doors of one of Parnell’s oldest homesteads the aura of warmth starts with a friendly welcome that extends into the most intimate surroundings that puts a focus fairly and squarely on what to expect on the plate.
The inspiration comes from Jian (Kevin) Liu one of the city’s most out-there food talents and the grandson of Chairman Mao’s personal executive chef for 20 years.
The nine-course menu complemented by an appropriately rich and serious wine showcases the freshest local produce and a true document of his culinary passions and travels captured in highly worked small plates that unite global flavours with rare finesse with each dish being a work of art.
This is not comfort food. This is degustation designed to please, and at its best it delights, and when it’s on your plate even astonishes, a testament to the kitchen’s talent. There’s little that you won’t have seen before but the produce is excellent and the cooking confident. Among the best bests are fresh seasonal fruits, assortment of nuts, selection of canapes, fermented black garlic soup, char sui salmon with scallop, kim chi short rib, crystal vegetables, pine nuts market fish, dumpling and sweet kumara with vanilla ice cream.
And the verdict? Dinner here can add up but it’s worth paying the extra for the smiling unfailingly polite floor staff, efficient service and exemplary food that treads a line between fresh and appealing. This is a special occasion kind of place so dress up and bring a big appetite—you won’t be disappointed.
- Menu / 10
- Cuisine / 10
- Wine List / 8
- Service / 9
- Décor / 9
- Value for Money / 10
Words – Dennis and Rosamund Knill
85 Gladstone Rd, Parnell
Open: Tuesday – Sunday | 09 300 3178
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