How do you please everyone on a night out? There’s the fussy eater, the friend who’s eaten their way through every restaurant in Auckland, and the one who’s starving and needs to eat right now.Welcome to Asian Fusion, the cuisine that never fails to cater to everyone. Combining creative flavour combinations with an eclectic ambience to create a night out for the books. Asian Fusion has hit Auckland’s taste buds like a stiff wind in the capital. Bao buns, fried chicken, pork belly, and dumplings: The enticing point lies within its ability to appeal to many Western tastes while upholding Asian traditional dishes.
White + Wong’s
Stroll down to the viaduct and hit up Auckland’s number one ‘east meets west’ eatery. Taking street food inspiration from China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand, White and Wong’s has a menu as good as its romantic harbour location. The peking duck pancakes are perfect for sharing with friends, and their curries are unmissable (bonus points for the massaman and red curry pastes all being made from scratch). Whether you find yourself on a first date, catching up with an old friend or showing a newbie around Auckland, White and Wong’s is the sparkling gem on your list.
Looking for your first taste of Asian Fusion, or just wanting to try something fun? Happy Boy is your palatable poison. Its neon lights in particular can be seen from down the street while you scout for a park on Manukau Road. From the blue walls and benches, to the pink artificial glow and pinball machine calling your name, Happy Boy screams the 80’s, futuristic Tokyo, and American Diner all slapped into one. ‘Baogers’ are the most popular squeeze on the menu - ditching the white bread bun and opting for a bao to hold your burger meat - or sesame tofu! In true Asian Fusion fashion, the role of the ‘sceptical eater’ has been considered, as the brioche bun is an equally enticing option when a fluffy white bao doesn’t appeal to your stomach growls.
The Kimchi Project
Cruise down into the city and you’ll hit a suffocation of Asian Fusion. The Kimchi Project on Lorne Street is one of our favourite destinations, from early morning coffees to a post-comedy show soju stack and kimchi waffle fries. The calming white walls and bamboo interior leads you through to the CBD’s best kept secret - the courtyard. Palm trees, warm lighting and booths, you have truly hit Auckland’s urban jungle. True to its name, The Kimchi Project introduces its flare through integrating fermented cabbage into familiar dishes such as your Mum’s spag bol or the humble cheese toastie. You can’t look past The Kimchi Project when prowling for crowd pleaser food and a relaxing environment.
Didn’t think anyone remembered viewfinders? Think again. The neon rave that is Kiss Kiss follows very much the same recipe as its cousin Happy Boy. Parasols arch over each bench and a viewfinder of cocktail menus awaits you as you slide into your table. Bao buns and coconut cocktails are in abundance here if you’re not the sharing type, otherwise options like Thai pork ribs, fries with sriracha mayo and a cocktail bucket (or two) can easily satisfy a group.
The Candy Shop
Flit around the cobblestones of Osborne Lane and you’ll stumble across the humble Candy Shop. This is not a Wonka-land of lollipops and sherbet, but it is the sweetest thing to hit Newmarket. The all-day eatery features a Korean twist to your standard run-of-the-mill menu. Deciding whether to eat sweet or savoury here is as impossible as the menu ranges from brioche ‘French-ish’ toast with matcha foam to katsu sando’s and Korean fried chicken. Aside from the overwhelming menu options, the cosy wood and exposed brick makes this place perfect for a warm drink and an overdue catch up.
What better spot for a cocktail than Ponsonby Road? Broken down into cocktail genres, flavours, and spirits, you’ll be spoilt for choice over the unique mixes Mekong Baby have on offer. From rose and lychee martinis to ginger chilli mojitos, there’s something for every craving. The restaurant also cooks up south-east Asian food designed to share, with a pork belly you won’t want to miss. Whether you are seated or at the bar, the open kitchen can be viewed in full swing so you can witness the magic first-hand.