Casual

Published on February 9th, 2015 | by Ultimate OmNoms

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Chinoiserie

I’ve had some gua baos from other Auckland eateries that serve fusion food. The reality is that they stuff the open-styled Chinese buns with something made in the kitchen and call it a gua bao. No.

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The trick to the tasty authentic guao bao is that fatty pork must be used – the pork belly type where you can count the layers. Juiced up with a beautiful sweet sauce and a touch of peanuts, it is literally heaven in the mouth.

This is where the gua bao at Chinoiserie wins. The bun was surprisingly soft and fluffy, both to have there and takeaway. This is interesting because this type of bun usually dries and hardens when it cools. Think of the buns you have at yumcha when no one wants to eat it, and the peer pressured one is then faced with a cold hard white Chinese bun.

The first time I tried Chinoiserie, I embarrassingly made friends take it away because I was stuck in glorious Auckland traffic (hi Caleb and Olivia!). Them coming all the way from Christchurch to taste this, I was lucky the taste wasn’t compromised!

The second time I went with friends who had the authentic gua baos in Taiwan, and it was a unanimous thumbs up. The only difference is that the ones there are usually made with pickled veggies instead of the colourful Western slaw.

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Unless you have a reason to:

– don’t order the tofu gua bao. The taste really paled in comparison to others. EAT SOME MEAT!

– opt out for the fries. They are really just fries with a wasabi dip. Plus they were the skinny kind and I like the manly chunky ones.

– opt out for the coconut crusted squid rings. They were a bit bland and there was no sign of coconut taste.

– go somewhere else for dessert. The black sticky rice dessert seemed to be just a sliced assortment of ingredients scattered.

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Instead

– order the pork gua bao. I normally don’t even like pork but they are traditionally made with pork and once you taste it you’ll know why.

– in fact order 2. Because if you have a normal appetite, one gua bao won’t totally fill you up. You’ll need sides.

– try Erk’s Sticky Chicken Nibbles. A touch of spicyness – so good.

– get the fresh coconut. You’ll also get a spoon to scrap the sides for coconut flesh!

I can happily say Owairaka Ave is turning into quite a trendy place to eat out thanks to Chinoiserie and L’oeuf. The menu is simple and you order at the till. No table service or waiters there to pick up white serviettes that drop when you stand up. Just satisfyingly tasty food.

Chinoiserie

4 Owairaka Ave, Mt Albert

Auckland, New Zealand

Ph: (09) 971 3836

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