As much as people come to me asking for foodie recommendations, I love it when people come raving about an eatery that I must try. Bolaven is one of those gems. Tucked away from the bustle of the central Mt Eden shops, booking is a must in this little restaurant.
Here on a late Friday night, and by late it was 8:30pm, our tummies were empty and still the restaurant had no signs of being emptied.
As you walk in, the smell of fresh herbs is incredible. Nothing to soothe the high expectations I already had. Luckily empty stomachs mean ordering decisions were quick and snappy.
We shared the roast duck and mushroom spring rolls with soured hoisin sauce which was so moorish. We were lucky they were cut in small portions to share.The pork spare ribs with the sweet soy glaze was accompanied with a smashed papaya salad. You’d think the sticky sauce pork would stop there but we decided to go with the pork belly with sticky caramel, anise and fried prawns. No regrets, it was easily my favourite dish. You get both delicious morsels of pork belly and prawns smothered in the sticky sauce. I’m loving the trend of pork belly bites, I’ve never been one to appreciate a whole plate of pork belly that I’d have to saw through.Slightly ambitious and probably driven by hunger, we also ordered a curry to share with sticky rice.
The rest of the night was spent coma’ed in foodie heaven.
Just to prove that too much of a good thing is never too much, we ended up ordering all three desserts on menu. Bolaven likes to change up the desserts daily but the pandan brulee I had was heavenly.The prices are reasonable and you can tell that care was taken with the presentation. Each piece of food seemed to be carefully stacked and angled before coming out.
I’d come back for a plate of the pork belly and prawns all to myself and to try their pho. Noodle soups are tricky to share, but so comforting grasped between cold hands during these colder nights.
Alongside Nanam, Bolaven is easily one of my favourite finds this year. The concept of sharing plates has always been favoured in my books for group dinner dates and it gives me happy fuzzies to see that Auckland is doing more of it.
Ph: 09 6317520
597 Mt Eden Road, Mt Eden, Auckland