Tag Archives: nz

Bunga Raya, Auckland

If you had the privilege to eat at Max Cafe on Dominion Road back in the days, you would’ve been craving the authentic, no-frill, delicious Malaysian food that they served (before they closed down). Someone told me they were going to open another restaurant somewhere after they closed Max Cafe, but I still don’t know where it is, or if it even happened.

So we there we were, left in a limbo, waiting for the new Max Cafe to open….

….until we found Bunga Raya!

If you love Malaysian food, please go to Bunga Raya immediately.

The main waitress is the owner’s wife – and she has this Malaysian auntie way about her. She’s friendly, speaks quite fast with Malaysian accent, and a little bit bossy (like your auntie would be). She knows her food – so if you have food allergy just tell her and she’ll tell you what you can’t have on the menu (you know Malaysian cuisine has dried shrimps hidden in all sorts of places). She’s cool, I like her.

Here are some of the dishes we ordered during our many visits:

  • Beef curry with vegetables. This is one of the recommended dishes. We were hesitant at first, but we were glad she insisted. The sliced beef pieces are so tender, the vegetables perfectly cooked (still firm), and the curry sauce is creamy velvety coconutty. Super duper.
  • Pork Chop with Honey Sauce. Chunky pieces of pork chops, battered, deep fried, and soaked in sweet honey soy sauce. Too sweet for me, everyone else enjoyed it.

  •  Sambal eggplant. Large pieces of chinese eggplants, deep fried so they retain their shape and don’t get mushy. Smothered in garlicky sambal sauce. Amazing. My favourite dish.
  • Beef rendang. Tender pieces of beef in thick rendang curry sauce

For lunch, they serve one-dish style food, like Hainan chicken rice, Nasi Lemak, Sambal chicken on rice, Laksa, and all kinds of noodles – all very tasty!

Lunch price is very good – most dishes are under $15

Dinner is a little more pricey – meat dishes are on the $30 mark, but the portion is very generous. You get a lot of meat & veg for what you pay for.

Menu, location, etc: https://www.zomato.com/auckland/bunga-raya-new-lynn/menu

Tatsumi, Auckland

We were looking for a nice restaurant for a special celebration while we’re home in NZ, so we asked my foodie brother and his foodie girlfriend to recommend us a place. We chose Tatsumi from the list they gave us because we felt like Japanese food and the restaurant comes highly recommended.

The restaurant is in Newmarket, and has taken over the premise of our previous favourite Japanese restaurant Rikka.

From the outside: large heavy door with “tatsumi” written on it. On the inside: the place is very cosy, dark, and welcoming. The tables are nicely spread out so you’re not sitting right next to other tables. The service is spot on, piping hot towels as you settle down, prompt service, attentive waitresses, and no lengthy waiting time between courses.

As we were there in December, they had special Christmas set menus on offer: 5 course and 8 course menus. We ordered one of each to share.

The flavour of every single dish is out of this world. Everything has intense complex flavour. Everything is fresh & delicious. Everything, everything, everything.

  • Amuse-bouche of gazpacho with black olives (on both menus)
  • Treasure Box : 6 tasty appetisers of beef tataki with mango salsa, battered fish with orange sauce, seared tuna with cream cheese, deep fried oyster with mayonnaise and prawn eggs, sweet mussel, thinly-sliced lotus roots and beans served on endive. Yum. (from 8-course menu)

  • Rainbow sashimi summer roll : fresh tuna, salmon, white fish, and shiso leaves wrapped in rice paper. Served with pickled plum miso sauce with sprinkles of soba seeds and crispy shrimps. To die for. (from 8-course menu)
  • Sashimi : fresh tuna, salmon, and white fish. Not a big fan of raw fish so I not too sure of how amazing this is. Fresh though. (from 5-course menu)

  •  Blue cod wrapped in crispy kadayif (boy oh boy) with grilled prawn and Hokkaido scallop. Served with cherry tomato compote (in a shape of cherry tomato – clever) and bok choi, and a side of miso flavoured beurre blanc sauce. AMAZINGGGGGGGG (on both menus)
  • Japanese wagyu beef steak (our first wagyu EVER) with mariated mushrooms, grilled asparagus and pickled plum flavoured grated daikon radish, topped with shiso leaves. Served with ponzu sauce. Beef is very tender and is the very definition of melting in your mouth. The chunks of fatty bits are unpleasant though, but still super yum. (on both menus – note: you need to pay more to upgrade from NZ beef to wagyu beef)

  • Scampi miso soup : yes, the scampi is looking at you from under the soup, freaky (from 8-course menu)
  • Nigiri sushi : salmon, tuna, and scampi nigiri sushi

  • My dessert : Black sesame creme brulee, served with passionfruit sorbet and chilli-infused plum wine gummy

  • Hubby’s dessert : Green tea fondant, served with vanilla ice cream and candied orange. This is so good I’ve been trying to replicate it ever since.

Please please please go and have dinner at Tatsumi. You will not be disappointed.

Menu, location, etc: http://tatsumi.co.nz/