China Hong Kong Cuisine

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3 reviews
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64 Mokoia Road,

(09) 480 1168

The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byGraham Reid23/11/2005

3 out of 5

The décor at this spacious eatery in Birkenhead’s Highbury Shopping Centre is pretty minimal: a no smoking sign, a small picture, and a calendar by the kitchen door. There’s also a hand scribbled sign to the effect that takeaway rice costs a little more—or something like that.

It is a big room which seats about 80. Prime position is probably by the window, where you get a nice view of the car park and the Blockbuster outlet across the road.

Tables are stark; the service is friendly (if slightly unusual)—we asked for our left-overs to take away and they packed these up at our table; and if you take your own wine you might want to consider packing glasses too. The ones we had were tiny; three gulps and it’s gone.

Just as there is that charming Kiwi habit of putting up roadside signs which are eloquent in their simplicity and advertise “food”, this place (which is unlicensed and does takeaways) has dispensed with a name in favour of a product description: it serves food from southern China and the kitchen staff are from the Guangdong province.

So, you don’t go to here for the décor or the ambience, but you should go for the food—which is plentiful, pretty decent and very reasonably priced.

There were three of us dining and I foolishly over-ordered. The sizzling beef—with good thick cuts and vegetables (which arrived remarkably quickly)—was very tasty, although it did turn to a somewhat soggy consistency when our attention was diverted by the subsequent arrival of the lemon chicken.

This is a dish that I often find too sweet (the tartness of the lemon usually sublimated by the sweetness of sugar) and while this was no exception, the chicken itself was of good quality and hadn’t been over-fried. It was among the better plates of lemon chicken I have had.

But again, attention wavered with the arrival of the half duck, and this was terrific. To move this along we had ordered two plates of rice and one of dry noodles.

There was some confusion about that—my fault rather than our waitress’—and what I asked for was the dry fried shredded meat (pork) version.

It was also very good, but enormous, and by the time the three of us had worked our way across and back on the other dishes, it largely went untouched.

It was a Tuesday and the place was full with families and small groups (a good sign); and the food was plentiful and of better than expected quality given the China Hong Kong Cuisine/Chinese Restaurant (as it says on their card) doesn’t offer much in the way of interior design.

But at a mere $62—and at least one other reheated dinner at home—I say this place is well worth checking out.

And, you can park right across the road outside that beacon in the night, the Blockbuster.

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