Kiraku Japanese Restaurant & Takeaway

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Mid City,
Elliott Street,
Auckland Central

(09) 302 0156

The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byAndré Taber23/01/2007

4 out of 5

Any lunchtime, you’re likely to have to hang around on the footpath while you wait for a seat inside Kiraku; a tiny Japanese hole-in-the-wall which specialises in gyoza and ramen.

We told the staff we were after two seats, waited, and it wasn’t long before we were lined up at the counter with Japanese customers slurping away at their noodles around us.

A staff member came round to deliver the menu (each item has a picture and a good description) and to take our order. We watched the chefs put our meal together and then plonk it in front of us, beautifully arranged, in typical Japanese style, in a series of colourful ceramic bowls.

My companion’s cold noodle special ($10) consisted of wheat ramen noodles, a slice of pork, a small pile of shredded seaweed, half a hard-boiled egg and a sheet of nori dried seaweed. These ingredients he dunked in a separate bowl of cold broth which had a slightly acidic tang, and which he spiced up with some wasabi.

A regular here, my companion ordered a side of chicken gyoza dumplings ($2.50), a necessary supplement, he assured me, to such a light meal. They were poached, then shallow fried; the end result packing quite a flavourful punch.

My chashuu ramen ($11) was a hot version, served all-in-one with several slices of succulent barbecued pork, a sprinkling of shredded seaweed and a sheet of nori, which I dunked three-quarters of the way through the meal. The soup’s broth was satisfying, but bordering on too salty.

We were in and out quickly, and another pair of diners was waiting on the footpath to fill our seats.

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