Daytime/Early evening Cheap Eat: Jiale Bun Shop
It’s a pity this place isn’t open later. It’s one of the cheapest Cheapeats we’ve seen in a while. On visiting North Shore Hospital we ducked across the motorway for a quick break from standard cafe fare (there’s only so many wraps and muffins a girl can eat). It’s part of the enclave of Asian delights in the Northcote Town Centre area and a delightful one at that.
It’s not particularly exciting on the decor front but at their prices you don’t really care. It’s clean, and that’s the main thing. We ordered a Pork Bun ($1.30) a Vegetarian Bun ($1.30) some chive pancakes ($3) and Xiaolong Bao ($8 for 8). $13.60 for lunch (or a very early after work dinner) for two is pretty hard to beat. The buns are made on site and are big and delightfully soft. The fillings were well seasoned, the pork simple but very tasty and the vegetarian a nice mix of vermicelli, egg, cabbage but less strongly-flavoured. I think next time I’d like to order the Pork and Vegetable bun because the combination of flavour and texture would be perfect.
The Chive pancakes were standard and tasty and the Xiaolong Bao (soup-filled dumplings) were excellent. I am getting better at eating these without bursting the outside and spilling the soupy porky contents everywhere. The soup inside was wonderfully flavoured and the perfect savoury comfort food taste for a cold Auckland day.
I am really keen to get back and check out a few more of the places in this area (although it will be hard to resist going back here for some cheeky buns and dumplings). You should go soon, if your work hours don’t allow you to make it there before 7pm it would be great for a cheap weekend lunch.