The intention was to come home and cook the mince we had left out, but by the end of the media preview of ‘My Wedding and Other Secrets’ my husband and I were gagging for Chinese food. There was only one place for it, the superbly-named Flourishing Cafe. The mince could wait.
This fine establishment is the sister restaurant to Canton Cafe in Kingsland. It’s not glamorous (unless you particularly like mirrored walls and plastic ivy) but it is some of the best Chinese food in Auckland. It was a Monday night and despite many places looking like a ghost town, Flourishing Cafe was, well… flourishing.
We ordered the duck on rice ($10) and our perennial favourite, the Hot and Spicy Squid ($20) Neither disappointed. The Squid was tender on the inside with a coating which was simultaneously crispy and soft. It was deep fried goodness in a spicy sauce with capsicums and onions in it – an enormous serving for two people.
The duck was tender and beautifully flavoured and came atop a huge pile of rice with Chinese vegetable in oyster sauce on the side. An absolute bargain.
The place was lively and clearly a lot of people had taken advantage of the BYO no corkage situation. Large groups chattered away and shared vast arrays of dishes on their lazy susans while drinking their wine.
This is far from our first visit to Flourishing Cafe and from numerous other visits we can also highly recommend the Green Beans with Pork Mince ($18), the stir fried rice noodles with beef ($14) The crispy roast pork ($10) the sizzle chicken with Black Pepper sauce ($18) and the Sizzle Beef with ginger and spring onion ($18)
While there are a few dishes over $20, when you order in a group it never costs more than $20/head – it’s not really a place to eat your own meal yourself, it’s definitely a share situation. Even for just the two of us, we were unable to finish a meal that cost us $30 all together.
It is most definitely one of the best value-for-money restaurants around town. Don’t say we didn’t warn you about the generous portions. In big groups we usually order one dish less than the amount of people there to avoid overload.
So thanks South Pacific Pictures and Roseanne Liang for providing a movie which drove us straight to the nearest Chinese Restaurant. It’s never a bad night at Flourishing Cafe. How could it be with a name like that?