Special post – Dominion Road Delights
The lovely folks at the Dominion Road Business Association, kindly invited me and some other food writers to a progressive dinner a couple of weeks ago. The aim was to show us just how international this part of Auckland is, and they succeeded. Most of the places fitted into our criteria so here’s a quick round up of what I learned while eating myself stupid:
1. Although the tapas at Tasca (338 Dominion Road) would probably come in over Cheap Eats budget, they are worth a mention. The oxtail, chilli prawns, mussels, calamares and croqueta were all sublime. Tasca has the most wonderful European feel to it in the summer so make sure you sit in the courtyard and dine al fresco if there’s place. Perfect first date venue. It’s not outrageously expensive but a bit over the $20/head mark.
2. The food at Yokoso (241 Dominion Road) is also very good and definitely within budget. The bonus is the owner who plays the Ukelele and sings like an angel. Try the bento boxes for a good selection of what they have to offer under $20. Everything is very fresh, with good clean Japanese flavours.
3. Peasant (191 Dominion Road) is still as good as the last time I went, despite mixed thoughts from May-Lee, Lynn and I on it previously. We were definitely there on a good night.
4. Don’t write Tandoori Mahal (331 Dominion Road) off as just another regular Auckland Indian joint. The owners are Nepalese and there’s a whole menu page of their traditional food. The Chicken Choyala is excellent as were all the other dishes we tried (we love the addition of roasted soya beans as a textural difference). No flat creamy curries here – the dahls and curries were all multi dimensional in flavour; it was a true testament to them that after dining at three other places previously we still couldn’t’ resist their fare. This one falls within Cheap Eats budget, so get there soon.
5. Sometimes after going out for a cheap eat you feel a bit ripped off in terms of ambience. Some of the best places we’ve reviewed over the years have had less than exciting interior design, and don’t even start me on that fluorescent lighting! If you’ve had a great meal on Dominion Road but feel like you want to hang somewhere relaxing afterwards, Ginger Minx is the place to stop. I can personally recommend their cocktails if you feel like splashing out.