Treasure Kitchen, great name. And what a treasure it is, in an area of town that so badly needs it. There are a few hidden gems amidst the $2 shops and dodgy takeouts of Henderson’s main street, and Treasure Kitchen possibly shines the brightest.
Opened only a few months ago, the chefs are Malaysian but one has spent ten years in Thailand and has become pretty fabulous at that style of cuisine, too. The menu is a mix of south east Asian flavours and while I usually find that off-putting, in this case they seem to be good at whatever type of food they turn their hand to.
We ordered Sambal Prawns ($18.50), Nasi Lemak with Chicken curry ($14.50) and Chai Xin ($12.50). All were excellent. The coconut rice in the NasI Lemak was everything it should be – creamy, soft and coconutty, there was a good balance of ikan bilis and peanuts (hate it when places are stingy with those) and the sambal had depth and great flavour. The chicken curry on the side had a decent kick and the chicken on the bone was tender.
The Sambal Prawns were sensational and I can’t wait to get back very soon to have them again. A decent serving of prawns fried in a great sambal sauce and served in a lettuce leaf. The Chai Xin was bright, fresh, perfectly cooked and with a good amount of shredded ginger and garlic to give it a lift. Why do my greens never look like that at home?
On a whim we decided to order the banana fritters ($4.50) to take out as we left. Great decision. Light, sweet and drizzled with just the right amount of caramel sauce, we were thrilled. There may or may not have been a small tussle over the last one.
Treasure kitchen is indeed a treasure in West Auckland. It ain’t glam but it’s a pleasant enough environment to eat some really great food. Go immediately before everyone finds out.