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An Unconventional Sichuan-Inspired Eatery Arrives in Parnell

Sample ten-hour braised pork and crystal skin dumplings at this new 1970s rock opera-inspired restaurant.
By Stephen Heard
October 04, 2018
By Stephen Heard
October 04, 2018

Ahead of opening of Freemans Bay deli Rude Boy, hospitality power couple Francesca Mazza and Aaron Carson suggested that "they have more ideas than time." Two months later that statement rings true as the pair opens yet another restaurant in Auckland. Joining their current roster of Winona Forever, Hello Friends + Allies, Major Tom and Rude Boy is new Sichuan-inspired eatery, Fang.

After falling in love with their friends' own home-cooked creations of the rich and spicy, yet delicate flavours of Chinese regional food, they were inspired to create their own offering. The contemporary Parnell restaurant can be found in the courtyard behind Winona Forever and opposite Korean barbecue joint Han.

The opening comes with its own wacky backstory inspired by 1970s rock opera Quadrophenia. Carson's version revolves around a renegade chef who is hell-bent on overthrowing the government's enforced diet and bringing taste to the people. The world has been brought to life via large scale pop art pieces from artist Ant Sang, while a section of the dining room has also been purposely left exposed and carefully lit to complete the dystopian vibe.

While they can't rely on chef Fang's underground flavour liberation in the real world, the pair worked with chefs Josh Choi and Christina Yi for a mix of small and large sharing plates. Traditional flavours have been incorporated, including the mouth-numbing Sichuan chilli in oil and powder form. The list includes dishes like bang bang chicken lettuce cups, kung pao soft shell crab, scallop and prawn crystal skin dumplings, and ten-hour braised pork belly in dark soy.

Out of the box creations include dumplings filled with smoked gouda; roasted cauliflower and broccoli topped with sesame mayo, puffed buckwheat and shaved parmesan; plus a trio of mini nori cones filled with salmon tartare, avocado puree and caviar. Mixologist Fabritzio Candioni brings his flair to the Asian-inspired cocktail list with elements like coriander salt, housemate wasabi and candied rhubarb.

Fang opens Friday, 5 October at 100 Parnell Road, Parnell. For more information, visit

Published on October 04, 2018 by Stephen Heard
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