From the owner of Mt Eden institution Circus Circus and The Garden Shed comes a flashy new eatery that hopes to satisfy Auckland's appetite for dumplings, bao and noodles.
Nestled between Zool Zool and RAD Cafe in the Mt Eden village, Wu & You is hard to miss; the former gift shop has been transformed with pink neons, gold leaners and an outdoor courtyard made even more colourful with murals from artist Emily Gardner, including a portrait of the restaurant's fictional namesake 'Wu'. Owner Jonathan Rickard says he "wanted to bring a bit of that Melbourne vibe to Mt Eden."
At the helm of the kitchen is Ciaran Faherty, a professional marathon-running chef who has previously held down stints at TriBEca and Ireland's K Club Hotel. With a modern flair he serves up a taste of Japan, Malaysia, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and China across small and large sharing plates.
Menu items include an eye-watering papaya salad with seared tuna; octopus doughnuts with gochujang mayo; cured Kingfish which comes served on a Himalayan salt slab — to avoid a mouthful of salt don't leave this one resting for too long; assemble-them-yourself spring rolls inspired by the Indonesian dish 'gado-gado'; and a sushi-taco hybrid that comes with a crispy nori outer shell and fillings like rice, soft shell crab or salmon. For dessert there are creations like a doughnut-bao filled with marshmallow and ice cream and a coconut and pandan créme brûlée.
Eastern influences carry through to the drinks list with cocktails utilising ingredients like yuzu, lemongrass, kaffir lime and umeshu. The Jackie Chan is one particular highlight; the grapefruit sour comprises gin, grapefruit juice, honey and comes topped with a fragrant matcha and apple foam.
No inch had been left untouched by the 'Wu' brand. The chopsticks are called a 'rice dropping device', and if you love the experience that much you can grab your own hat and t-shirt on the way out.
Wu & You is open now. Find it at 399 Mt Eden Road.