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19° & CLEAR SKY ON MONDAY 21 JANUARY IN AUCKLAND
By Stephen Heard
December 13, 2018
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ARCADE

This reimagined social club features vintage arcade games and Asian-inspired fried chicken.
By Stephen Heard
December 13, 2018
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Kingsland's pop culture-inspired fried chicken and beer joint has been given a rugged transformation.

Bored of the florescent pink colour scheme and to avoid being stuck on 2018's fried chicken bandwagon, owner Paul Anakakul has reimagined the space into what he calls "a social club," somewhere that he would like to hangout any given night of the week.

The walls have been sprayed by local graffiti artist Enuake Sirikige, a selection of vintage arcade games line the room — including Street Fighter II at the same price it was in the 90s — and a giant pink cassette tape has been imported from Thailand, albeit with some hefty shipping charges. Anakakul says the space is still not entirely finished; he intends to replace all of the current dining furniture with wooden pallets to create more of a casual bar. Regardless, the hyper colour room has already attracted plenty of attention, including a hip hop music video shoot and something to do with an exotic dancer.

The menu is a combination of dishes from the far east rather than a fusion of flavours. Fried chicken is still a main focus. It comes in several varieties including the crispy original, traditional Korean covered in yangnyeom sauce, the Zapp which is fried with lamb larb and accompanied with Thai herbs, and the Wow Wow which arrives covered in Thai curry — this one gets very messy. Previously available as nibbles, Anakakul has upgraded to larger wings and boneless thighs, which gives diners more bang for their buck.

While the chicken is the star of the show, chef Mr Eito has pulled together a diverse selection of drinking food. Alongside a glass (or tower) of Japan's Orion or something by local brewers Brothers Beer, there's sashimi and sushi rolls, takoyaki octopus balls, beef tataki, and Korean-inspired dumplings which are larger than your average potsticker and come packed with glass noodles, tofu and kimchi. The ultimate millennial drinking dish of ribs with cheesy fondue may be gone, but you'll still get your fix with Asian barbecue-style ribs paired with kimchi and salad.

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