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By Stephen Heard
March 24, 2021
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By Stephen Heard
March 24, 2021
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Auckland's new Sudima Hotel is now open for business, and between its eco-friendly bathroom range and biodegradable slippers lands a modern Asian-inspired restaurant for plant lovers. East is a passion project for the owners of the Nelson Street property.

"The ethos behind East is high impact on taste and low impact on the environment, so we've created a menu and a space that focuses on sustainable, health-conscious dining, while providing a stylish and delicious dining experience." says Kanika Jhunjhnuwala.

The restaurant can be found on the ground floor of the new property. East's team of chefs, who represent culinary traditions from Japan, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka, is led by head chef Harmeet Singh. Singh's menu showcases regional Asian flavours with a plant-based approach.

Some of those dishes include sharing plates like Southern Thai yellow curry with pumpkin and pineapple, Peking jackfruit pancakes and caramelised black pepper tofu. Elsewhere, Thailand's much-loved som tam papaya salad has been reworked without the fish sauce, Indonesia's gado-gado is loaded with longbean, chioggia beetroot and tempeh, and dumplings come filled with waterchestnut, corn and coriander. Dessert is led by chocolate spring rolls and matcha tiramisu.

Singh says his team has been experimenting to create vegetarian-friendly sauces, including a vegan 'XO' sauce which features shiitake mushrooms and uses a special process to achieve texture and flavour. It's served with the steamed mushroom cheung fun. It's estimated that 75 percent of the menu is vegan-friendly.

Beverage experts Simon Kelly and Ben Legget were roped in to develop the drinks list, including an extensive 100 percent organic and vegan wine list featuring both New Zealand and Italian vintages. The cocktail menu utilises a range of Asian ingredients, including jasmine-infused sake, lemongrass and coriander-infused vodka, umeshu and Thai basil.

Images: Jono Parker.

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