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13° & CLOUDY ON THURSDAY 16 AUGUST IN AUCKLAND
FOOD & DRINK

Monsoon Poon

Through Monsoon Poon's doors are the lantern-lit South East Asian vibes of yesteryear.
By Sophie Edmonds
February 18, 2015
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Monsoon Poon

Through Monsoon Poon's doors are the lantern-lit South East Asian vibes of yesteryear.
By Sophie Edmonds
February 18, 2015
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Stepping inside having felt like I had just run from a Malaysian downpour only went on to enhance the evening’s experience. We were drawn in through Monsoon Poon's doors to the lantern-lit South East Asian vibes of yesteryear. From our corner booth you could see the place light up like a night market and gradually fill to the brim as the night went on.

The cocktail menu was as full and colourful as the surroundings. It did not take much to convince me into sipping on Jimmy’s margaritas (Arette tequila and yellow Chartruese shaken with agave, orange bitters and fresh lime - $14) all evening. The beer menu also offered a refreshing selection from New Zealand, Asia and beyond.

The menu is a wonderful clash of South East Asian flavours and takes inspiration from India, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines - it almost requires a drink in itself to read through. With so many good options to choose from, the risk of getting food envy of the surrounding patrons was high.

The feasting began with thick and juicy pieces of firecracker chicken between soft slider buns with hot and spicy mayo ($6 each). These were followed by little dragon tacos of chilli salt crumbed fish and more smoky mayo within a flaky roti shell ($6 each). We could have stopped there but no, the eyes were clearly bigger than the stomachs.

The firecracker chicken ($24) is definitely not for those who tip toe around the chilli. This tender wok fried breaded chicken thigh served with an eye watering sweet sambal was a delicious way to get the hearts racing. When served up with coconut rice and I can see why this is such a popular dish. The sweet chilli wok fried eggplant ($10) in my opinion deserves a spot on the mains menu. This is a must-order for your next visit. Never has an eggplant melted in my mouth before now. The favourite on the night was the shaking beef ($27). Medium rare sirloin steak then given the Vietnamese twist by wok frying and tossing in garlic, spring onions and lime. The look in my friend’s eyes as he bit into it said it all. When wrapped up in the soft casings of a hot roti you couldn’t have a better combo if you tried. With zero room whatsoever for dessert, I promised to come back and try the white chocolate and raspberry brulee.

The service was fantastic, with Stephen our waiter being an encyclopedia of recommendations as well as always knowing when the water jug fire extinguisher was needed. The atmosphere only got better as the night went on and the food, like all great South East Asian cuisines was quick to come out and not short on flavour power.

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