A restaurant in a hotel by the airport is possibly the last place you'd expect to find a refined Asian-fusion menu. Paksa Bar & Restaurant, which is found inside the newly opened Naumi Auckland Airport Hotel on Kirkbride Road, is led by Executive Chef Miguel Adriano.
Since joining the property earlier this year, the chef has released three new menus covering breakfast, all-day dining and dinner. All of the offerings are sprinkled with an Asian touch, with Adriano taking his Filipino heritage and traditional Asian and French culinary training to inspire the menus. That style of modern Pan Pacific cooking is represented in dishes such as Sa La Su Prawn, a hot starter served with toasted sesame seeds, mung beans and a light dose of chilli. Dishes like the mee goreng and laksa tip their hat to the sister property in Singapore, while kung pao tofu and Szechuan pork ribs capture the rest of the far east.
Giving a nod to the best of local produce, the menu also features braised lamb shoulder with miso kumara mash, fish 'n' chips, a burger with rosemary lamb and a side of truffle parmesan fries. Rounding things off is a surprisingly creamy avocado mousse. The cylindrical dessert comes served atop red velvet crumb with white chocolate and freeze dried berries. Adriano's Paksa salad is another refreshing and heavily textured addition to the menu, comprising goat's cheese, torched grapefruit, fennel and crunchy candied pecans.
Elsewhere, Paksa's breakfast menu boasts traditional dishes like eggs benedict with lemon hollandaise, toasted Belgian waffles and a cheese toastie made with gruyere.
Like the rest of the property, the dining room is awash with colour — think tall velvet booths, draping curtains, sphere lighting and a generous supply of palm fronds — you'll find it beyond an eight-foot-tall birdcage in the lobby. While the restaurant is open from 6am to 10pm daily, the majority of the menu can be ordered from the comfort of your room around the clock.