This Thai-Japanese crossbreed restaurant is a serious contender for best curry in town.
Hobsonville Point has had many lives. Pre-1853, the area was a dense native Kauri forest. By the late 1920s, it was home to one of the key landmarks of New Zealand's aviation history. The humble Point has now taken on a new life as the best dining district out west.
Nestled in this new strip is the Thai and Japanese crossbreed restaurant Siamese Doll. Housed in the ex-air force armoury, right next to the historic Sunderland hangar, where New Zealand's military and commercial aviation industry was pioneered, the eatery is the latest Quality Restaurant Group venture.
I'm just going to get straight to point and say that Siamese Doll's curries are out of the gate. Flavour-wise, they are very close competition for the more famous posh curry experience that is Cassia — but they ring up at the till for about half the price. With my plus one we took on the red duck curry ($26), served with a confit of shallots, pineapple, lychees and Thai basil leaves, and the lamb shank massaman ($25), served with potato, shallot, peanuts and spices. How glad I am to have lived to the day where I was able to try those two beauties.
The red duck curry was bright yet complex with loads of little surprising pops from the lychees and pineapple. The duck was also so, so, so succulent — something which is incredibly difficult to achieve. Meanwhile, the lamb shank massaman curry packed the flavour equivalent of a welcome home hug from a close relative you haven't seen in months. Just gorgeous. These two made it easy to pretty much overlook the fact that the accompanying naan could've been a lot more inspiring (it was a bit dense and flat for my liking), since it still did a great job soaking up both of those stunning sauces.
We also went to town on the rest of the menu. The chicken satay skewers ($12) were a standout dish, once again showing off how much of a sauce king the chef. The satay sauce combined a soft crumbly, peanutey texture with a warm, rich flavour. The dumplings ($9–14) also do the trick, although they don't pack such a flavour bomb as all the other dishes discussed so far.
Instead of dipping into the mouthwatering cocktail menu, I thoroughly polished the Siamese Doll's mocktail menu. The 'No Gin Still a Ting' ($14.50) had me second guessing whether it truly was a gin-free G&T while the 'Pink Lychee' ($14.50) was a punchy, flirty and very memorable drink.
Siamese Doll has already taken off amongst the locals, but for those living a bit further afield, the eatery is truly a serious contender for best curry in town and is well worth the ferry or drive over to the revamped, historical strip.