The Blue Breeze Inn
This is one restaurant that could really change your perception of Chinese cuisine.
Located in Ponsonby Central and created by the masterminds behind MooChowChow, this is one restaurant that could really change your perception of Chinese cuisine. After opening earlier this year, the Blue Breeze Inn became an overnight success due to a trifecta of winning elements: vibrant pacific-influenced Chinese food, their tropical Island inspired space and a cool little cocktail bar called The Rum Jungle.
Wander in and you'll be happily greeted with a polynesian-themed space. Everything is bold, from the bright Hawaiian shirts of the wait staff to the neon tiki in the private partitioned dining room. There is definitely a 'more is more' mentality when it comes to interiors in here, but the result is kitsch-cool rather that tacky. Concrete Playground approves.
During our meal at the Inn we dined on delights including steamed buns filled with Peking pork belly and pickled cucumber ($8), stir fried wild bore with silken tofu and chilli bean paste ($26), steamed oysters with Shaoxing wine, soy, ginger and white pepper ($16) and ginger, Hoisin and cassia roasted duck (half $26). The steamed buns were a tasty combination of a super soft, slightly sweetened dough punctuated with a salty slab of pork belly and refreshing cucumber salad - a lovely fresh take on the classic Chinese steamed bun. The stir-fried wild bore with silken tofu and chilli bean paste was a grunty dish full of flavour, with the comforting consistency of a chilli con carne, while the duck was crispy and succulent and the oysters fresh. Try any of the dishes on our table, and we're sure you'll be keen to keep checking in to the Inn.
The impressive fare here may have something to do with The Blue Breeze Inn's Head Chef, Che Barrington, who learned the ropes working for Martin Boetz's iconic Sydney restaurant Longrain. That lead to the creation of the famed MooChowChow and most recently, the Blue Breeze Inn. In his newest restaurant Barrington claims to mix Kiwi innovation and Chinese cuisine. It's certainly different to most Chinese you'll get in Auckland, and that ain't a bad thing.
The best thing about this joint is the experience. Sitting in this colourful space eating a chic steam-bun and sipping on a rum infused refreshment a you could be forgiven for thinking you're in Greenwich Village, New York. Slick stuff indeed. Book in advance though, since you'll probably find yourself out of luck seating-wise if you haven't sorted yourself a booking.