Tucks & Bao
Bao down to Auckland's newest Asian fusion restaurant and takeaway joint.
On a corner of a busy Newmarket street, just off Broadway, a quirky Asian fusion eatery has popped up serving oriental staples with a twist, as well as burger-sized bao. Let's just take a moment to draw attention to the significance of this. They serve bao the size of burgers, and they're absolutely delicious.
The place itself is fairly nifty looking, there's just under a dozen tables inside, and a few more in a small outside courtyard, as well as a couple long kauri benches. Fairy lights twinkle on the walls, bright blue chairs provide splashes of colour and the kitchen is visible through a small opening under a black and white 'Tucks & Bao' sign.
The service is enthusiastic, and the drinks menu reads fairly well. There's cocktails galore, a few decent wines and a host of delicious craft beers. If I was you I'd give the cocktails a swerve and grab a Garagista pale ale or your favourite wine.
Food-wise there's a lot to choose from but bao should definitely be your first choice. They're all pillowy delights, but my favourite was the Bao Boy ($14) with Orleans fried shrimp, tomato, pickle, lettuce and sirracha mayo. It's just like a burger except the slightly sweet bao bun takes it up a notch and makes for a unique meal covered in prawns and drenched in siracha sauce.
The sharing menu isn't quite as outrageously delicious. The Short and Beefy ($28) is a slow braised beef short rib in rendang sauce and served with coriander — it's a little to simple for the price, and the rendang sauce is more like a slightly peanuty gravy. Instead of the big stuff go for something on the 'smaller menu' such as the home-made steamed pork wontons with ginger, chilli oil and ponzu dipping sauce ($14), or the Samurai Pork ($14) — crispy fried pork wontons served with spicy dipping sauce.
It's definitely worth popping into Tucks & Bao for a big 'ol bao and a beer if you're in the neighbourhood. Plus they do takeaway bao which is nothing short of incredible.