Price: $$ (average)
Style: Chinese Vegetarian
Comments: Today, mum and I visited the Chinese Buddhist Temple Fo Guang Shan (16 Stancombe Road, Flat Bush, Auckland). The Temple and surrounding gardens are very tranquil. It is a nice peaceful spot to enjoy a quiet moment or even relax with a good book. There is an information desk with news of upcoming events.
After looking at the bookshop, temple and enjoying the gardens, we had lunch at the Waterdrop café. The menu is extensive and contains a well-priced range of Chinese vegetarian cuisine. We settled on having the spring rolls ($5/2 pieces), steamed buns ($6/2 pieces), Sui Mai dumplings ($6/6 pieces) and the fried egg noodles with vegetables and tofu ($18).
All of the dishes were absolutely delicious and tasted quite authentic. We will definitely be back to sample some of the other appealing items on the menu.
Even if you come here with the goal of having lunch or morning or afternoon tea, make sure you leave enough time to stroll the magnificent grounds.
Price: $$ (average)
Style: Asian/Indian cuisine
Comments: Mum and I had lunch at Monsoon Poon. This restaurant is one we try and go to at least once a year, as we really like the style of cuisine and relaxed environment. We went on a Tuesday for lunch, so the restaurant wasn’t busy or noisy. We were seated and given menus promptly by a friendly waitress.
As we had been here many times in the past, we didn’t take long to order. We ordered diet cokes and poppadoms to start. We then ordered the Lamb Curry with 25 herbs and spices ($23) and the Singapore Fried Noodles ($24), deciding to share both dishes.
We had not tried the lamb curry before and weren’t disappointed. The pieces of meat were succulent and extremely tasty, as was the sauce. The noodles, an old favourite, didn’t disappoint either. It is an enormous dish, so we highly recommend getting one to share, rather than one noodle dish each. We noticed that the diners at the table next to us did the same thing.
All in all, we enjoyed a relaxed lunch here and look forward to returning again.
Location: Dining Lane, Sylvia Park shopping centre
Price: $$ (average)
Style: Malaysian cuisine
Comments: Mum and I went here not having the greatest of expectations, based on reading previous reviews. Diners had complained about portion sizes and the prices being too high. However, we are both keen on Asian food so couldn’t resist trying out a new eatery in Auckland.
We were both blown away by the décor and simple tables which made us feel like we were in Asia. You order at the counter and take away a number, then your food is brought out to you. We ordered the Chicken and Mushroom Sui Mai ($10), which were dumplings, to start. (see above)
Then we each ordered the laksa with chicken and prawns ($18, with the additional extra for the chicken and prawns) for the main.
We were not disappointed. The flavours in the laksa were divine. It was creamy, full of coconut and absolutely delicious. The dumplings were light in texture and also delicious.
In short, we were very impressed with the taste and style of this new restaurant. We will be back.
This is a really good New Zealand movie. I enjoyed the storyline. There was plenty of humour, drama and some romance which made for a good mix. The film was screened in the Deluxe theatre, which was really nice.
Starring: Suivai Pilisipi Autagavaia, Anna-Maree Thomas
Plot: The film begins by showing how the Samoan Hibiscus (Suivai Pilisipi Autagavaia) and her European friend Ruth (Anna-Maree Thomas) became friends at school when they were both sitting under the same tree in the playground. We then fast forward to university, where Hibiscus and Ruth are both studying Engineering. Hibiscus lives at home with her strict mother and grandmother. Her mother has a lot of rules for Hibiscus, including the policy of not dating boys. Hibiscus relies on support from Ruth in this regard. Hibiscus has a part-time job at a restaurant. Sure enough, what lets Hibiscus down academically is boyfriends, of which she has several in the course of the film. One of her interests is a boy from work. Her studies fall to the wayside. For the final year of their course, Hibiscus and Ruth are meant to design a device as part of their project. During their assessment, it becomes apparent that Hibiscus fabricated data for their surveys. Both girls fail the assessment and are made to re-do their entire final year again. The film shows them both graduating one year later. At the end of the film, Hibiscus reconciles with both Ruth (from whom she had become estranged once she started dating her co-worker at the restaurant) and her mother. We learn that Hibiscus’s mother is so strict because she fell pregnant with Hibiscus when she was young and this prevented her from being able to pursue studies herself. The film ends with Hibiscus’s mother relaxing the rules at a scene around their dining table with Hibiscus’s grandmother, Ruth and Hibiscus having an afternoon tea and she allows Hibiscus to use her common sense in making decisions about her education and well-being.
Don’t let the fact that the actors in this film are in the older age bracket put you off! You’d be missing out on a fantastic light-hearted film with elements of comedy, romance and drama. This is one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time and I would highly recommend it to others.
Starring: Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, David Hayman, John Sessions, Josie Lawrence and Joanna Lumley
Plot: Lady Sandra Abott (Imelda Staunton) discovers that her husband of forty years (John Sessions) is having an affair with her best friend (Josie Lawrence). She packs up her belongings and moves into her sister Biff’s council estate flat (Celia Imrie). At first, the two clash as Sandra is typically uptight and used to a higher standard of living, whereas Biff is free-spirited and without airs or graces. Sandra takes her along to her community dance class where she meets Biff’s friends Charlie (Timothy Spall), Jackie (Joanna Lumley) and Ted (David Hayman). The sad part of the film is that Biff is dying of cancer but true to her spirit, the film deals with this appropriately when the dance group go to Rome for a performance and she passes away the next day. The film ends when Sandra is given the choice of reconciling with her estranged husband but she ultimately decides to go on a boat tour of France with Charlie.