Auckland CBD Night Market
Several weekends ago after some small shopping at Auckland CBD we planned to dine in again at Kiraku any like my past story about it, guess what, it was closed again and this was on a Friday around 5:30 PM. It’s just hard to decipher when this elusive ramen shop will open, having said that we also got lucky since we discovered this Auckland CBD Night Market at the end of Elliott St where the reverse bungee is located, we never knew this opened but we had been to several of Auckland Night Markets specifically in Glenfield.
Located at that small carpark just beside the Atrium on Elliott, it’s not as big as the other Night Markets and what they sell here primarily are food, I have not seen non-food stall here. It’s such a great atmosphere like all Night Markets which reminds me of the one we visited in Japan the Meiji Jingu Open Food Court where it is in an open space, quite cold but the food was great, you can smell the different aroma on each stall as you dine in. What sets it apart from other food courts I have been through in Asia is that the one in Auckland is multicultural where you can enjoy different dishes from different cuisine like Japan, Korea, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and France to name some. While we wanted to try them all, we are limited what our bellies can handle so this time we chose Korean, Japanese and Chinese.
Let’s start with our Korean order, we grabbed a couple here after being tempted with all of those boiling electric cauldrons filled with different viands. We tried their Crispy Korean Fried Chicken, Tteokbokki and the Korean Style Braised Pork Belly. Servings was very generous, in fact one serve can feed two, just how the lady piles that rice and meat looks so crazy. The Korean Style Braised Pork Belly was amazing, sweet salty, the pork is very tender, the fat just dissolves in your tongue once it touches it, very lovely dish. The Crispy Korean Fried Chicken was the total opposite, it was very crispy and crunchy! nice taste and not very oily, I bet this will go well with beer, they also offer this in spicy version which I will definitely get next time. Finally, the Tteokbokki, this so far was the best Tteokbokki that I ever tried, not to spicy, greatly seasoned, it was a pleasure to my palate, indeed it was good. The price? it was just NZ$10.00 for one rice and 2 viands, a steal!
Next was this Japanese Ramen, since we were craving for some Japanese before even going here, we definitely need to have some Ramen so we grabbed some Tonkotsu Shoyu from this shop. Soy sauce flavoured pork-based soup, served with egg noodle, 2 pork slices, bamboo shoots, seasoned mustard leaf, boiled egg, spring onions and Nori seaweed. Service was slow as a lot of people order here and it was made to order but it was definitely worth the wait, it was as par as Kiraku or even the ones we tried in Japan, salty savoury with tons of umami. Again, one serve is $10.00 another steal.
For the last order we I had this shumai on the side, from one of the Chinese stalls that serves dumplings and baos. For $5.00 you can have 4 pork shumai, $6.00 for 4 prawn shumai or for $6.00 for 2 of each. I grabbed the 2 of each to try both shumai and it was not what I expected, it looks so delicious but it does not taste like it looks, the bounce of a good shumai is not there even the texture, I feel like eating the street food shumai you get in Hong Kong, very underwhelming specially with its price. Its palatable but my expectation was too high.
Overall, we loved the place, too many varieties, a lot of people that add vibrance to the place but there are ample seats for everyone. I bet there will be more patrons once it gets warm again. It was also nice when we visited the place since there was some band playing on the side which adds to the ambiance. There are many more items to try here, definitely will be coming back for more.
Auckland CBD Night Market
Elliott St, Auckland CBD, 1010
Open Saturdays from 5PM to 12AM