Bunga Raya (New Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand)
I had been wanting to try this place for a long time because when my colleague knew that I lived in Malaysia before New Zealand he always asked me if I had tried this restaurant, that was probably 10 years ago and almost every time he sees me in the lunch area, he always asked me if I had been here. It is quite far from where I live so the prospect of getting to this place is quite small but there was one opportunity when we tramped in one of the tracks of Waitakere ranges one afternoon.
AS we head home after a nearly three-hour hike, we felt hungry and want to have some snack before we have dinner at home. I was thinking of passing by Glen Eden to have some Pinoy meryenda at Gold Ribbon but it was closed. We were disappointed as I was already imagining halo halo as I drive so we thought, let’s just have something quick, so we headed towards McDonalds New Lynn and as we parked, we noticed Bunga Raya. Boom! It reminded me of my colleague who always asked whether I tried this place, this was the time, so we dined in there instead.
For meryenda we were thinking of some Char Kway Teow and possibly some Roti Chennai but after the aroma greeted us and the fantastic menu items shown to us, we decided to have dinner instead. It was a full packed place, and it was near dinner time, if I can remember correctly it was around 5:30PM. We were asked if we had reservations, we don’t as it was just a spur of the moment, luckily my restaurant table angel was there, and we managed to get a free table easily.
As we browse through the menu, it reminded me of my days in Malaysia, those dinners I had in Subang Jaya and SS2. Most of my favourites was here but there are many amazing food items to choose from which is a hard decision when you are quite hungry. But after some contemplation we decided getting three items and one of which will be vegetables.
First one was this Oatmeal Prawn made with Deep Fried King Prawn with Oatmeal (NZ$34.00), it is one of my favourite Malaysian dishes. Before you eat this, write your name, because it’s so delicious, after one bite you may forget your name! Its sweet, its creamy, it savoury, full of umami, crunchy, crispy, moist, tender, etc. Words can’t describe how awesome it is, just the oatmeal alone is so good, you might forget there are prawns served with it. You got to try this; this is a highly recommended item in Bunga Raya.
We were thinking of chicken or beef since we already had some seafood but this Stir-Fried Squid with XO Sauce (NZ$26.00) was tempting us, hence we grabbed one. Another amazing dish, the squid was perfectly cooked, very tender and the outside crust was very crispy and at the same time sticky, it was seasoned really well. Sweet and savoury, nicely spiced with a small hot kick! Very aromatic and the XO sauce was simply phenomenal.
Then for the vegetables we were either thinking or Sambal Eggplant or Salted Fish Eggplant but they said they don’t have enough eggplant for this dish so server recommended Three Kingdom Veges (NZ$28.00), basically three types of vegetables string beans, garlic chives and eggplants cooked in XO Sauce. And as you guessed it was good as well! Vegetables was cooked perfectly; it was crisp and fresh and was seasoned very well.
Now I know now why my colleague asked me every time whether I tried this place. It was freaking amazing! Food was delicious, service was phenomenal, the serving portions was large as well. Prices are not cheap if you compare it so similar restaurants but that is a small premium to pay for a really good meal.
Bunga Raya Restaurant
Address: 2a/3062 Great North Road, New Lynn, Auckland 0600, New Zealand
Phone: +649 827 8666