Dagu Rice Noodle (Henderson, Waitakere, New Zealand)
Last week I mentioned that we had moved housed from North Shore to West so most North Shore Restaurant reviews will be lesser and definitely a lot of Waitakere restaurant review will be happening, we reviewed our first one last week and this is the second one. On our first review, it was a restaurant quite near to where our new home is, for today we will travel a bit further, around 5kms away, in Henderson.
We were set to visit Nido, a very large Ikea like retail store in Henderson, to check out new furniture for our new home. We intended to have lunch in the Yum Cha place just within the vicinity but luckily there were long queues outside otherwise we won’t discover this hidden gem, Dagu Rice Noodles.
For non-Chinese it might look intimidating as half of the writing was in Chinese and almost all diners are Chinese but don’t worry, everything is translated to English. It’s so Hong Kong / Shanghai like when I opened the menu, it does not resemble the traditional Chinese restaurant menu where they cram 30 items in one page without ample photos to accompany each item. Their menu is quite like the ones you see in Fairwood or Cafe de Coral in Hong Kong where each item on the menu has a dedicated page in its full shining glory.
At first, I did not get the concept if this place, until my daughter told me she wanted the Crossing the Bridge noodles, a dish is served with a large bowl of boiling hot broth and soup served with ingredients on the side which includes raw vegetables and lightly cooked meats. All their noodle dishes resemble this, just done on different flavours.
Before coming in here I did not know about this place, until I made my research. Dagu Rice Noodle is a restaurant chain in China, and it has quite a big presence all around the world, now here in New Zealand there are three branches and we are in the Henderson one.
Dining in here is not your typical New Zealand style dining where you pay at the counter after you finished your meal and before leaving, it is done when you order, in the counter. Ordering is not through a waiter, and you must do it in counter. The rest is the same where you are given menu’s before seating so you can choose what you want.
We ordered three items for us and we h ad underestimated the size of the serving, I just realized now that each item on the menu has a weight written on it, most of them averages 800 g. The three things we grabbed was Dagu Signature Rice Noodles with Beef (NZ$17.90), a Slow cooked Bone-in Beef with rice noodles and mixed vegetables, Soybean, Ham and Pork Mince. I love this this because its bone in, plus it tasted like the Filipino nilagang baka, it was so comforting and very filling.
Next up was the Rice Noodle with Marinated pork rib (NZ$18.90), a Six hours slow cooked pork rib served with Quail egg, Soybean, Ham, Pork Mince and Mixed Vegetables.
Almost similar tasting to the first one, so I am sure they us the same base stock, but instead of beef, seasoned pork rib is used.
For the third dish, it was the Crossing the bridge rice noodles (NZ$18.90), served with Sliced Beef, Chicken Fillet, Quail Egg, Ham, Pork mince and Mixed vegetable. Again, similar taste profile but different toppings.
If you notice the soup was cloudy, this is what happens if you boil the bones for long periods of time, the collagen just mixes with the soup and yields this milky colour. It was meaty but what I notice all three lack salt, luckily there are salt available in the condiment section alongside chillies. I recommended adding both to experience its goodness.
With the meals, you can have the option of making it a combo, but instead of the usual soft drinks like Western Fast Food chain offerings, here you combine it with milk tea, great combo, right? In addition to that you save NZ2.00 if you get milk teas as a combo. If you notice, each item on the menu has paring milk tea drink recommendation, like those wine parings on the nice restaurants.
We did not follow the recommendation and ordered something differently apart from one. And we grabbed Red Bean Milk Tea 600ml (NZ$7.90), Taro Milk Tea 600ml (NZ$7.90) and Brown Sugar Milk Tea 500ml (NZ$7.90). Like the soups, these were quite bland despite its being 100% sugar, the Red Bean Milk Tea is a bit sweeter which makes me think they use the sweetened red bean paste. You can definitely taste the tea on it and the flavour the come in with.
Overall, I have a new favourite, just because I love bony broths, I will just have to remind myself add salt to the dish to enjoy it even further. Serving size was huge, we were so full after eating here plus you will intake a lot of liquid from the soup, milk tea and water so expect to pee a lot later.
Dagu Rice Noodle Henderson 大鼓米线西区店
Address: 4A/301 Lincoln Road, Henderson, Auckland 0610, New Zealand
Phone: +649 838 8168