Belly Worship (Auckland, New Zealand)
Even before our first lockdown happened here in Auckland, I always wanted to try this Asian fusion restaurant called Belly Worship. People from my past workplace always ask me if I had tried this place as they rave about their menu items, from vegan options to amazing tasty fusion dishes and that is how I knew all about it. Several weeks ago, while restaurants still can’t have a dine in option, we passed by this place after a nice stroll at One Tree Hill. We never had intention of dining in exactly at this place and just planned to have a look what Dominion Road has to offer during this time. We passed by several places and saw this Belly Worship that my ex-colleagues had told me, remembering their enthusiasm, we decided to grab our feed here.
At first, I am liking it already, unlike any typical Asian restaurants they only have three options, either you like Dumplings, Chinese burrito or Bao, and on each option, you only have a few choices of meat or non-meat varieties; Pork, Chicken, Seafood or Vegan. We grabbed one from each and ended up with Pork, Shrimp and Chives Homemade Dumplings NZ$15.00, Chinese Burrito Lychee Pork NZ$15.00 and Spicy Fish Bao NZ$11.00, preparation time was 15 minutes so we continued to walk outside and see what other food items we can buy.
15 minutes came really quick, we just ordered some Bubble Tea a few metres from this place and our food was ready. First thing we notice is that the paper bag was quite heavy, unusual for three dishes. As there are no dining option, we headed straight to Potters park and have a mini picnic scenario. There were lots of families doing the same thing as us, since Dominion Road is a popular foodie’s destination and the only option for you to dine out with someone is through this park.
As we open our bag, getting each item inside, they really feel quite heavy, serving sizes were huge. We started with the dumplings, each piece was quite hefty, not your average dumpling. The restaurant definitely was not frugal on the ingredients as each dumpling was oozing with plump fillings. This dumpling was definitely not a one biter, it will be a least two. The filling made with Pork, Shrimp and Chives was really tasty it and perfectly matched that vinegar that it came with, which balanced the whole dish. The pastry was not that thin as most would prefer it, but it was the perfect thickness just to match with that generous filling, with a thick pastry it also ensures a nice crispy pan-fried side that will keep its crisp longer.
Next item was the Lychee Pork Chinese Burrito was heavier of the three items, it will definitely make one hungry guy be satisfied or a couple of people who just need some snacks. As the name suggest, it is a Burrito filled with Pork, Lychees and Salad, almost similar tasting to sweet and sour pork but definitely much better. Pork was breaded, still crisp but I reckon it won’t hold that crisp if you leave it for long due to the sweet savoury sauces it is coated with, so best way to enjoy this is to eat right after you get the order.
Finally, we had this Spicy Fish Bao, we wanted to get the Soft-Shell Crab ones but it was sold out the time we got there. Photo might not do justice as it may look small, it was the opposite, in fact this was the biggest bao I had in Auckland, comparable in size or if not bigger then the premium burgers of popular fast-food chains. It was the least of our favourite, I think becuase we are unconsciously comparing it with the Soft-Shell Crab that we wanted. Again, there were no cut back on the ingredients, the fish was large the salad was fresh, I think what its missing was a sauce that will bring it together. Fish was spiced perfectly, it was seasoned really well too but like I said it need a great sauce to bring it all together, possibly something creamy and tangy so it matched perfectly with the sweet chilli sauce that it already had.
Overall, it was good, the food was great, the quality of ingredients was noticeable, vibrant greens, and fresh proteins. This place is a really good place to get that heavy snack you are craving for, it is also great for lunch and dinner, but I guess where this will shine is in the late-night hours as a after night out grub or preferably the next morning for the best hang over cure.
Address: 547 Dominion Road, Mount Eden, Auckland 1041, New Zealand
Phone: +649 638 8389