New Chinese-Japanese restaurant Xoong is coming to Mt Eden

by Kate Richards / 04 May, 2018
Photography by Angie Humphreys
David Dau

Xoong owner David Dau.

Opening in Mt Eden soon, new restaurant Xoong fuses Chinese and Japanese food

Xoong is the Vietnamese word for pot. It’s one of the only references to owner David Dau’s South East Asian heritage at his new Mt Eden restaurant of the same name where, alongside head chef Cameron Knox, he’s fusing Chinese and Japanese cultures in both the food and décor.

The space is now hardly recognisable from its tenure as Molten; the long, still sparse bar on the restaurant’s right-hand side the only feature which wasn’t completely overhauled. Now, split into various cordoned off nooks both up and downstairs, the cavernous, bunker-style space is somehow brighter and more intimate. Paper lanterns and various slightly kitsch flourishes complete the transformation.

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The interior.

The interior.

Designed by Ctrl Space, Dau has also enlisted the help of the same cabinet makers who worked on Skycity’s Huami. References to the opulent, inner city Chinese restaurant are made on Xoong’s ceiling with red panelling, and in boxy shelving and screened private areas for groups. Lumpy ceramic serveware has been imported from Singapore – chef Knox wagers they’re the most interesting-looking plates in Auckland – and there are soft blue banquettes and plush cushions to keep the oldies happy.

You’re unlikely to catch either Dau or Knox describing the food at Xoong as fusion, but that’s the simplest explanation: there’s a hero dish of salmon congee; deep fried chicken wings with gochujang mayo; tempura eggplant; kingfish sashimi spiked, unusually, with smoked paprika – a riff on another raw fish dish Knox once ate in Spain. The cross-cultural references extend to both the drinks list and dessert menu with more east meets west flavours like a pumpkin pie-esque pudding with fried shallot and black sesame.

Xoong opens Thursday 10 May

Xoong 
424 Mt Eden Rd
Mt Eden 

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