The Kiss Kiss team turn up the volume at new Mt Eden restaurant Love Exposure

by Kate Richards / 30 April, 2018

Help us find and write the stories Kiwis need to read

Photography by Amy Kate Atkinson
ArticleGalleryModule - Love Exposure
RelatedArticlesModule - love exposure (1)

The people behind Happy Boy in Royal Oak and Kiss Kiss in Balmoral add their vibrant aesthetic to Mt Eden with new Vietnamese eatery, Love Exposure.

Made predominantly from beef bones, herbs and spices, the noodle soup pho reached broad popularity in early 20th century Vietnam, when French occupation of the country during the Vietnam War lead to a higher than average availability of beef. This influence has lead pho’s origins to be linked to a French stew called pot au feu. But while their similarities – both use gelatinous cuts of beef to thicken and enrich the broth plus various herbs – are obvious, the jury’s out on whether pho was actually derived from pot au feu. It’s a bit of a chicken or the egg scenario.

Pho – one chicken, one beef-based – is the hero dish on the menu at new restaurant Love Exposure, owned by the trio behind Kiss Kiss and Happy Boy. Simmered and skimmed (to remove residual fat) for 12 hours in a large vat, the result is a meaty broth which is at once light and complex. Owners Ludo and Jasper Maignot and Celeste Thornley admit the recipe may not be one hundred percent traditional but they haven’t taken any shortcuts in the kitchen. In any case, it’s easy to forgive a little inauthenticity if the food tastes good.

Love Exposure – named after one of the Maignot brothers’ favourite Japanese films – is situated in a strange glass box on the corner of Dominion and Onslow Roads. It once housed another very good Vietnamese restaurant called Peasant, before several less successful ventures.

You can tell who now owns the place before you even get inside – the trio have become Auckland-famous for their garish, kitschy fit-outs. Here it’s their usual style with the volume turned up. Let’s call it two dollar shop meets strip club, with its bead curtains, fake taxidermy animals, camouflage tablecloths and fish scale-covered banquettes. It’s an Instagram dream but the lights, while emitting a flattering red glow, won’t serve those hoping to photograph their food. “We wanted it to be more shocking, more crazy, more fun,” says Ludo. There is a hectic mural by artist Guy Brock which runs the length of the bar and the toilet walls have fake lobsters glued to them.

Aside from pho, the menu covers glass noodle salads, chicken satay, summer rolls and a couple of banh mi. The only dessert is a coconut and banana sago pudding and the wine list is dominated by rosé and bubbles, just because. In keeping with its Dominion Road location, no food item is priced over $20 – it’s cheap and cheerful. Much like the fit-out.

Love Exposure opens Tuesday, May 1.

Love Exposure
191 Dominion Rd
Mt Eden

FB: @loveexposureauckland
Insta: @loveexposurenz

LatestDiningArticlesWidget - Latest Dining Articles with RestaurantHub
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

As a young reporter, I went undercover to expose the Ku Klux Klan
95069 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z History

As a young reporter, I went undercover to expose t…

by Dick Lehr

How a young reporter infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan - and discovered the truth about its conman leader David Duke.

Read more
The EV battery scare shows the urgent need to support green technology
95080 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z Environment

The EV battery scare shows the urgent need to supp…

by The Listener

With nearly half of New Zealanders considering buying an EV in the next two years, the results could be electrifying.

Read more
Limits don't apply to dancer Aloalii Tapu's work
93844 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z Arts

Limits don't apply to dancer Aloalii Tapu's work

by Kate Richards

Otara-raised Aloalii Tapu uses a myriad of dance influences to express his ideas about manhood, suicide and post-colonialism.

Read more
The artist and poet who refused to play by the narrow rules of NZ art
94118 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z Arts

The artist and poet who refused to play by the nar…

by Sally Blundell

Decades in France have made Douglas MacDiarmid an elusive figure in NZ art history. A new biography delivers a vital portrait of the 96-year-old.

Read more
12 of the best op shops in Auckland
95053 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z Where to go in Auckland

12 of the best op shops in Auckland

by Vomle Springford

With Auckland’s high cost of living, it can be hard to fork out for new clothes, or new anything really. But op shops are plentiful here.

Read more
How virtual reality can help us understand how we think
95019 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z Psychology

How virtual reality can help us understand how we …

by Marc Wilson

When you're flying through the air like superman in virtual reality, chances are you'll brace for impact at landing.

Read more
Where to eat this ski season
94882 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z Food

Where to eat this ski season

by Kate Richards

A trip to the snow doesn’t have to mean a diet of hot chips and sad hotdogs.

Read more
Simon Bridges' spending leak: Hunt for leaker begins
95064 2018-08-16 10:38:12Z Politics

Simon Bridges' spending leak: Hunt for leaker begi…

by Jo Moir

All eyes are on National Party MPs, the office of the Speaker and Parliamentary Service now the hunt for the leaker has begun.

Read more