Best Cheap Eats 2016: Henderson/Mt Albert/Sandringham

by Kate Richards / 23 September, 2016
Mumbai-Chaat-(21-of-21)


Above: Gaurang, Pratibha and Ajit Ambani, owners of Mumbai Chaat, photo by Caitlin McKone.



7 SIRI TASTE OF SRI LANKA


580 Sandringham Rd, Sandringham
Lump rice is one of the featured dishes here: rice and curry with three sorts of meat, it’s like an Indian biryani, except the components are not mixed through and the whole thing, including a whole egg, is wrapped in a banana leaf. Fabulous to eat. Nandasiri and Ramani Alwis are generous and very friendly hosts, and it’s worth taking their advice on what else to try. Don’t forget the chutneys!
Sri Lankan, vegetarian friendly

BAWARCHI


519 Sandringham Rd, Sandringham
Like Paradise, its more blingy neighbour, Bawarchi specialises in Hyderabadi cuisine, although there’s a nod to Indo-Chinese, too. Dum biryani is the signature dish and the chicken version here, which the certificate on the wall tells us has been named best in a local biryani showdown, is redolent with warming spices, generous on the chicken front and excellent scooped up with naan for a double carb load. There’s the takeaway arm with ready-made curries, and a sit-down affair next door. At the former, $13 will get you any curry, rice and naan, while if you dine in, the menu expands to more interesting things, like lambs’ brains.
Indian, vegetarian friendly

BIKANERVALA


214 Universal Drive, Henderson
If you can distract yourself from the bank of savoury and sweet temptations at the entrance, we recommend the following: North Indian option — butter paneer masala or chole bhature, and a chaat of papdi; South Indian option — paneer dosa and idli sambhar; Indochinese option — vegetable Manchurian (fried vegetable balls in a soy vinegar gravy). Getting a thali (round platter, in Hindi/Tamil) is the way to go if you wish to sample more than one item, from a Punjabi thali to Amritsari to Bikano. Weekend lunchtime options include 16 items for $16 — what a bargain.
South Indian, vegetarian friendly

Chinoiserie
Chinoiserie, photos by Simon Young.

CHINOISERIE


4 Owairaka Ave, Mt Albert
It’s near-impossible to describe this place without uttering the word “hipster”, but to do so seems to diminish how well this Asian street-food-inspired canteen has been curated. Come here for gua bao with homemade sauces and expertly cooked fillings, stay for the lively atmosphere and the short but sweet craft-led drinks list.
Chinese Fusion, licensed

MUMBAI CHAAT


1A Kitchener St, Sandringham
Owners Ajit and Pratibha Ambani’s popular eatery is Mumbai fusion, based on Indian chaat. Choose from a comprehensive selection of savoury street food (chaat), ranging from vada pao (deep-fried potato patties) to bhel puri, pani puri — where you assemble your own puri — and new additions raj kachori (spicy chaat bowl) and savoury and fried vada chaat. If you can’t decide, simply order a maharaja chaat platter.
South Indian, vegetarian friendly

Paradise Indian Food
Paradise Indian Food.

PARADISE INDIAN FOOD


519 Sandringham Rd, Sandringham
Paradise has been feeding Auckland’s insatiable appetite for Indian food for many years. Eat in, or if you want to take out, phone ahead to beat the crowds. The Paradise special curries are excellent — thick with flavour and good ingredients — and the biryanis are a delight, too, textured and cooked dum style. The restaurant has a very fine clay oven, which makes the traditional breads and tandoor meats stand out from the pack.
North Indian/Mughlai, vegetarian friendly

SHUBH RESTAURANT AND TAKEAWAYS


524 Sandringham Rd, Sandringham
Shubh is one of the great success stories of Sandringham: two years ago a basic bain-marie outlet selling takeaway vegetarian curries, it’s evolved into a popular restaurant, still with the vegetarian curries, which are and always have been delicious, and still with fantastically low prices. Nothing costs more than $10, and the lunch special, with two curries, rice, two roti, chutneys and yoghurt, costs a mere $7. Also with a takeaway branch in Onehunga.
North Indian, vegetarian friendly

TIANZE DUMPLING HOUSE


695 Sandringham Rd, Sandringham
Eggplant may not spring to mind as the stand-out dish at a dumpling house, but believe us when we say the pork-stuffed eggplant at Tianze is so very good. The fried green beans are a favourite, too. And so are their dumplings: as good as anywhere else in town, we think, especially when they’re fried.
Northern Chinese, vegetarian friendly, open late

TREASURE KITCHEN


2/392 Great North Rd, Henderson
The owners of Henderson’s surprise Malaysian eatery come from Kuala Lumpur and offer foods from the Klang Valley such as Hakka braised pork, steamed pork belly with salted fish and bak kut teh. The excellent char kway teow is grunty, seared to perfection in a very hot wok.
Malaysian, vegetarian friendly

VENKY'S


535 Sandringham Rd, Sandringham
Another wonderfully low-priced joint in Sandringham, Venky’s has lunchtime masala dosai for just $7. The décor is minimal but the food is so good: the dosai is a perfectly crisp and light pancake, with condiments that provide the just-perfect heat and spice needed.
South Indian, vegetarian friendly, new listing




Central city

Kingsland

Eden Terrace/Mt Eden/Dominion Rd

Epsom/Greenlane/Newmarket/Remuera/Royal Oak

Grey Lynn/Herne Bay/K'Rd precinct/Ponsonby

Somerville/Mission Bay/Waiheke

Mt Roskill/New Lynn/Blockhouse Bay/Titirangi

North Shore

Mt Wellington/Pakuranga/Panmure

Latest

What's happening to New Zealand's recycling after the China import ban?
96784 2018-09-25 13:50:58Z Environment

What's happening to New Zealand's recycling after …

by Nita Blake-Persen

Tracing exactly where New Zealand's plastic goes when it leaves our ports is incredibly difficult.

Read more
How heart surgeon Alan Kerr saved a woman's life twice in three decades
96715 2018-09-25 00:00:00Z Social issues

How heart surgeon Alan Kerr saved a woman's life t…

by Donna Chisholm

Renowned surgeon Alan Kerr saved Donna Lander’s life in 1987. This year – thanks to a Listener story and a three-line email – he saved her again.

Read more
What the principal missed: How truancy is the symptom of a toxic environment
96763 2018-09-25 00:00:00Z Social issues

What the principal missed: How truancy is the symp…

by Aaron Hendry

A principal's controversial speech on truancy dangerously ignored the issues today's young people face, writes youth development worker Aaron Hendry.

Read more
Fighting fast fashion: the rise of ethical consumerism
95853 2018-09-25 00:00:00Z Business

Fighting fast fashion: the rise of ethical consume…

by Mina Phillips

In the era of fast fashion, what can consumers do to ensure what they're buying hasn't been made by exploited workers?

Read more
Naseby's chilliest night means a rare opportunity for curling
96697 2018-09-25 00:00:00Z Sport

Naseby's chilliest night means a rare opportunity …

by Guy Frederick

Weather conditions have to be perfect for an outdoor curling match – last winter, for the first time in seven years, Naseby delivered.

Read more
Students walk out of Hamilton high school over principal's truancy comments
96723 2018-09-24 14:06:35Z Education

Students walk out of Hamilton high school over pri…

by RNZ

More than 100 students walked out of a Hamilton high school in protest after the principal said truants are more likely to wind up being a rape victim

Read more
Colin Craig drops damages claim against former press secretary
96717 2018-09-24 13:10:01Z Politics

Colin Craig drops damages claim against former pre…

by RNZ

Colin Craig has withdrawn his claims for damages against his former press secretary Rachel MacGregor but is still suing her for defamation.

Read more
PM in New York: Ardern's first speech focuses on lifting children from poverty
96691 2018-09-24 07:54:36Z Politics

PM in New York: Ardern's first speech focuses on l…

by Chris Bramwell

Jacinda Ardern has used her first speech in the US to recommit the government to making New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child.

Read more