On suf­fer­ing for our art. Or some­thing.

On suf­fer­ing for our art. Or some­thing.

Metro Magazine NZ - - Contents - TEXT — SUSANNAH WALKER

By the sec­ond day, our res­i­dent glut­ton for pun­ish­ment re­ported feel­ing a tad lethar­gic. By the end, she was sleep­ing with a bucket by the bed.

Choos­ing the restau­rants wor­thy of Auck­land’s Top 50 Cheap Eats list for 2018 in­volved, among other things, a great deal of noo­dle slurp­ing.

We started with a long-list of con­tenders, rel­ish­ing the dis­cov­ery of places that have popped up over the past year, and mak­ing for­ays into for­got­ten cor­ners of the city to re­visit old favourites.

We also worked with a set of cri­te­ria that in­cluded serv­ing a de­li­cious meal for $20 or less per head (not in­clud­ing drinks), be­ing open in the evening and of­fer­ing the op­tion of eat­ing in.

Unkind light­ing, a blar­ing TV, mis­matched cut­lery, plas­tic chairs, ser­vice that’s a bit brisk — un­like our other Top 50 restau­rant lists, none of th­ese things nec­es­sar­ily meant a restau­rant was struck from the race. First and fore­most, it was the qual­ity of the food that was im­por­tant — ser­vice and set­ting, not so much.

A stand­out stall in an oth­er­wise av­er­age food court — which, sadly, is most of them — wouldn’t make the list (though the judges have cheated just a lit­tle bit by giv­ing “hon­our roll” shout-outs to places we wished we could have in­cluded).

But de­spite the cri­te­ria, the mush­room­ing num­ber of restau­rants of­fer­ing in­ter­est­ing, well-priced food in this town meant that whit­tling the list down to 50 pre­sented a ma­jor chal­lenge for the judges. This year, there are 18 new en­trants, among them Mt Al­bert’s

Taste in Mem­ory, whose gorge-wor­thy Shang­hainese xiao long bao and silky won­tons see it shoot straight into the Top 10.

Of course, Cheap Eats is about more than a de­cent din­ner for a bar­gain price — it cel­e­brates Auck­land’s in­creas­ingly mul­ti­cul­tural flavour through the sheer va­ri­ety of cuisines and re­gional cook­ing styles we can savour.

The judges noted that the city’s love af­fair with fried chicken shows no signs of eas­ing in 2018. Cu­ri­ous to un­cover the se­crets of its al­lure, Metro food writer Kate Richards vol­un­teered to tastetest chicken from some of our favourite good-value restau­rants.

Talk about suf­fer­ing for your art. Tasked with eat­ing more than 30 serv­ings of chicken in three weeks, and armed with a for­mi­da­ble spread­sheet, by the sec­ond day our res­i­dent glut­ton for pun­ish­ment re­ported feel­ing a tad lethar­gic. By the end, she was sleep­ing with a bucket by the bed (for the full Tech­ni­color story, go to our web­site, www.noted.co.nz).

Her con­clu­sion? When it comes to fried chicken, crunch fac­tor is cru­cial. So im­por­tant, in fact, that we de­vised a handy crunch-o-me­ter to help us de­cide who’s serv­ing the best fried chicken around. See Cheap Eats on page 34 for the re­sults.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.