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Kia Ora From New Zealand
Kia Ora From Mercury Plaza  
By Audrey Goh

For the best Asian food in Auckland central, check out Mercury Plaza. Tucked in a little corner just off Karangahape Road, the most delicious aroma wafts out to greet you. This is my favorite place ever. A food court cum mini mart, it stocks Asian seasonings, herbs, fresh vegetables/fruits, and packet foods at reasonable prices. If you are a student in Auckland and miss your mom’s cooking, this is the place for you. Moreover, it acts as an option for those who do not cook.

If you follow a short flight of steps down, you will reach the food court that sells only Asian food. The variety of food is enough to kill any homesick feelings. To name a few, there are Thai, Korean, Malaysian, and Singaporean food. Imagine exotic, mouth-watering dishes such as Assam laksa, roti canai, Cantonese fried noodles, Hokkien mee, tom kha khai, spicy claypot beancurd (Korean style), Singapore-style fried mee, and nasi lemak. Many Asians or those who are particularly fond of Asian food would certainly be able to associate with my sentiments.

The price for each dish ranges from NZ$4 to NZ$8. This is actually the average price for most food sold in New Zealand. Furthermore, the helping is quite large. A patron would end up paying for the big serving as well as the scrumptious food. Not a bad bargain, ‘aye?

Other recommendable places for good Asian food would be Food Alley, located near Downtown Auckland, and Café 88, which is located opposite the ASB Bank on Queen Street. It is difficult to miss Café 88, as it is a pagoda-like building painted in red. This is one of my favorite places as well, as the proprietor, Gordon, is a friendly chap who is always willing to throw in an extra portion, a bowl of soup or fruits for no extra charge. He made it feel like home. We became such good buddies that he even volunteered to send me to the airport when I left New Zealand for Malaysia (which is my home) at the end of last year. Imagine making good friends and eating delicious food at the same time…these are definitely yummy memories!

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