Char Kwey Teow Noodles
Awarded by Bridie Lloydd
I’m a regular at East Restaurant - their powerful vegetarian and vegan flavours never cease to amaze me and so much of the experience is trying new dishes on their ever-changing seasonal menu. But no matter how many dishes I try (which may even be the whole menu at this point), I can never look past their char kwey teow noodles. With meaty shiitake mushrooms and silky smooth rice noodles, the rich umami flavour hits the spot every. Single. Time. The beauty of East is that their dishes are designed to be shared, so not only do I get to enjoy this iconic dish on every visit, but I also get to share it with my loved ones. Each time I bring a new family member or friend along, one of the highlights of our meal is the expression on their face when they taste the dish I am constantly raving about. It’s the kind of first mouthful where your eyes open wide in surprise at the burst of flavours. The delicate balance of textures and taste – chewy noodles, earthy mushrooms and savoury egg – leaves you filled with comfort and satisfaction. Rain, hail or shine this dish is my death row, go-to, never fail, favourite thing to eat out in Auckland. To top it all off the space is beautifully designed and the staff, both at East Restaurant and the Sudima Hotel in which it’s located, always treat me with such kindness – it’s a truly wonderful experience every time I visit.