Dumplings in Spicy Sauce
Awarded by Alex Rogers
A knock-your-socks-off bowl of mouth-numbing goodness! Eden Noodles' dumplings in spicy sauce, filled with succulent pork and Chinese cabbage, is as close to a religious experience as you will find at an Auckland eatery. When it arrives at the table it looks pretty, even dainty. Glossy hand-folded dumplings, green bursts of chopped spring onions, and only a hint of the fire that lies below. The first bite is one of life's great experiences. It starts with a lick of heat, reminding you that the dumplings have only just emerged from a boiling bath of water. Next comes the most glorious fattiness from the unctuous filling. And then it happens: your vision narrows, your breathing slows, sounds from fellow diners seated elbow to elbow almost completely disappear, and you fall into a Szechuan haze. Every mouthful brings more pleasure, more pain. Your tempo increases. You want more and more. You are utterly consumed. And then, just as suddenly, it's all over. You're left staring into mid-distance, grabbing lazily at the nearby box of tissues to wipe mouth and brow. After an unknown length of time you start to smile. A big, knowing, satisfied grin. For you have just experienced so much more than the single greatest dish in the city. You've enjoyed one of the great experiences that life has to offer. All from a humble bowl of dumplings in an unassuming, small, steamy dining room on Dominion Road.