Balmoral’s got neon, and free-flow pretzels, courtesy of newly opened Belly Worship (word is that the name is NSFW if you’re looking to Google…you’ve been warned).
The fit out is half-way to hipster and the service super friendly, so did the food live up to the hype? It’s certainly passable. While we’re seeing a host of regional Chinese restaurants opening in Auckland lately, the Belly Worship wait staff tell me the food on offer here is gleaned from across China–it is, in a way, a bit of a fusion. There’s litchi (lychee) pork; twice-cooked battered pork pieces in a sweet-sour sauce with whole lychees, chicken siu mai topped with flying fish roe, flaky pancakes (plain or spicy), which you fill with things like roast duck and braised pork belly. And, for a grand sum of $3 per person, there’s a buffet of soft drinks, popcorn, pretzels, corn chips and some kind of pea-like pulse deep-fried and crisp. You help yourself to free tea and water, and you order at the counter. We only had enough mouths to try a few dishes, but we’ll be back to try more. Our pick for best dish goes to the beef fried noodles, because noodles, and because they were perfectly cooked, plus the beef had a ridiculously tasty smoky flavour–someone in this kitchen knows how to wok hei.
You’ll spend as little as $15 per person if sharing, for a good feed.
Belly Worship/ 547 Dominion Rd/ Mt Eden