Last week, a few other foodies and I decided to have a meet up and went to check out recently opened Big Fish Eatery for lunch. Situated in the quieter suburbs of Penrose, it’s a prime location for nearby workers but not in the CBD which probably makes it difficult for people to randomly walk by and enter by chance.
The decor is quite simple and laid back / casual.
As you can probably tell by the ornaments throughout the cafe, the cuisine is Asian, specifically Pan-Asian which means cuisine from across all the different parts of Asia.
Our feast began with the Pork Belly Bao- 4 hour slow cooked pork belly, cucumber, spring onion ($7.00). It was melt-in-your-mouth tender with a few slices of refreshing cucumber with mayonnaise. At first, I was dispappointed there was only a quick smear of hoisin sauce- I like my bao oozy and finger-licking saucy but as the pork belly was so succulent, it really didn’t need the lashings of sauce.
Surprisingly, the Dragon Roll- King prawn tempura, broccolini, avocado, shichimi mayo ($13.00) was my second favourite dish of the day. I’m not usually a fan of dragon rolls but combination of the sauce they served it with really took it to the next level. (I’m a bit like Manu from My Kitchen Rules Australia. Sauce is everything).
It was a tough decision between getting the decadent looking Karaage Chicken which is coated in cornflakes, then fried, or the Soft Shell Crab. In the end, my craving could not be denied and I begged the others to let me order it which they willingly agreed to.
Soft Shell Crab- tempura, jalapeno sauce, lime mayo ($15.00). Best eaten hot while it retains it’s crunchiness. We took a tad too long taking photos because the dishes were coming out hot and fast all at once, and by the time we ate it, we found it rather oily but that’s our fault really.
Both of the sauces were nice, but the Jalapeno sauce in particular was amazing, and complemented the crab so well. They need to start making jars of this stuff to sell. Also, hooray for an actual substantial amount of crab present! Every time I’ve had soft shell crab, it’s usually like a 40:60 crab to batter ratio.
Next was the Mongolian Lamb- spiced french rack, housemade kimchi, lime ($25.00).
The kimchi is not your traditional Korean kimchi, but I prefer this version a lot more. It’s refreshing without the heavy chili and onions so you don’t have to worry about garlic breath. Your carnivorous friends will devour this dish whole-heartedly, it was very game-y/ meaty to eat.
The signature Miso Hapuka- miso, ponzu, lime ($28.00) was the dish that sadly did not live up to it’s name for us and we found it quite bland. The chef was so understanding and friendly, he was very serious about wanting our honest opinions about all the dishes and explained that it was indeed not as glazed or as saucy as it usually should have been due to the huge chunk of fish we were given. Guess I’ll try it again on my next visit because everyone seems to love it from what I’ve seen on Instagram.
Fresh Tuna Nigiri ($5.00 for two) and King Prawn Nigiri ($8.00 for two). We were informed the tuna was bought fresh that morning, and boy did we really taste the difference. With tuna, you can’t hide it’s freshness as it’s quite subtle in taste. It’s my favourite fish but 9 times out of 10, it’s never fresh. I can say that the tuna from Big Fish Eatery was one of the best I have ever had and this is me speaking from Sydney and having just visited the Fish Market (the tuna was so disappointing there!). I was about to cry with joy upon devouring these fresh, fatty morsels.
Do not walk out without trying the Baked Cookie Dough ($8.00)!!! At first, I was extremely confused. Wasn’t a baked cookie dough just a cookie?!
Not at Big Fish Eatery it isn’t. This was as sinful as a dessert could get, and tasted so divine, it was absolutely worth every single calorie.
Slightly crisp on the outside while being moreish, warm, and fluffy inside, then topped with vanilla ice cream- it was exactly the kind of dessert you’d tuck into for any occasion. It came as no surprise to find that a lot of people frequent this place just for this dessert.
Overall, this place definitely does live up to the hype that I had been seeing all over Instagram and Zomato. Special thanks to Big Fish Eatery for the fantastic meal and service, and my fellow foodies Kellie, Razelle, and Sheena who were game enough to take time out of their busy schedules to join me for lunch that day. You guys are the best. Seriously.
Big Fish Eatery | Unit 3, 710 Great South Road, Corner Wilkinson Road, Penrose, Auckland | http://www.bigfisheatery.com/