First Impressions: Madam Woo Auckland

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Madam Woo is the talk of (Queens)town and now she’s here in Takapuna, Auckland. Last night was opening night. We waited an hour and half for a table – dedicated foodies unite. Albeit the numerous fusion restaurants popping up all over, this one does not claim to be fusion but rather authentic Malaysian street food presented in a modern way.

Asian food, bar Japanese, is a difficult one. You either get authentic food that is dirt cheap, served at bright white light restaurants with plastic flyaways and grudging service. Or you get overpriced dishes that are borderline authentic paired with amazing decor, excellent service and presented like art. Madam Woo is the latter.

Things you should get:

  • Chicken Hawker rolls ($14). We could have easily done with one each. This was definitely our favourite of the night. The roti is perfectly flaky and the chicken tender and well seasoned. It was a party in your mouth.
  • Lemongrass mousse with goji berries and lychee ($12). This is more like a lemongrass panna cotta rather than a mousse. It’s refreshing and the goji berries are sweet and plump. A great end to a meal.
  • Ping Pong Cocktail ($16). We love lychee and passionfruit so this was Friday night heaven.
  • Roti ($5). Roti. Roti.
  • Chicken satay ($12).

Other things we tried:

  • Pulled pork Hawker rolls ($14). These were insanely sweet and salty. The pork was drenched in sauce. No amount of roti could save this one.
  • Fish curry ($32). The fish was fresh and well cooked but it tasted more like tomyum than curry and there was hardly any sauce to dip your roti and pour over your rice.
  • Rice. This was a little shocking. What we got resembled leftover rice from last night, it was hard and dry.
  • Mango sago ($12). Mango MIA.
  • Pork belly ($19). The greens were delicious but the meat itself was nothing out-of-the-world.
  • Tofu ($16).
  • Portugese egg tarts ($7).

Things to try if you’re in for something different:

  • Black sesame chilli handmade ice cream ($7). You forget that it said chilli on the menu until you’ve swallowed your mouthful of creamy ice cream and suddenly your throat firing up a little. You either love it or hate it. We had both parties at the dinner table.

For opening night, the service was great. Our waitress was friendly, gave us recommendations and checked in on us frequently. The food came out at a reasonable pace. Our only let down was when they’d skipped our name on the waiting list and hadn’t given us a call.

Can’t say that we’ve been converted, street food is still best on the streets.

Madam Woo
486 Lake Road, Takapuna, Auckland.

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