Asian fusion is by far one of my favourite types of cuisine. It cannot be denied that it is one of the most full-flavoured, experimental, exciting styles of food in the world that I have encountered. This particular form of cuisine is incredibly popular in New Zealand, namely Auckland, as there is a wide range of ethnicities inhabiting the city, and the surrounding suburbs. As a result, exotic food is produced with flavours that challenge and excite our tastebuds.
Madam Woo was opened in Takapuna over a year ago now, and I never got the chance to try it out because in the first few months that it was open, hoards of people flocked to it. Having just opened, it made sense that it was heaving with people, eager to try out the new restaurant in town. However, sadly for me, I never managed to get in there quick enough to get a table and so I forgot about it.
It was only until recently, that I noticed Madam Woo once again, and with seats available! I am now beginning to learn the benefits of not being busy during weekdays, including more space in popular restaurants and the lack of traffic. It’s rather tranquil in comparison.
Naturally, in the past couple of weeks I have visited Madam Woo twice, and ordered the same thing both times. I am an absolute sucker for squid. I’m not sure what it is about any squid dish, mostly calamari, but I can’t resist it. This is strange because squid has a rather unusual and arguably unpalatable texture. However, Madam Woo absolutely blew me away with how they served their Honey & Soy Tossed Squid ($18). The squid came out gleaming from soy-sauce stickiness, and accompanied by cooked onions and cashews which I am also very partial to. Having never seen squid served quite like this before, I was so excited to try it and not at all disappointed. 100% recommend this dish!
Secondly, and certainly not for the untrained tongue, the Malaysian Chicken & Cabbage Salad ($17). A seemingly innocent dish, which in fact packs quite a punch. I think that the chilli and lime dressing is somewhat overpowering for people like me who can’t quite handle the heat. However, the dish is fresh with cucumber and lime flavours pushing through complimenting the heat from the chilli, which slowly grows with every mouthful. Alternatively, the salad can be made with spiced duck, which I have yet to try.
Below, left : MALAYSIAN SPICED CHICKEN & CABBAGE SALAD (gf)
w/ spiced duck, cucumber, white cabbage, peanuts, chilli & lime dressing ($17)
Below right,: HONEY & SOY TOSSED SQUID
w/ cashew nuts, szechuan pepper, chilli ($18)
Do you want my advice? Pair these beautiful dishes with a cocktail/mocktail from the Madam Woo menu. I chose the Blushing Dragon ($9), a refreshing combination of lychee puree, rose water, cranberry, served in a tall glass with ice – the perfect counteracting beverage for a spicy meal.
Madam Woo can be found in other parts of New Zealand including Queenstown, Dunedin and Christchurch, spreading new flavour and style throughout the country. If there was only this type of cuisine to eat in the world, I would be one happy bunny. Long live Asian fusion!
Be adventurous with your tastebuds, you never know what you might encounter as your new favourite food!
Have a good week y’all!