New Opening: Xoong, Mt Eden

Featuring an unlikely but utterly delicious combination of Japanese and Chinese flavours, Xoong is a welcome addition to Auckland's Asian fine-dining scene

Picture / Jason Creaghan

Tomorrow marks the opening of the expansive new Mt Eden restaurant Xoong, with space for 150 guests across two levels and a menu that pairs flavours from the unlikely combination of Japan and China.

Restaurateurs David Dau and Minh Lu, who also own the popular Tok Tok in Takapuna, have spent two years working on the concept, which has come to fruition in the space last occupied by Molten Wine Bar.

READ: Restaurant Review: Tok Tok, Takapuna

Executive chef Cameron Knox says he’s thrilled to be able to blend Chinese, his “ultimate comfort food”, with more subtle Japanese flavours, which is the cuisine he’d pick for his last meal.

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Order a crispy duck, or pop in for small plates. Pictures / Jason Creaghan

He describes the resulting menu as being full of “big, fresh, clean flavours”, also drawing influence from South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan. Cameron says they’re aiming for smart-casual dining, while making sure the food is still ”fun and enjoyable”, but as he was finalising the dishes they were edging towards the fine-dining end of the spectrum.

READ: Neighbourhood Watch: Mt Eden

Stand-outs include char siu lamb racks cooked in a wood-fired oven, sashimi, white cut chicken (where chicken is slow-poached and put into ice water) with chilli sauce, smoky yakitori and crispy duck, which is available to pre-order.

Picture / Jason Creaghan

Cameron is particularly taken with his dessert menu, which features pumpkin pie with sweet sesame icecream, sticky rice balls with caramelised banana and an icecream platter with petit fours.

The restaurant’s design has been looked after by Ctrl Space and is divided into a series of smaller dining rooms, each with Chinese or Japanese themes.

The owners have sourced scrolls, lanterns and fans as finishing touches, and a highlight for action-lovers will be the three high chef’s tables that have a full view of the kitchen.

• Xoong opens for lunch and dinner on Thursday, May 10. 424 Mount Eden Rd, Mount Eden. Visit Xoong.co.nz

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New Zealand Herald

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