Josh Emett and Fleur Caulton. Picture / Guy Coombes

Madam Woo is Coming to Auckland

The Queenstown favourite is opening in Takapuna

Madam Woo has already proven a hit in Queenstown and Josh Emett and Fleur Caulton’s modern Malaysian restaurant is finally ready to open in Takapuna this Friday.

“Malaysian is an amazing cuisine with influences from India, China, Thailand and Indonesia,” says Josh, in between putting final coats of paint on the walls.

Inspired by street food, the menu features traditional dishes such as char kuey teow prawn and pork fried rice noodles and chicken nonya, prepared in an “old-school style”. Edgier dishes include the hawker rolls, and one of Josh’s favourites, sticky pork hock, served with pickled cucumber, chilli and coriander.

“We’re definitely not trend-driven. It’s all about generosity and keeping things simple. I don’t necessarily think that our offering is out there. I wouldn’t call us fusion or generic Asian. It’s purely Malaysian — done in a more modern way.”

Josh worked with Malaysia-born chef Jane Leong, and made a couple of research trips to her homeland where he ate “non-stop” for two weeks, working out what he loved about the best dishes — many of them historic family recipes. He also watched street food stall owners to see how they made their Hainanese chicken, nasi lemak and rendang curries.

“It’s a cuisine that we don’t want to mess with too much because it’s been tried and tested for hundreds of years,” he says. “We want to look after that and do it justice.”

• Madam Woo, 486 Lake Rd, Takapuna, open Friday, noon til late from Friday.

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