Xoong - Mt Eden
Special 'first tastes' invite to Xoong in Mt Eden - sister restaurant to the delicious Tok Tok in Takapuna. Obviously with an invite we are tasting a showcase of dishes destined for the menu, with maybe a tweak here and there... but safe to say - you are going to be very happy if you live in Mt Eden to have these guys as new neighbours.
The restaurant is larger than it first appears - 150 seats, but cleverly designed - the Asian Fusion is apparent, little corners of distinctly Japan, and then another distinctly China - bold strong colours that make it difficult to imagine merging well, but they do - perhaps a reflection of the food....
Cameron the chef, has brought his very clever fusion to Mt Eden. I'm not going to say that it is a fusion of Asian food, as much as a very insightful use of ingredients and techniques that can be found in this region, and his own palate that manages to stop you in conversation to consider what you just ate. The desserts were the most pronounced in this - where you might find an accent of fried shallots to 'pop' the flavour and it's not at all out of place. The difficulty is with your own mind - it's like trying to recognise someone you know (and like) out of their usual context. In food it's far more intriguing to try and name a flavour that is in perfect harmony, but out of context, but still enhances all the other flavours....
Fresh Catch Tartare, Smoked Pepper Mayo, Tobiko or Kumara Avocado
Kingfish Sashimi, Apple, Celery
Smoked Bacon Congee, Salmon Teriyaki, Ikura
Crispy Lamb, Green Sauce, Mint
Cold Cut Chicken, Chilli Oil, Ginger
Ginger Milk. (in the blue bowl with the collection of tropical fruits and gingerbread crumble)
Jasmin Rice Balls, Banana, Coconut. (the banana is encased in the rice balls with peanuts and sesame seeds)
Pumpkin, Black Sesame Ice Cream, Burnt Cashews (sesame ice cream is sitting on toffee cashews, sweet pumpkin is garnished with black sesame and fried shallots)
Definitely worth a visit.