Tuesday, July 2, 2013


GPK has been a landmark on Ponsonby Road for many years but about a month ago it closed and last night it reopened as the brand new MEKONG BABY. We were there for dinner and were enormously impressed.

The menu lends itself to being shared so we ordered four "small beginnings" and then a salad followed by a dessert. Without exception every dish was superb. I guess if you have to give the food style a name you would call it South East Asian/Fusion? I am no expert in these matters but it did remind us very much of some of the fine food we ate in Vietnam and Laos..

Here's what we ate:

Prawn Cakes with sweet chilli dipping sauce, Quail Egg Dumpling with prawn mince and coconut sambal, Kingfish Sashimi, with green nam jim, coconut and basil, and Wok Fried Squid with nuoc cham and Vietnamese mint.
This was followed by a Prawn, Sticky Pork and Mango Salad and finally we shared a Coconut Sago with Vanilla Ice Cream and Puffed Wild Rice.
All were totally delicious.

Deciding what to eat was a  subject of lengthy discussion as every dish on the menu appealed. There are 13 dishes under "small beginnings", 7 salads, 12 dishes under "little bigger", 4 items under "bit on the side" and then 6 dessert dishes under "happy endings".

Another thing that impressed us hugely was the wine/beer/cocktail list. A large and interesting wine list dominated of course by NZ wines but with a good selection from Australia and Europe. I particularly liked the way they were not just categorised as red and white but rather eg the whites came five groupings:
                                                  Bright Crisp Joyful
                                                  Dry, Clean, Refreshing
                                                  Crisp, Savoury, Herbaceous
                                                  Rich, Creamy , Butter
                                                  Floral, Honey, Spice

And for beer drinkers some 30 craft beers are on offer plus various other Asian and NZ beers.
Lodas of cocktails on offer too.

The staff were pleasant and efficient, we had such a good time all round that we are going back tonight ! I can't recall ever eating at a restaurant two nights in a row before!

Don't leave it long before trying this place . My pick is that it will be every bit as popular and successful as The Breeze Inn Cafe at Ponsonby Central and we all know how difficult it is to get a seat there!

Mekong Baby Food House & Bar,
 262 Ponsonby Road, and the phone number if you want to make a booking is (09) 360 1113.
The website will  be available within the next couple of days - www.mekongbaby.com

After our second consecutive night dining at Mekong Baby I can report that the food this evening was of the same exceptional standard. 
One of my obsessions in life is pork belly ! Wherever I go in the world if it on a restaurant menu then I order it. Needless to say I have had fine, good, ok and bad experiences but the pork belly I had this evening was probably the finest I have ever eaten. It was literally melt in the mouth. Stunning. Can't wait to go back to have it again.

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