Since its opening in 2015, Lucky Buddha still remains one of my favourite eateries in Auckland. It is situated on Fort Street, which is fast becoming a foodie mecca, with the likes of Ima Cuisine, Miann and Beirut and around the corner, my favourite ice creamery, Giapo. The first time I dined at Lucky Buddha, I didn’t quite know what to expect, but after learning that the owners are Korean, the head chef is Filipino and that they are serving Asian fusion cuisine (namely Japanese, Korean, Thai and Filipino), I was really excited.
I have since dined at Lucky Buddha four times, and each time has been a very memorable foodie experience. The food is fresh and flavourful, and the cocktail list and service is excellent. Below, I list my favourite dishes and drinks at Lucky Buddha.
For food, I recommend the following:
- Sriracha Pork Steamed Buns filled with tender pulled pork, fresh herbs and a cracker spicy peanut sauce. This is my favourite entree on the menu as it has that melt in your mouth wow factor. The bao comes as a pair, so I recommend sharing it with another dining companion, so you can share a few other entrees!
- Wakame Salad with Cured Salmon served with creamy avocado, crispy nori, foam and puffed rice. This dish incorporates two of my favourite foods – salmon and avocado, so I knew it would be a winner. The puffed rice and crispy nori gives the dish great texture.
- Soba Noodle Salad with Avocado and Teriyaki Chicken – this is the perfect lunch dish! Again, another great combination (avocado and teriyaki chicken) which is extremely filing (carb + protein x2) and will keep you going for the rest of the afternoon. My favourite part of this dish is the fried crunchy soba noodles on top!
- Bibimbap with Korean mixed rice, seasonal vegetables, soy beef and gochujang. Bibimbap is a classic Korean dish and also one of my favourite meals, so I was super excited to try Lucky Buddha’s version. I tried this dish only a few weeks’ ago, and it is now my new favourite! I loved the presentation, with the brightly coloured vegetables, flavoursome beef and semi-raw egg. The fun part of Bibimbap is that you get to mix all the ingredients together! Just one sad note – no kimchi.
Other food recommendations:
- Tofu Bao – if you are a vegetarian or just love tofu (slowly getting there), then I highly recommend trying the Tofu Bao, which is nearly as mouthwatering as the pork bao and always a hit among my vegetarian friends!
- Aromatic Red Curry with chicken, vegetables, coriander, shallot, chili and mung beans (pictured below).
- Spicy Chicken on sesame and nori rice, kewpie mayo, cabbage and herb.
- Coconut Snow aka the ‘Halo Halo’ – a popular Filipino dessert of shaved iced and evaporated milk. The Lucky Buddha version consists of coconut granita, tapioca, sweet milk and crispy coconut.
- Chocolate Mousse with Coconut and Pandan Cream and Lime Sherbet (pictured below). The chocolate mousse was decadently rich and I loved the lime sherbet (not something you see on a dessert every day!) which gave the dessert a sweet and sour element.
For drinks, I can’t go past without ordering one of their cocktails. Their cocktail list changes frequently, some of which are only on the menu according to the season. I have so far enjoyed the Dark Stormy Asian cocktail with Mount Gay XO rum, ginger, herb bitters and citrus (a highlight the first time I dined at Lucky Buddha) and the Heavens Surprise cocktail with Herradura Plata tequila, watermelon, mint and elderflower (pictured below) – I just HAD to order this cocktail as it incorporated my favourite food and my favourite spirit! It was refreshing and delicious.
Lucky Buddha also has a small wine and sake list and a range of Asian beers on offer, including a beer of the same name. For a non-alcoholic option, try one of their iced teas or house made sodas.
If the above is not enough to tempt you, then another reason why you should dine at Lucky Buddha is because the service is excellent. Each time I have visited, staff are friendly and efficient, water glasses are always topped up and you don’t have to wait long for your food.
Overall, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Lucky Buddha. Thinking about it now, it definitely makes my top five list in Auckland, for its Asian Fusion menu (featuring Japanese, Thai, Filipino and Korean classics), refreshing cocktails and consistently good service. I highly recommend dining at Lucky Buddha the next time you’re out!
Open for Lunch – Monday to Friday from 11.30am and Dinner – Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm (Closed Sundays)
Address 48 Fort Street, Auckland CBD
Notes Definitely book a table / Good for groups
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