Neon lights? Check.
Cheap and delicious Asian-fusion food? Check.
Friendly service? Check.
Unlimited corn chips and fizzy and closing time of 2am? Bonus.
You will find all this and more at the newly opened Belly Worship, a Chinese-fusion style restaurant located on Dominion Road. On the menu, there are a range of dishes available – steamed and fried dumplings, taco buns, spicy pancakes, stir-fried noodles, chicken, pork, beef and tofu dishes. The restaurant is not licensed, but they do offer a self-service bar where you pay just $3 for unlimited soft drink, alongside popcorn, corn chips and pretzels. This is a great idea – something to snack on while you wait for the rest of your party. It is also self-service for plates, bowls, cutlery and added sauces.
Between three of us, we ordered quite a feast:
– Spinach Taco Bun with Pork Belly ($7)
– Shrimp, Pork and Chive Dumplings ($12)
– Litchi Pork ($9.90)
– Spicy Pancake ($5), with Duck (+$8)
– Bamboo Chicken Wings ($14)
– KungFu Kebabs with Fish Tofu and Beef ($16)
– Scallion Fried Broccoli ($14)
– Coconut Rice ($3)
We enjoyed every dish (except one, see below), with our favourites being their signature Litchi Pork – similar to sweet and sour pork, but a little less rich and accompanied by potatoes and whole litchi (lychees). Priced at $9.90, it is a steal!
The Spicy Pancake was also a highlight – crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. You can choose to have one of six fillings if you like (at an additional price) – we chose Duck. The pancake was huge, and with the extra duck and bean sprouts/slaw, this could be a meal in itself! It was also spicy, flavourful and the duck was cooked perfectly.
We also liked the deliciously spiced and crispy Bamboo Chicken Wings, the arrival of the Shrimp, Pork and Chive Dumplings sizzling in the pan, the KungFu Kebabs with tender beef (not sure about the fish tofu), and our two side dishes, Scallion Fried Broccoli (YUM!) and Coconut Rice.
The only dish we did not enjoy was the Spinach Taco Bun. Having read many great reviews, I had high hopes. Plus, the bun is green! (Thanks to the fresh spinach infused into the soft taco bun). However, we were super disappointed and left half of it. The bun was dry, the pork belly was dry and there was no flavourful sauce to tie all the ingredients together.
Serving sizes for all dishes were plentiful and everything is reasonably priced. We also had more than enough to eat (for three) for lunch the following day.
So, what did I think overall? Belly Worship is definitely worth checking out, for its cheap and cheerful menu, Instagram-worthy decor, and quirky self-service bar offering unlimited snacks and soft drink.. bring on the Fanta!!!
[P.S. If you are Googling ‘Belly Worship’, make sure you put Dominion Road or Auckland too… otherwise you will be in for a surprise!]
547 Dominion Road, Mount Eden, Auckland / Facebook