If you haven’t been to Hello Beasty yet, then you are seriously missing out! I must admit, I’m very late to the party, but thanks to my boyfriend’s love for the restaurant, we had a date night here recently… it was everything I imagined and more. Here are five reasons why I love Hello Beasty and why you should visit pronto!
1. The Service, Ambience and Layout.
From the moment we walked in, service was welcoming and friendly, not to mention, excellent throughout the night, with the usual things I look out for – drinks and food arriving promptly, water glasses topped up regularly, and wait staff attentive and always on hand to explain the dishes and make suggestions. Kudos to Emma Rogan, co-owner (along with award-winning chef and husband, Stu Rogan) who was running front of house the night we were there – she was friendly, professional and lovely to chat with.
We were seated in Hello Beasty’s open-air courtyard overlooking Market Square – the best spot in my opinion and great for people watching too! Loved the indoor/outdoor flow, with a large open kitchen and the opportunity to sit at the bar for drinks and/or for a solo dinner. The restaurant was buzzing from the moment we arrived (even though it was early-ish) and for the entire time we were there.
2. This One Cocktail.
While the food was outstanding (more below), there was this one cocktail that immediately caught my eye when perusing the menu. Introducing… Heart + Seoul. The cocktail is made with Hwayo Soju 25% (a Korean spirit I am fond of), vanilla and rhubarb shrub, lemon and egg white foam. It was a delicious cocktail, with a lovely sweet/sour combination, and hints of marshmallow. It reminded me of childhood when you were free to do anything… and get away with it!
3. The Mouthwatering Food.
Hello Beasty’s menu brings together fantastic New Zealand produce and takes inspiration from the cuisines of Korea, Japan and China. Dishes are designed to be shared and feature Snacks, Raw + Cold Cuts, Potstickers + Buns, Small Plates, Bigger Plates, Hibachi, Extras and Desserts.
Below is what we ordered on the night, and all come highly recommended:
Fresh NZ Oysters – shucked to order and served with fresh wasabi and pickled ginger. Let me tell you, oysters and fresh wasabi is a game changer!
Steamed Nikuman Pork Hock Buns – these reminded me of pan-fried mini Baos, served piping hot (beware!) with Japanese black vinegar and chili jam to dip in to your heart’s content.
Katsu Sando – think crumbed chicken breast, shredded white cabbage, kewpie mayo and tonkatsu sauce in a toasted soft milk bun. Mmm… My partner said they used to serve a Crumbed Pork Loin Sando which was his favourite dish on their menu. While he said this one wasn’t as good, I thought it was still tasty nonetheless!
KFC Korean Fried Cauliflower – FOODIE HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT. There’s something about gochujang that just makes everything taste better. Hello Beasty’s Korean Fried Cauliflower is very moreish (perfect batter and crisp) and I would happily order it over Fried Chicken any day. Big tick for the spicy gochujang glaze and roasted sesame seeds. YUM.
Karaage Chicken – Possibly the crispiest Karaage chicken I have ever had, perfectly tender and seasoned. On my second visit to Hello Beasty, a friend and I had their Karaage Chicken and Heart + Soul cocktail for afternoon tea – ideal situation. Served with a flavourful red dragon sauce.
Wild Caught Australian King Prawns – cooked on the Hibachi grill and served with garlic and kombu butter (amazing) and prawn oil.
Spring Onion Flatbread – served with green koji, BUT better mopped up with the garlic and kombu butter accompanying the prawns. Heavenly.
Sadly, no room for dessert. However, I am currently eyeing up the ~Kkwabaegi~ twisted donuts with miso caramel and chocolate fudge sauce.
4. The (Pink) Decor / Design
If a restaurant features anything pink, then of course I am going to fall in love with it. You can probably tell from my ‘gram and my ‘gram’s featured highlights (thanks to Jules of The Style Aesthetic for customising them pink for me), that I LOVE PINK. There are not many restaurants around Auckland that feature pink in their decor, expect for Wu & You and Something & Social.
Walking into Hello Beasty, I loved the vibrant decor. The first thing that catches your eye is the giant pink neon Maneki-neko on the back wall, commonly known as a ‘beckoning cat’ believed to bring good luck to the owner. My heart melted. Not only is it super cute, but it glows throughout the whole restaurant – I would love to have this in my own place one day! Aside from this, I also loved their menus and branding, designed by co-owner Emma – check it out here.
5. The Location.
Conveniently located in the Viaduct, Hello Beasty is in a prime spot. It is a great place for date night, dinner with family and friends, or even a few cheeky cocktails before you head out for a night on the town. Even though it does not have direct harbour views, book a table in their open-air courtyard and I can guarantee you will have a fun evening.
Thank you Hello Beasty for an incredible experience – we cannot wait to come back! x