If you consider yourself a fan of the various types of Asian fare available across Auckland’s dining scene, then you will have encountered one of Kyo Shen’s venues. A hospitality veteran for over 15 years, Shen and his restaurant group are the brains behind such places as Eden Noodles, Biang Biang Noodles, Lao Guang Zhou Hot Pot, HITEA and more. And now, the busy restaurateur is adding another name to his line-up. Meet Xiexie.
Tucked away off Ponsonby Road, Xiexie is a cosy and understated but undeniably sumptuous new spot that opened at the end of last year. Designed by Paul Izzard, the space is finished in hues of deep red and blue with luxurious details and booth seating that promises to make any experience here a comfortable affair.
For the menu, Shen was inspired by the idea of fusing traditional Chinese with Kiwi flavours to create dishes that felt both familiar and unique. “Chinese food is one of the greatest foods in the world,” Shen tells me, “but it really hasn’t been presented in a fusion way to local customers.” He continues, “With Xiexie I wanted to mix Chinese and Kiwi culture to present something different and delicious.”
Some highlights on Xiexie’s menu include the Sichuan Confit Beef Jerky (a customer favourite already, apparently), the flavoursome Kung Pao Lychee Prawn, and the Tibet Sumin Lamb Rack, cooked to perfection and served with an array of herbs and vegetables. The Mapo Tofu Fettuccine with tofu, pork mince and Sichuan Mapo sauce is a must-try for spice and noodle lovers, while the Shiitake Pork Dumplings with truffle béchamel sauce, spring onion oil and button mushrooms offer the perfect, indulgent bites. If you’re looking for something substantial, dishes like the Orange Peking Duck Breast with citrus, seasonal vegetables, spring onion and hoisin jus, or the Male Crispy Pork Belly with tangy apple slaw are sure to hit the spot.
Alongside the food, Shen has placed particular importance on Xiexie’s wine list, carefully curating it to include drops that enhance the flavours of the food. “We are a modern Chinese wine bar,” he says, “with fusion twists that Kiwi customers will love too.”
Open now, Xiexie should definitely be on your radar for your next meal out. Offering flavoursome fare, a sumptuous setting and beautiful wine, this newcomer is fast becoming a local favourite.
Monday — Sunday, 5pm until late
130 Ponsonby Road