Sunny Town


We came here because: we had heard there was a new Chinese restaurant that didn’t look anything like a Chinese restaurant, and were curious.

The décor was: Japanese-Zen. It is all the rage in China at the moment for new eateries to emulate the calming, minimalistic aesthetic of Japan. Think big glass frontage and delicate, blonde wood framing, and a long communal table running down the middle of the room. You can watch the chefs working tirelessly in their pristine fishbowl.

The food was: simple but tasty. There are just 12 items on the menu to choose from, which is both refreshing and irksome (“Are we even in a Chinese restaurant?” I found myself asking). My friend Wei and I ordered the spicy cold noodles ($9.80), dan dan noodles ($13.80), pork buns ($10) and prawn shao mai ($12). Both noodle dishes featured perfectly bouncy noodles, the cold noodles lightly dressed in a spicy sauce with crunchy peanuts, spring onion, and preserved mustard greens that lent a salty, tangy bite. The dan dan noodles were pretty similar but served in a soupier sauce with lots of chilli oil and the addition of fried pork mince. The sauced pork buns were authentic tasting, umami-rich packages of minced pork but the filling was a touch on the oily side. The prawn shao mai were “not shao mai” as Wei aptly put it. A light and delicate open-faced dumpling of minced prawn and pork, but nothing special, and hilariously topped with a garnish of frozen carrot, pea and corn (shao mai are usually topped with caviar or fish roe).

We loved: the beautiful, bright fit out and that the food arrived lightning fast. The walnut soybean milk ($5) is delicious, if you’re a fan of the Chinese style of soybean milk that is. Warm, nutty and sweet.

If I could change one thing it would be: Removing the frozen vege off the top of the shao mai.

Overall: cheap, efficient and visually appealing.

Sunny Town
10-14 Lorne Street
Auckland CBD

This review was originally written for Cheap Eats.