In terms of South East Asian cuisine, there’s a new kid on the block. Nestled in the heart of Birkenhead on the North Shore, Mulan delivers Malaysian food from the homeland of chef James Balakrishnan.
Simply and authentically decorated, the menu is split into ‘Bites,’ ‘Picks,”Home,’ ‘Sweets’ and ‘Sides.’ Highlighted in each section is the ‘Chef’s Selection,’ and trust us you won’t leave this place hungry. Designed to share, portions are very generous and filling.
We began with Mama’s Special from the Bites section of the menu. Freshly steamed buns with sticky pork and Thai chicken. Pillowy, soft buns encased succulent, slow cooked meat with a hint of chilli at the end. These definitely rate amongst the best pork buns we have had in Auckland.
Next from the Bites section we ordered the Chicken Satay which is marinated with lemongrass and fresh turmeric and served with a peanut sauce. The chicken was soft and perfectly cooked and the sauce wasn’t too heavy and cloying.
The Chicken Salad, which was a mixture of spiced chicken, cabbage, cucumber and fresh Asian herbs was light, zingy and refreshing. A perfect entree if you want to save some room for the main courses.
The star dish of the whole night were the Pork Sticky Ribs in a smokey BBQ sauce. The meat was so tender, it literally fell from the bone and the chili sprinkled on top gave them a satisfying kick.
The Beef Eye Fillet consisted of soft, silky wok seared eye fillet, mushrooms, ginger, pickled chili and crispy kale. The crispy kale was a great addition, giving a salty burst and a nice contrast in texture.
The Beef Massaman Curry was another of our favourite dishes of the night. Prime beef rump cooked in blended spices, coconut cream and sprinkled with roasted peanuts proved a flavour sensation. The sauce was thick and creamy but not too heavy and the beef was fall apart tender. The roasted peanuts on top provided a nice crunch in contrast to the silky smoothness of the sauce.
Our other main course was the Chicken Jungle Curry which consisted of boneless chicken thigh, pumpkin, parsnip, baby peppercorn, chili and a blend of Asian herbs and spices. A colourful medley in a bowl that looked vibrant and very enticing. And the flavours didn’t disappoint!
All main courses come with rice and we were very grateful to receive a couple of complementary dishes from the chef. One of the perks of being a food blogger!
Green Beans with Roasted Garlic were crunchy and perfectly flavoured.
But the second vegetable dish was our favourite. The sauce was just so flavoursome on the Fried Wombok with Soy and Shallots.
After all this food we were just too full for dessert but we certainly have our eye on the Chocolate Mud Cake for next time!
We urge you to head over to Birkenhead and Mulan. You won’t find tastier Malaysian food on the Shore!
243 Hinemoa Street
Tel: 09 480 2806