Winners of the latest round of Menulog Restaurant Awards have revealed a new food trend popping up around New Zealand with Kiwis tucking into ‘street-food’ inspired cuisine more than ever before.
From speciality Thai-style Drunken Noodles to Indian dishes influenced by roadside Dhaba restaurants, international street cuisine is capturing Kiwi taste buds. So much so that restaurants serving these types of dishes have been recognised as some of the best Menulog restaurants in New Zealand.
Yai Potharam, owner of Auckland’s Krung Thep Thai Street Food, started his own kitchen because he missed the food from his homeland.
“For years, I’d been thinking to myself, ‘I’m hungry and I want to eat Thai food at a reasonable price that tastes as good as what I ate everyday on the streets in Bangkok’.
“Street food tastes unique but ultimately it’s the fast, fresh and fun nature of our food that makes it so desirable and a regular go-to for our customers,” he says.
Krung Thep’s signature dish is Drunken Noodles (or Pad Kee Mao), a delicious spicy noodle dish, with other popular choices including traditional mainstay Pad Thai and Chu Chu Blast.
The restaurant was one of a number of street food restaurants among the almost 100 contenders in the People’s Choice category for online food delivery service Menulog’s biannual Restaurant Awards.
While the People’s Choice winner was local Mt Eden favourite Pla Thong Thai, Krung Thep and other street food restaurants such as Sento Thai-Malay Street Food in Mt Roskill and Wellington’s English Dhaba were also popular.
English Dhaba owner Pan Singh Negi says traditional dhaba are situated on highways and serve locally sourced cuisine.
“Dhabas were characterised by mud structures and the food is typically inexpensive and has a homemade feel to it. So our goal at English Dhaba is to provide a high quality, family dining experience at affordable prices.”
Menulog Commercial Director, Rory Murphy, says Kiwis have a wide range of cuisine options, and street food continues to grow in popularity because it is tasty and authentic.
“The way street food restaurants are bringing the taste and culture of other countries to New Zealand’s streets contributes hugely to this variety – and it means Kiwis can eat delicious food from all around the world when they go out or order delivery” he says.
For all the winners of the Menulog Restaurant Awards go to restaurantawards.menulog.co.nz.