Restaurants & Bars

Chowfind: Chikos, WOW!, Auckland

Vinnie Vidimangi | Dec 3, 201410:13 AM     2

7/255 Lincoln Rd
Henderson, Auckland
09 9729847
11:30 AM to 10 PM (Tue-Sun), Mon Closed

I had to go to NZ Immigration in Henderson just off Lincoln Rd. LR is an ordinary suburban main road, not good, not bad. Across the street from Immigration, next to each other, were Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese restaurants. A café was a few stores away. I went to the other side of Lincoln Rd to the fruit store. A very good fruit store. Good quality, reasonable prices, some of the best oranges that I ever have had. I saw across from the fruit store an Indian restaurant, Chikos and a sign next to the street at the end of a driveway announcing a winery. I thought what the hell, I am there already, let’s look. In the parking lot in front I drove past an Indian restaurant – war on a plate, no interest. I was going to look at Chikos, but I thought not to waste my time. It’s probably a Latino place where the best dish is overcooked steak topped with a fried egg. So I drove to the end of the driveway to the winery store. It was Mazuran. Eye popping surprise. It’s been there since 1938 and specializes in sherry and port. Bottles for hundreds of dollars. With a vineyard behind the shop. So I thought, this is interesting and despite LR being an ordinary suburban street, not good, not bad. Maybe I should look into Chikos. Not what I expected. A fancy menu, but a Filipino chef- owner was worrisome. Filipino cooking is … well … better to be avoided. However I returned for lunch today with my wife. I wanted to go to the vegetable store for more oranges.
So our lunch. Wow! What we had ranks with the most interesting and tasty plates that we ever have had. Execution was highly skilled and controlled. The chef’s training is French, but there is great freedom in the cooking. Beautiful, complex, composed plates with lots of different ingredients. But no silliness: everything hangs together, is to be eaten, is delicious and then the plate is to be licked if your wife isn’t watching.
Generous portions. Reasonable prices in comparison to others and a bargain for what was served.
The chef spent many years with the Hyatt Hotels in the Philippines, starting as student –slave and ending up as executive chef. He had a stint in France, Singapore, Kuwait, somewhere in this he moved to the Intercontinental Hotels. In NZ he was executive chef at Sky City. He says he learned from the chefs that were brought in from many different countries. His cooking shows that he was an excellent student and can go in his own direction.
We can’t wait for our next visit. Worth a special trip. It’s only 30 minutes from Cockle Bay (eastern fringe of Auckland) and there is adequate free parking.

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