S and I spent Christmas last year in Auckland with some of our friends. We stayed there for a couple of days, mainly to check out what Boxing Day deals we could find. Unfortunately we didn’t get to score a lot of good deals, but we did end up meeting a handful of lovely people there and also eating a lot of Filipino food. A majority were home-cooked meals in the houses of other Pinoys, but our last dinner in Auckland was at Boracay Garden Restaurant.
Seeing there were only four of us in the group this time, we didn’t order a lot different types of food. We did go for the larger servings for each item, which was said to feed 2-3 persons.
The first thing to arrive at our table was the Sotanghon (NZ$25.00). This cellophane noodle dish was very flavorful and filled with lots of chicken and vegetables. This was a favorite among the group, and personally, I think this was already the highlight of the entire meal.
The next thing to arrive was the Beef Kare Kare (NZ$29.00). Our original order was actually the pork version, and I was truly excited for it to arrive as I haven’t eaten this type of peanut-based stew in a long while. Unfortunately we were served the wrong type and although my friends offered to call the attention of the wait staff and have it replaced, I declined. The food took quite some time to be served, and I didn’t want everyone to have to wait again.
I’m not the best judge for this dish’s taste since I wasn’t able to eat it. The entire pot was completely wiped out by the end of the meal, though, so I’ll assume that the dish was good enough for my companions!
The last one to arrive was the sizzling platter of Pork Sisig (NZ$35.00). This restaurant’s version was simply made out of chopped pork meat, but in the Philippines you’ll often find pork sisig made out of offals, like liver and pig’s head and brains. This version wasn’t all too bad, although I personally found it a little too bland. The chopped chili which came with it did added an extra punch, but S and I still didn’t become fans.
All the dishes we ordered came with plain rice served in this cute little caldero (cauldron). Our group still ended up ordering some extra so that they can mop up the remaining sauces from the kare kare.
We only learned about Boracay Garden Restaurant because it was recommended to us by some people we knew. Overall, our dinner there was a mediocre experience. Service was a little all over the place, but maybe it’s due to the holidays and the place only had two wait staff. Hopefully it’s not like that on regular days. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if we’ll revisit when we go back to Auckland.