Just opened! Ghost Street; a subterranean restaurant adjacent to The Hotel Britomart and beneath the recently relocated Cafe Hanoi.
Ghost Street is a reimagining of the heady hole-in-the-wall eateries that run along Beijing's famous food street of the same name.
A relatively concise menu offers rustic seasonal dishes from throughout the country with a particular emphasis on food from the western cities of Chengdu and Xi'an.
Think punchy flavours of chargrilled lamb, Sichuan pepper and wok-seared noodles, the pungency of fermented beans and earthy tones of cumin. This umami richness is balanced with tangy red vinegar, piquant pickles and fresh market vegetables; beguiling combinations of flavours that will surprise those less familiar with regional Chinese cuisine.
Key dishes include hand-pulled Biang Biang noodles from Xi'an, scallop wantons with Sichuan chilli oil and Typhoon Shelter soft-shell crab from Hong Kong. The majority of the menu is shared plates.
The kitchen team is headed by Nathan Houpapa as executive chef and Khai Yee ‘KK’ Khor as head chef. Both have years of experience in Asian cuisine and a particular passion for Chinese food.
The food development has been team effort with ideas and refinement coming from Quan ‘Teresa’ Cui and Suet Yu ‘Zoe’ Wong. A research trip throughout China was guided by Hamish Ingham, former Executive Chef of renowned Billy Kwong, Sydney.
The concise drinks menu will include cocktails inspired by the herbs and spices famous in Chinese food including Sichuan Pepper Negroni, Lichee Martini and the Ghost Street Ice tea which utilizing Chinese green tea.
The restaurant is sequestered in the basement of the Stanbeth building, a 130-year-old warehouse situated in Britomart, Auckland's oldest commercial precinct.
The interior, by Dajiang Tai and James Ting from Cheshire Architecture, reflects the rich, rustic tactility of the space and its merchant history, with black cement tiles, recycled timber tables, hessian cushions and elm stools.