In the last year, Takapuna has gained an amazing selection of new eateries and restaurants. We’re spoiled for choice and the latest place I’ve tried is Artwok. We went for Father’s Day and it was a really good choice.
Artwok is just a few minutes walk from the beach and the main centre of Takapuna shops. It’s beside Wilsons carpark and it’s hard to miss with its bright red doors.
The restaurant is two levels. The first level is mainly the bar with a few tables. There are more space upstairs. When we went, we were seated in the first level on a high table so I wish we were upstairs in the main dining area. However, it wasn’t too bad downstairs because it was quiet.
The menu was overwhelming at first because there are a lot of dishes wish Chinese translations. It took us a while to order but we got a few things to share because their menu is designed for sharing.
You get a bowl of complimentary (or I thought so anyway) banana chips which were nice and crispy. We could’ve had two more bowls of these to be honest.
We got 5 dishes all to share and the first one that came was the XUN ROU DA BING which is the peking duck with pork belly, pita bread and sweet bean paste. We thought we ordered dumplings as this was under Mrs. Wangs Selection of dumplings but it came out like a deconstructed meal. We didn’t expect it but it was really nice. The sauce was good.
The second dish that came was YANPI WONTONS but we ate it too quickly that I didn’t get to take a photo. We clearly didn’t read the menu well either because it was more of a wonton soup instead of crispy fried wontons. We didn’t complain though because it was also quite good. It has crab meat, pork and prawn mince and water chesnut and served in chicken broth.
My mum chose a vegetarian dish which is DE SAN XIAN which is basically wok fried eggplant, capsicum and potatoes with garlic soy sauce. I’m a picky vege eater but this was so good. The sauce was just right and not too garlicky and it was a great balance to our meat dishes.
One of the two mains we got was HEIJIAO NUIZAILI which is wagyu beef with black pepper sauce. The beef was so tender and was another amazing dish. There were too much onions for my liking but the sauce and the beef was just right. It wasn’t too spicy for me either.
The last main dish was SHONGSHU YU which is the battered snapper with salsa, pinenuts and sweet and sour sauce. This was my favourite dish out of all five because I love fish and it was amazing. The sweet and sour sauce with the fish was perfect and I could’ve had this whole this to myself with rice. The fish was crispy and cooked perfectly. I loved this.
Just when we thought we were full, my family ordered dessert.
We had ZHA BINGQILIN which is deep fried ice cream. This was filled with Kohu Road’s cookies and cream ice cream and served with mango couli and freeze dried fruits. At first bite, I was quite confused because of the hot and cold combination but after digging in for more, I enjoyed it. I think I just wasn’t used to the contrast in the temperature and textures of the pastry and ice cream but this was a pretty good dessert. It was unusual for me but I quite liked the change.
Artwok also has a selection of wine and tap craft beers but my family rarely drinks so we opted for a jug of their juice which was also nice.
Overall, I really enjoyed our meal at Artwok. It wasn’t cheap though as our bill came to around $170 which was more than when my family dined at Tok Tok which a Takapuna restaurant just around the corner. This place isn’t your typical Chinese restaurant but it surprised us in a good way and it didn’t disappoint. The decor inside is nice and the dishes were well presented too. I’ll gladly come back to try more of their food.