Monsoon Poon didn’t come down in the last shower

Beef rendang, Melacca chicken, 25-spice lamb curry, duck curry with pineapple, glorious naan bread and Tiger beer. Yep, that’s right, another day, another work lunch. This time we were at the wonderful Monsoon Poon in Downtown Auckland just near the Viaduct Harbour area.

I’ve been to Monsoon Poon a couple of times, the first before I became gluten-free, and at the time, I loved it. The second trip was for my birthday last year and I was fairly nervous as it was the first time I’d eaten out gluten-free. The staff here couldn’t have been more helpful or knowledgeable about their menu, the contents of mixed entrees and when the meals were served, making a point of coming back to me and saying “that one’s gluten-free, and that one, but you should probably stay away from that”.

So I approached lunch yesterday with considerable anticipation! Once again, the wait staff were great and able to answer the questions I had. The menu is extensive and there are many gluten-free options, although none of them are labeled as such! There is labeling for vegetarians. The poppadums are listed as “lentil flour poppadums” and when I checked, the waitress confirmed that there was no wheat flour in them. She then checked to make sure I knew what would be gluten-free on the menu and confirmed that my choice of Beef Rendang was gluten-free. They were extremely pleasant and didn’t make me feel like I was being unreasonable or demanding, which was very nice.

Was my anticipation justified? Absolutely! My Beef Rendang was perfectly done. The beef was so tender it was falling apart and the gravy was thick and rich, with the delicious bite of tamarind. Like any good rendang, the sauce wasn’t too liquid, and the flavor really exploded in my mouth. Yum. I even ate the deep fried onions on the top, even though they looked like they might be coated with something I probably shouldn’t eat! I would have licked my bowl if I could, but grown-up that I occasionally am, instead graciously shared my dish with my neighbours.

My sharing netted me the chance to taste the Melacca Chicken, a special of the day from one of the Malaysian chefs. This was a nutty, more creamy style of curry with a strong taste of lime and coconut. I also got to try the duck and pineapple curry, your more traditional Thai style red curry with pineapple and potatoes. Very nice and just a wee bit hot. Perfect for someone like me. Finally I tried the 25-Spice Monsoon Poon special Lamb Curry. This was amazing. I took small mouthfuls and spent some time trying to identify what the 25 spices might be! I got to cinnamon, cumin, pepper, chili and turmeric before I gave up! Wow. I think my rendang was slightly better, but the lamb curry was just fabulous. The serving sizes are generous and certainly justify the $16-$22 price tag per dish.

The atmosphere at Monsoon Poon is great. Largely wooden chairs and tables, with a bamboo and oriental feel to it. The lighting is fairly subdued and you almost feel as if you’re going into a cave when you first arrive. They had heaters mounted on the roof and turned on the day we were there so we were toasty warm. The music is there, but not over-loud. There is a separate bar area with tables and chairs for pre-dinner drinks cunningly tucked behind a wooden half wall. The food came promptly, but at no time did it feel rushed. We were in and out in just on an hour, which was excellent given that it was a Tuesday lunchtime.

My 8 workmates and I left, stuffed to the gunnels, feeling not at all like working for the rest of the afternoon. We rolled back to the office to digest. Now to think of the next occasion I can drag people there for! My rating? Food 4.5/5, atmosphere 5/5, value for money 4/5.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Monsoon Poon didn’t come down in the last shower

  1. Between you and sleepinghorse there do seem to be a lot of great places to eat Gluten Free in Auckland. I need to get there!

    Would you be ok if I used a condensed version on the site please?
    Thanks

  2. I totally agree with you about Monsoon Poon. What is really funny is that I was there today for a work lunch! I bet one day we will be sitting in the same restaurant in the same day for lunch and of course not know! But then there is a photo of you on your blog, so you never know. I just might recognize you 🙂 and if I do, I will say hello.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s