Empress Garden Restaurant, Herne Bay, Auckland

Empress Garden Restaurant

We went for a family dinner before my mom’s operation slated the next day. I wanted to bring her to a nice restaurant but my mom has very Chinese tastes and wanted to go to a Chinese restaurant.

peking duck

My sister recommended Empress Garden – it’s supposed to be the best Peking Duck place in Auckland (which isn’t saying much, trust me) and the sheer volume of patrons requires a reservation in advance. The place was packed!

duck feet

We had an entree of cold boneless duck feet. Tasty, and no pesky bones to get in the way of your enjoyment of animal foot fetish. πŸ˜‰

peking duck dish

Anyway, about the Peking Duck, which is the headliner for this place, it’s prepared in the usual three-part procedure – the duck skin, the second phase (lots of options here) and the third dish (usually soup).

peking duck prep

I didn’t find the Peking Duck to be particularly authentic – it doesn’t only come with the skin but also some meat (!!!). How liddat?

peking duck eat

We had the sesame pockets for the second course – you put the minced duck meat cooked with chai bo and stuff it into warm pastries.

sesame pockets

Pretty good.

sesame seed filled

The third course is duck soup with vegetables and tofu.

peking duck soup

All three duck dishes comes from the Peking duck – utilized to the fullest, the bone is used to cook the soup.

duck soup

Obligatory dish of veggies – being not a fan of green things (except those you smoke instead of cook). I don’t know what it is, my mom ordered it.


Also, one last dish of Kung Pow pork. I have serious doubts about this. It looks more like sweet and sour pork instead of Kung Pow pork (no dried chillis) but they cook it with chilli oil instead.

kung pow chicken

The Peking Duck costs NZD 80 alone. The entire bill came up to about NZD 170 which is RM 387 – pretty cheap considering we couldn’t even finish it. >.<

Posted 1:56 PM NZ time

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23 thoughts on “Empress Garden Restaurant, Herne Bay, Auckland”

  1. That’s pretty cheap considering you had wine. But what I want to know, what’s with the red light? Does the restaurant double up as a knock shop? ha ha ha.

  2. Darren: Yup, I’m a traditionalist in this sense…Peking Duck should only have the skin for the firs course. πŸ™‚
    shimmers999: I eat a lot but not after a bottle of wine and several pints of the local beer. My family are not big eaters. πŸ™‚
    eiling: Pretty good eh? I like it too. Duck feet is nice if it’s marinated properly and served cold. I don’t like hot duck feet. πŸ™‚
    rocket: Wine is very, very, very x 1000 cheap in NZ when it’s a local wine.
    Haha! I don’t know mate, not very familiar with Auckland, it’s my sis’ place. πŸ™‚

  3. i could never understand how some hispanic people and thats a big area, giant size, in fact) eat chicken feet. and also tripe. like eating rubber bands not much on there. but I enjoy pickeled pigs feet. the worst i ever had was when there was a nail betwwen the toes. no religious conotations. and I did not mean to gross you out. but its like hagis. well, its sheep guts and oatmeal. and the only way you can eat it… is to drink a wee bit. which tuns into alot.. never mind. I like oatmeal. and your pictures are nice. seriously. just talkiing today to a friend about bock choy . brocoli, asparagus, stawberries, rhubarb, spring onions, greens, radishes, good stuff. and later… on new potatoes and, mum tomatoes.. untill we get tired of it. by august tomatoes will be common as rocks.. but thanks

  4. HB, that mince duck dish is so different from other one Peking Duck which is serve all over the world. Was it like with sweet plum sauce like? I did like the bread that came with it never seen or heard of this dish before.

  5. foodcrazee: She’s getting better! Cheers bro! πŸ™‚
    Jerine: Is that in Auckland? She’s supposed to be careful with her diet now, this was before she went for the op. πŸ™‚
    tom: Pickled pig’s feet sounds intriging! I like pickled eggs in fish and chip shops so if it’s anything like that I’ll love it! πŸ™‚
    Erica: Yup, this one isn’t really so authentic. The plum sauce was good and I think the sesame pocket is a bit of an invention – never seen it before either – it’s basically hollow sesame puff pastry buns which you fill with the minced duck. πŸ™‚

  6. Jerine: Oh ya, my sister knows the place – she’s been there. Not bad. πŸ™‚
    ahlost: There is a lot of crappy Chinese food places here. T_T

  7. Then ask your sister is the restaureant is next to a knock shop.
    Anyway, wine is not exactly dirt cheap unless they gave your rubbish. At least 30 bucks a bottle right? See any crayfish?

  8. rocket: It’s about that – 30 to 60, depending on the quality you want. Cheapest I’ve seen is 20, didn’t taste too bad. Had some of the local brewed black beer too, not too shabby either. πŸ™‚
    Haha! I’ll keep an eye out for crayfish tonight.

  9. does nz even have their own cultural food? what happen to your mom? why wasn’t i informed? and why are there so many asians in nz? by the pix it looks like malaysia. kung pow is the best food ever, but i never heard of chili oil. interesting. nice post hb.

  10. WEEN: Kinda, sorta…stuff like pies, fish and chips etc. There are a lot of Asians in NZ and Australia especially in the cities. πŸ™‚

  11. Why are you taking your mom to a big feast a day before the operation?
    Didn’t the doctor said to fast the previous day before the surgery?
    You wanna risk your mom drowning in her own vomit during surgery is it ?

  12. Kiwi beer is not bad, Hanh is alright. Back to wine, $30 bottle in a restaurant is $10 in the shops. The glass bottle cost $2, govt tax is $2, the paper label 50 cents, logistics and warehousing is $1, grape cost 50 cents, shop profit $2. So in essence you are buying a $2 wine.
    Hooked up with any Ah Moy in NZ? Show us pictures liaw?

  13. Curious: Actually we were given the green light to do so. You just can’t eat OR drink 8 hours BEFORE the surgery…anytime before that is okay. πŸ™‚
    It’s a lot different now from back in the old days. πŸ™‚
    rocket: I got a new revelation bro. I found Kiwi wine for less than NZD 10 and Kiwi beer (local) for just over NZD 1 per stubby. Not too shabby!
    No ang mo chick photos la, I’m here for me mom, tonight is the last night, heading out to casino before I fly tomorrow. πŸ™‚
    ciki: Thank God, she is recovering really well now – can even WALK already. She is being prescribed stuff I really want though. πŸ˜‰
    Kidding kidding.
    Okay, half kidding. :p


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