ADDRESS:   365 Dominion Rd, Mt Eden
MAINS:   $15 – $38
CONTACT:   09 214 8501
SCORE:   16.5 / 20

A beautiful collision of the fast and furious, with fun, feisty Sichuan-influenced food awaits. Mr Hao touches many bases: it’s casual, family friendly and has a modern twist. There are cheap- as-chips dishes (succulent, flavour-filled meat and fish skewers; platters of spicy chicken wings). And the less- challenging Dandan noodles. But then the restaurant serves up stuff from another planet altogether, in the form of spicy pork dumplings or the Mala seafood hotpot. There’s a top drinks list too. Co-owners Paul Wong (chef) and Julian Diprose (watch him work wonders on the floor) admirably meld their skills to create a place brimming with welcome and flavour-filled food. Perhaps it’s to do with the fact that born-and-bred-New Zealander Wong’s CV includes long stints owning and operating restaurants in Shanghai.

IN BRIEF: Eclectic décor, fun atmosphere, excellent food