#aucklandeats: One-of-a-Kind Noodle Bar you need to (Ai)Go to!

AIGO Noodle Bar | 168 Ponsonby Road, Auckland 1011

INSTAGRAM | AIGO_AKL

The moment I stumbled across their Instagram account and saw their pictures, I just knew I HAD to go to this new spot and I have never been so desperate to try out a new food place. David Lee, which you may also know as the founder of The Candy Shop, Gochu, Poni, Good Dog Bad Dog among many others, is Aigo Noodle Bar in Ponsonby. Aigo is a fusion of Korean and European flavours. Their food concept is innovative and can have you thinking “How the hell did they think of this?.” Once you try their fusion dishes, it will blow your mind! They splash some of our favourite European dishes with a Korean touch and cook up dishes that can only be found here.

INSTAGRAM | AIGO_AKL

The moment you walk into the restaurant you can feel a sense of cosiness. The interior has slightly retro vibes with its worn-out chairs, booth seatings and letterboard hanging right above its open kitchen. It gives off a cosy, vibey and aesthetic atmosphere.

LARISSA TSUI

My friends and I first started off with their small dishes - crispy rice with spicy tuna tartare, steak tartare in tofu pocket, and soondae (순대), a type of blood sausage in Korea. The crispy rice with spicy tuna tartare was just a 🤌 combination. The deep-fried rice cube topped with fresh tuna and flying fish roe accompanied by a creamy wasabi sauce made me feel like I was eating a bite of a 5-star poke bowl. My friend ordered the steak tartare but as I was so immersed in my own tuna tartare, I sadly missed out on getting a bite. But the gasp with widened eyes she made as soon as she took a bite of it needs no further explanation. The soondae, a popular Korean street food, was another eye-widener! Aigo’s soondae was wrapped in a deep-fried layer which added a crispy element to the dish. It was topped with ssamjang (쌈장), a Korean sauce commonly used with Korean grilled meat. This added a sweet, salty and slightly spicy flavour to the soondae. And if that wasn’t enough, it was topped with caviar too! Who would have thought about combining this staple Korean street food together with luxurious caviar? The crispiness of the outside and soft interior, plus the extra touch of caviar made the bite of soondae so deliciously sophisticated 🤤

INSTAGRAM | AIGO_AKL

The moment I saw their Instagram pictures of replacing pasta with traditional Korean staples like hand-pulled noodles and rice cake, I was absolutely enchanted. So of course, I had to try these dishes! We ordered the Cacio e Pepe Tteokbokki, Scampi Prawn Meatball hand pulled noodles and a more traditional Bibim Naengmyeon (비빔냉면), mixed cold noodles to share. To start, the rice cake was cooked to the perfect chewy texture while the Cacio e Pepe sauce was addictingly cheesy and there were even drizzles of truffle sauce on top. It made me feel like I was eating the most expensive rice cake dish on the planet. Now, I must mention the bibim naengmyeon. Although Aigo is known for its fusion flavours, I think I’d have to say that this more traditional dish was actually my favourite especially with the charred pork galbi (갈비) skewer. The pork spare rib was so tender, juicy and had such a flavourful smokiness to it. Hands down, probably the best skewer I’ve had in Auckland. And my friends and I were even fighting for pieces of it!

LARISSA TSUI

They have a selection of cocktails too along with the of-course-cannot-be-left-out soju found at many Korean restaurants. I think this spot makes a place for any occasion - whether it be a casual dinner with friends or a date spot with its elevated but cosy vibes! I would say their portions are on the smaller side though but the flavour and uniqueness definitely made up for it! And I’ll definetely go back to try more of their menu! Just remember to book in advance to prevent devastation because they are ALWAYS busy 😉

 

MON

Closed

TUES 

Closed

WED-SUN

 12PM - 10PM

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