#aucklandeats: A Romantic Korean Fusion Dinner Date

The Candy Shop | 2/8 Osborne Street, Newmarket, Auckland 1023

If you’re on a romantic dinner date with your loved one, you’ll want to find somewhere classy and posh. As an authentic-Korean-cuisine lover, it’s a little difficult to find a restaurant that I love where it’s also pretty. That’s when we turn to fusion food, right? One of the most famous Korean fusion restaurants I know is The Candy Shop in Newmarket. The place sits in between beautiful brick walls on Osborne Lane, down in an alleyway with fairy lights 🧚‍♀️ On a late evening during or after sunset, just the walk down there is a dreamy date!

Viva NZ

When you enter the restaurant, you’ll be greeted with a bar table for coffee, drinks or even solo dining. This place is not only known for its dinner menu, but also as a cafe with delicious brunch menus and top-notch coffee ☕️ If you’re at your weekend stroll around at Newmarket to shop some K-Beauty (😉), I recommend you check this place out for a coffee break. On my most recent visit, I went with a very-Kiwi friend and decided to match his palette rather than try anything too K-fusion. So here are some photos I borrowed off from The Candy Shop’s super aesthetic IG account

Instagram | @thecandyshopnz

Out of their Korean fusion dishes like the Dolsot Bibimbap and the Gochujang Pork Belly, my favourite would have to be the Gochujang Spicy Fried Chicken. With the finger-lickin' balance of sweet and chilli, KFCs (Korean Fried Chicken) can never go wrong. I’m always amazed how Koreans make their fried chicken so crispy, even when they’re covered in sauce. If you’re already a Korean chicken lover and just another yangnyeom chicken won’t get you as excited, the chewy rice cakes will give you an interesting texture that you cannot stop having. In Korea, from the many types of Tteokbokkis, my childhood top pick was Gireum Tteokbokki made with chilli oil. The rice cakes that come with the Gochujang Spicy Fried Chicken kinda reminds me of that - so that’s a two-dish-in-one! They were so good I even gave up the last chicken piece to my friend to have the last rice cake 🤤 

Instagram | @thecandyshopnz

Mahn-doo is a Korean word for “dumplings,” and they differ from the usual Chinese dumplings. The Korean versions are more stuffed with filings and the dumpling skin is a lot thinner, so that you can get more of the flavour inside. You do get several shapes in Korean dumplings, but what you find in The Candy Shop Mahn-doo soup is the classic round fold. You can find Mahn-doo on their lunch and weekend menu, a beef dumpling soup in a clean beef bone broth that’ll warm you right up. I have no idea why The Candy Shop doesn’t offer a bowl of rice on the side with this, cause no doubt it’ll go perfect with the soup! With a few balls of mahn-doo, you also get slices of beef shortribs and vermicelli noodles. From this array of ingredients, I could see that they mixed up the best of two worlds, that is mahn-doo guk and seolleongtang - the winter go-to dishes for all Koreans. 

For those who are still curious about what I had on my most recent not-so-Korean trip to The Candy Shop, I got two mains and a side. The Crispy Eggplant had a satisfyingly crunchy batter, making it taste somewhat similar to crunchy aubergine tempura. The sweet soy garlic glaze was light yet flavourful, having me make sure that every bit of my aubergine was dipped in the sauce. The Market Fish Ceviche totally changed my mind about raw fish! Tzatziki gazpacho is a cucumber based herb yoghurt sauce that’s amazingly refreshing, a perfect match to the fish. The Lamb Ribs was my fav out of the three with the juuuicy meat and the perfect sweet & salty balsamic glaze. The best part about it was that they paired it with the coconut yoghurt; we could not stop piling that on each rib. Whenever you get ribs, it’s almost a given that the sight won’t be pretty 🙄 I’m not too sure if I’ll tell you to have this on your first date, but at “a” date, DEFINITELY. Check out their full menu here & their opening hours below.

 

MON 7AM - 4PM
TUE - FRI 7AM - 9PM
SAT 8AM - 9PM
SUN 8AM - 5PM

 

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