I had no idea how many Chinese people immigrated to New Zealand until I moved from my flat in the east of Auckland to the north side. In fact, over 2/3rd’s of Chinese New Zealanders live in Auckland! Unbeknownst to me, the best Chinese food in Auckland is made in the north part of the city. Fortunately, having three Chinese-American friends allowed me to find the best Asian cuisine that Auckland had to offer and I went to over four different restaurants filling my stomach and soul with dumplings! Growing up in the Netherlands, I have never experienced authentic Chinese cuisine. I think the closest I’ve ever been to it was when I was studying abroad in Florence and my good friend Jason suggested we try a place that all the tourists flocked to. I learned then that the best places won’t allow you to order in English, and may not look the most aesthetically pleasing, but will certainly leave you happy, coming back, and wanting more to eat. My friends Zach and Kevin invited me to “Ace Dumpling” and did all the ordering for me. I didn’t even look at the menu, the boys ordered what they knew would be the best (although I reckon another aspect of that is that I wouldn’t have been able to read the menu anyways). It was not a challenge to finish the 25 dumplings we ordered and shared, and I felt accomplished when the boys were full and I was still hungry. We tried many varieties involving pork, beef, and one of my favorites was with apple; I recall fried, delicious, fluffy and comforting sensations.
I was blessed to visit ace dumpling on several occasions and I may go back to New Zealand just to eat there again. I am so fond of this restaurant I recommended it to Aucklanders I met on the South Island a couple of weeks later!