Ada and Dickson's Auckland Restaurant Recommendations

So I've been back in Auckland for a week and am heading off to Australia tomorrow. I still haven't caught up on my NYC and Tokyo food blogs but I'll get there. Anyway, one prerequisite of a visit to Auckland always includes a massage at City Chinese Health Centre Clinic. It's located at 1A/30 Upper Queen Street, in the gully when you pass over Karangahape Road (or K Road as it is known to locals). Ada and Dickson are master masseuses that hail from Hong Kong, although they've been living in Auckland for over 20 years. And together they have managed to ruin any other massage I've ever had anywhere ever again since. Whenever I get a massage anywhere else I just lie there and start to miss them. They have a knowledge of pressure points that is unbelievable and while you may find yourself writhing in pain and even letting out small yelps while they go to work on your mouse arm and tight lower back, when you finally emerge from their functional little massage room you may find that you are slightly incomprehensible and dribbling. This may come as quite a surprise to you as the massage is often not at all relaxing in the way one might expect an ordinary massage. This is not only because Ada and Dickson know exactly where you hurt the most but also because Ada, especially tends to chat to you throughout the massage. She'll poke you where it hurts and laugh and say "Chinese massage not relaxing, like Chinese torture aye?" in her uniquely Hong Kong New Zealand accent. She'll taunt your tight little muscles and explain to you that your shoes are all wrong, or that you've got the wrong chair at work. She may also share her restaurant recommendations with you, as she did with me today. As she has recently had an operation and is not working, I got a massage from Dickson, meanwhile Ada pulled up a chair and we compared restaurant notes in between me letting out small yelps of pain.

For dim sim, Ada recommends Sunshine Restaurant in the city, near Grand Harbour which she believes is not as nice, has bad service and poor seating arrangements.

She also recommends Sichuan in Remuera

Cinta, Malaysian restaurant in Dominion Road also gets the Ada Lee seal of approval

Finally Grandma's House on Dominion Road at around 585 gets her approval although I couldn't find it on the web.

And at Ada and Dickson's bargain price of 55 NZD for one hour massage, you'll easily find money left over in your wallet for a meal.

I did just that today after I left them sore and dribbling. About three shop fronts up from their shop is a hand made dumpling shop run solely by a rather abrupt Chinese lady. Tianjian Dumplings, Northern Chinese dumplings, Ada said with a slight air of disdain. Ada warned me that they were a little on the salty side but since I am a salt freak they were fine to me. The shop is filled with formica tables with a few taken up with empty dumpling trays and one covered in flour with a rolling pin. Most of the varieties had sold out already, always a good sign, so I ordered the pork, shrimp and egg, 20 for $10 NZD. I couldn't finish them. I'm a little under equipped at the moment and don't have a camera to show you photos to attest to their deliciousness. But they were delicious.

So my recommendation for Auckland....go see Ada and then use the change to eat some home made dumplings.


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