Xtreme Restaurant (Fu Chun Jiang), Botany, Auckland

Fu Chun Jiang (Abundant Spring River) is a new Chinese restaurant that has opened in part of the reopened Xtreme entertainment complex. Its rather absurd English name of Xtreme Restaurant appears to play homage to this and bears no resemblance to its lyrical Chinese name which has a more poetic imagery. It is more common than you’d think for Chinese restaurants to have this split naming personality.

The restaurant has barely gotten its feet on the ground and is already bustling. Word gets around fast in Auckland where eating out is a competitive sport. On the Friday night we showed up without a booking (not a good idea), the place was struggling to feed a full house.

I love the accoutrements of a just-opened restaurant; everything is so shiny and new, – chairs and menus, chip-free crockery and chopsticks so new you can still feel the ever so slight roughness of the bamboo. The restaurant has a double height ceiling, making the space feel cavernous.

We started with a tray of xiao long bao (steamed soup dumplings, $7.80). These were definitely soupy and one of the better examples in Auckland, though a little too gluggy for my tastes.

The fried prawns ($32.70) are coated in a salty, savoury salted egg batter is really moreish. This was written as fried fish on the menu, so we were somewhat confused when this arrived at the table, it turned out to be a mistaken translation. At this stage, we were getting a bit concerned that our order of rice had not made an appearance. Lil Bro made a joke that they probably ran out of rice (unheard of at a Chinese eatery). He was right though, the rice showed up at the end of the meal, but it was glorious, fluffy and fresh, and came with plenty of apologies from the waitress.

The intriguing named Shepherd’s purse braised tofu ($14.80) was delicious chunks of soft tofu cooked with shredded spinach, chives and wood-ear fungus.

The sautéed pork shreds with sweet bean sauce ($18.80) were nicely balanced; the fried pork shreds were covered with caramelised sauce, savoury and sweet with a hint of sourness.

The sautéed Chinese vegetables ($14.80) change with the season, this time it was choy sum.

Fu Chun Jiang clearly keeps to a high standard even when struggling to keep pace with the diners. Booking is a good idea here, and I think this place will give a good run to Tasty Zone as our family’s favoured Chinese restaurant.

Xtreme Restaurant (Fu Chun Jiang)
500 Ti Rakau Drive, Botany, Auckland
Ph: 09 – 274 9457

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