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DST-NORTHCOTEBUNS-9571DST-NORTHCOTEBUNS-9574[Photographs: David Straight]

Sometimes, the Jiale Bun Shop is so busy there isn’t time to clear the tables. The door opens and closes constantly, and there is almost always a couple of people in front of you ordering. It is shady, and it has a steamy smell. Sometimes, there is intense discussion in Chinese.

For good reason. The buns are pillowy yet strong, with simple fillings – the pork and vegetable is inspired. They are made fresh on site and they come in a bamboo basket; you tear them apart with your hands and they cost between $1.30 and $1.50. We discovered the place wandering around the wonder that is the Northcote Town Centre, a 1950s town centre mall turned Chinese with restaurants to rival Dominion Road: it was hot, and the shop was full; we couldn’t resist.

There are other things on the simple menu, too: the beef noodle soup is filling and balanced – salty beef, firm noodles and pickled greens on top ($8); the wonton soup ($7.50) is credible, with delicate house-made wontons. Comfort food of the highest order. SFG

HOURS 8am to 7.30pm, seven days.

ADDRESS 33 Pearn Place, Northcote, ph 419-5688.

IMPORTANT DETAILS No table service – order at the counter.


  1. Samantha Beneke wrote:

    My husband and I went there on Sunday for what we thought would be a quick lunch expedition. It was PACKED.

    Their mouth watering pork and kimchi buns were already sold out by midday, so we had to settle for simply pork buns (still amazing tough).

    We definitely consider ourselves regulars and couldn’t imagine eating eating buns anywhere else in Auckland, they’re just that good and affordable.

    Monday, November 17, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink
  2. SFG wrote:

    Thanks Samantha – it’s fab isn’t it?

    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 4:43 pm | Permalink
  3. Andrew wrote:

    Special mention has to go to the xiao long bao – they’ve become the office staple for a dumpling run, even though that means going over to the Short from the City.

    Also, there’s a Japanese food import shop across the way that is well worth a visit too – a really sweet lady owner who lets you sample the wares!

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 6:00 pm | Permalink
  4. SFG wrote:

    Agreed. I admire your commitment.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Permalink
  5. SFG wrote:

    Very sad to report Jiale seems to have changed hands, and while it’s good, it’s not quite as good. Can anyone corroborate this? Menu is different. Sigh.

    Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

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