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[Photographs: David Straight]

Queen Chef isn’t much more than a kitchen down the back of a Korean supermarket in the Wairau Valley, which is quickly revealing itself to be one of the great unexplored places to eat in Auckland. You’ll find it up a long driveway, wedged between big box retail selling curtains and lighting and outdoor furniture. Yes.

It is a singular treat, cheerful and brightly lit. Two Korean ladies make their own kim chi – get the radish as well as the cabbage – which they let you try while you work out what you want. They also make big, chewy steamed pork buns ($5) and flat pancakey sort of things but best of all, each morning they cook up a pot of soup with beef spare ribs and kim chi ($10 a bowl). It is ready by about 12 – spicy and warming, home-style fare. There are a couple of plastic stools at the counter if you’d like to eat in, aisles of instant noodles and condiments at your back.  They seem entirely delighted – if surprised – you’re there, and this is possibly our favourite thing about it. SFG

HOURS Open seven days from 11am.

ADDRESS Unit 10, 20 Link Drive, Wairau Valley, ph 444-8100.

IMPORTANT DETAILS Loads of parking outside. 


  1. Sarah wrote:

    Thank you for the tip! Will check it out right away :)

    Friday, May 31, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink
  2. Peter wrote:

    Went there today – a hidden gem! The ladies were very friendly and the food is excellent! The cabbage kimchi is actually the best I’ve had ever since I came to New Zealand quite a few years ago.
    Thanks for the heads up! Love your blog!

    Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink
  3. Ross Allen wrote:

    Yum I love pork buns!! Korean Food is so tasty. Thanks for sharing this hidden gem. I look forward to visiting them next time I’m in the neighborhood.

    Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink
  4. Nick wrote:

    Went there for lunch today and it was great! I mentioned I had found them through this blog and they were quite thrilled. Delicious food and lovely hosts.

    Saturday, June 8, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink
  5. SFG wrote:

    Great! Aren’t they lovely? Thanks for letting me know.

    Saturday, June 8, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink
  6. Nick wrote:

    Oh yes and the pancakes are really delicious! Definitely give them a try.

    Saturday, June 8, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink
  7. Alex wrote:

    There were so many new types of food here I’ve never tried before,best Korean food I’ve had definitely heading back, great service too!

    Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink
  8. Katie wrote:

    Strictly my opinion, but some of the Korean joints on metro’s 100 cheap eats do not fully represent the full authentic flavours (especially the ones in town). I was at Albany last week, and was amazed at REAL Korean food. Try them too guys, whatever you order, you’ll get to try a range of side dishes you can’t get in town. It was on Triton Ave, next to Citta’s outlet store. Forgot their name unfortunately..! Would LOVE to see you guys review it!

    Friday, July 12, 2013 at 1:17 am | Permalink
  9. Katie wrote:

    Minor correction, Triton Drive it was. Go for it!

    Friday, July 12, 2013 at 1:19 am | Permalink
  10. SFG wrote:

    Brilliant Katie, thank you so much for this, will be making a beeline for this next week!

    Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:58 am | Permalink
  11. Rochelle wrote:

    Hey there. Went there today & got their cold beef glass noodle salad & chilli squid, having both for dinner tonight, can’t wait my mouth is watering. Going back for sure for the beef rib soup as they didn’t have any today. Thanks for the great tip!!

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Permalink
  12. SFG wrote:

    Wonderful to hear Rochelle – our pleasure.

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Permalink
  13. Eric wrote:

    One of the best value eats on the north shore. Give it a try you won’t be disappointed.

    Very nice ladies.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

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