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Photographs: David Straight

You’ll recognise the menu. Last year, the owners of New Flavour – that of the rustic dumplings and the terrible service – sold the legendary restaurant to new owners and frankly, it’s never been the same since. Then word came by email from a kind reader. Mr Zhou, the former owner of New Flavour, had opened in New Lynn.

Naturally, we hustled out for lunch and so we can announce: Mr Zhou’s Dumplings is brilliant. It occupies a former takeaway joint, all plywood and formica and big windows, set off by handmade wooden signs. An art director couldn’t have done it better. Best of all, there’s an open kitchen, where you can see the chefs working the dough and cooking your dumplings. You order and pay at the counter – somehow it’s friendlier than it used to be.

The menu is comfortingly, wonderfully the same, only for some reason the food tastes better this time around – fresher somehow. Dumplings, cold dishes, a few mains; everything comes in takeout containers, which we quite like. We ate the pork and fennel dumplings – handmade, a little lumpy and bright with fennel ($10 for 20) and we slathered them with chilli. And we ate the cucumber salad ($8), which they half-chop, half-smash – you can hear them out the back chopping away and you know there is goodness on the way – and then scatter with chilli and sesame oil. Remember the shredded potato salad ($8)? That’s here too and it is brilliant. My. SFG

HOURS Monday to Saturday, 11am to 10pm; Sunday, 4pm to 10pm.

ADDRESS 3130 Great North Road, New Lynn, ph 827-8800

IMPORTANT DETAILS Word has it Mr Zhou isn’t as busy as he expected to be. So go now. Please?


  1. Anne wrote:

    I was delighted to hear that the New Flavour family had moved to New Lynn, as I’d moved from the ‘inner west’ area not far from Balmoral, to the far flung outer west ‘burbs. Driving past one night a week or so back, I suggested to my partner that we pick up takeaways from Mr Zhou. The food, in New Flavour style, was fresh and tasty. The dumplings, as usual, memorable. The caveat, is that we had to wait half an hour or more, and we were the only ones in there, at the time. It’s definitely worth the wait, but only if you know it’s going to take a while, and not if you have a ‘getting hungrier by the minute’ person checking the time every 5 minutes. I’ll be back for more Mr Zhou, but will at least allow an hour or more for the experience. Oh and the chef smiled at me, kinda sorta, so it did seem friendlier.

    Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink
  2. SFG wrote:

    Golly! That is a long time to wait. Hasn’t been our experience. Good things take time I suppose?

    Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Permalink
  3. Donna wrote:

    I have prayed for dumplings out west for a long time; the gods listened and I got Mr Zhou’s…… Now you have exposed this gem and it will be full of hipsters in no time!

    Friday, February 14, 2014 at 6:54 pm | Permalink
  4. You’re killing me yummm

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Permalink
  5. PJ wrote:

    We too had a long wait last time we went (previous visits were fine). I’m wondering if business is so slow that they are letting things cool during the really slow patches? It was certainly quite when we last visited. Shame as it’s excellent food – and great value! Will start being more emphatic about recommending them. Don’t want to lose them!

    Friday, February 21, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Permalink
  6. SFG wrote:

    Yes, we’d heard that though we haven’t had that issue. Apparently they’ve been very busy indeed since the review went up!

    Friday, February 21, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink
  7. Mr B wrote:

    Tried it today…so good. And we just live down the road. 10 minute walk. Will definitely be back again…and again.

    Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink
  8. Gaysorn Thavat wrote:

    Having heard about Mr Zhous and being a fan of New Flavour I wanted to try it but when I arrived I was told there was a 40 minute wait, but I was starving. So instead, I wandered up to Chinese Noodles about two doors up and discovered a bit of a gem. It was full of Chinese punters so I followed my gut feeling (no pun intended) We got a table straight away and were eating juicy delicious dumplings in no time. The menu is extensive and even though it says noodles on the sign they have an extensive dumpling list. And what dumplings! It may not be as ‘cool’ as Mr Zhous but it is definitely the real thing and just as tasty but without the wait.

    Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 8:42 pm | Permalink
  9. SFG wrote:

    Thanks Gaysorn. We actually went there last year but weren’t wowed so we haven’t put it up – must go and have a look. New Lynn is definitely turning into a great place to eat.

    Monday, March 24, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Permalink
  10. Rose wrote:

    More than excited about this. Is it BYO by the way? Can’t seem to find this out. God forbid I would need to pick up a phone.

    Monday, April 7, 2014 at 8:29 pm | Permalink
  11. SFG wrote:

    Oh very good to hear – we were pretty excited too! Definitely not BYO. We tried to take a couple of beers in as we used to at New Flavour and they (very nicely) told us we couldn’t.

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 9:12 am | Permalink
  12. Sam F wrote:

    I’d recommend caution with Chinese Noodles up the road – more or less ok for standard Northern Chinese food but they’ve been sporting a big D rating for a while now…

    Friday, April 25, 2014 at 4:51 pm | Permalink
  13. Amy wrote:

    Breaking news! We were mortified when we saw Mr Zhou’s covered in newspaper (we live about 500m up the road), but a sign on the window informed us it is undergoing renovations to transform it from a takeaway into a restaurant. Should help with the wait times!

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink
  14. SFG wrote:

    Thanks for the update Amy – let us know when they reopen!

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 9:24 am | Permalink
  15. Varsha wrote:

    I know… I saw the same! After reading up on all the good things about the place I tried calling them and no one picked so went by the place and saw it all covered up in newspaper..

    Hope they reopen soon!! Sick of driving all the way to Dominion for some decent dumplings..

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Permalink
  16. Sophiee wrote:



    Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Permalink
  17. Varsha wrote:

    I think it is open…
    I was driving past this shop the other day and they took off all those newspapers it was covered with.

    Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 6:38 pm | Permalink
  18. Zhou wrote:

    shop will re-open next Tuesday 28th October!
    see you guys soon :D

    Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 12:46 am | Permalink
  19. SFG wrote:

    Fabulous news!

    Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

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