Flavour is key at Tae Hwa Ru
Being a local, I had driven past Tae Hwa Ru restaurant on Botany Road countless times but had never stopped to try it. Until the other night. And man, am I mad that I didn't try it earlier. My Mum & I were warmly greeted by the owner and he took the time to explain the Korean menu and pointed out which were the most popular dishes. After some discussion, we chose one of the set menus on offer, which includes 3 dishes for $30. First came the mung bean pancake. I have had my fair share of Korean pancakes in the past but it was my Mum's first time trying one, so I was very relieved at first bite that it was definitely a good one. Crispy on the outside, but not oily or soggy in the slightest, this pancake was the perfect appetiser to our meal. Next came the sweet & sour pork. I was really excited to have this dish, as I hadn't had it in a really long time and when it's done right, it's amazing. Well let me tell you: Tae Hwa Ru really knows what they are doing. The pork is super crispy, with the batter being very thin unlike others I have had. The sauce compliments it well, and is not too sweet as the chef uses fresh lemon.
Lastly, we had the teriyaki chicken with rice. This dish doesn't look like your typical chicken teriyaki and it doesn't taste like it either: it's way better! I don't know exactly how they cook the chicken but it had this wonderful smokiness to it that proved addictive as although we were already quite full, we couldn't stop from cleaning the whole plate.
We were really blown away with the flavours and quality of each dish, which all came out without too much of a wait after ordering. When we dined, it was pretty quiet there but the warm hospitality made us feel like we were at a friends place for dinner. Tae Hwa Ru is surely a gem in the Botany area. I can't wait to go back and try the dumplings!
Tae Hwa Ru: 301 Botany Road, Botany Downs, Auckland.