Our fair city has come a long way in recent years. On any given night of the week, in almost any suburb, you can follow your nose and scout out whatever cuisine your heart (and more importantly, your stomach) desires.
From Korean barbecue to Laotian food, there's something to appease to even the pickiest palate, and while we're certainly inundated with choice, there's something a little bit special about a fresh pan-Asian eatery arriving on your front doorstep. Enter, Hot Hot.
As its namesake might suggest, this tasty new offering is the hottest thing to hit the city since the steamed bun itself. Boasting a colourful interior – comic-inspired murals span wall-to-wall – the fit-out is as lively as the deliciously vibrant Vietnamese menu on offer.
While Hot Hot currently caters to the dinner crowd, providing a steady line-up of takeaway and eat-in options we know and love, it won't be long before a steady lunch offering is up and running, too. During our visit we sample the most-visual delights – from fried tofu in tamarind sauce, dressed with shallots and topped with crispy, spun noodles, to the Hot Hot Wok Fried roll noodle, served with sticky pork belly and crisp green veges. The menu here is designed to share, portions are plentiful and above all else, satisfying – right down to the very last chilli-laden bite.
Vietnamese cuisine wows with colour, something Hot Hot takes great pride in. With each technicolour bite, you'll be transported to the streets of Hanoi or your favourite food market in Hoi An. Pops of coriander and fresh red chilli delight the senses, while the menu endeavours to go a step further, recreating the classics with flair.
It's little wonder why this family-owned and operated new eatery is ticking every box and delighting our tastebuds – Panawat Chotamungsa (referred to simply as Erk) is the head chef behind offerings many Aucklanders will already be well-across, and fond of, namely Mt Eden's Kiss Kiss, Happy Boy and Mt Albert's Chinoiserie.
Flaky parcels of hot roti or Matabah envelope flavoursome chicken curry while the crowd-pleasers are not overlooked, with dishes like the Hot Hot Pad Thai, Signature Bahn Mi and Pulled Pork Hot Bun delivering on every mouthful.
While the options are plentiful and Aucklanders certainly aren't going without, Hot Hot provides a welcome pop of colour to Sandringham's thriving culinary landscape.
For locals, this is a walking-distance dining destination that's right up there with the city's long-lauded Asian-fusion favourites. And for those considering trying something new, venturing out of the city and into the suburbs – consider Hot Hot the answer.
Hot Hot Asian Eatery,
65 Sandringham Road,
09 846 4842
7 days, 5pm – late.