Petone (Māori: Pito-one) is a major suburb of the city of Lower Hutt in New Zealand. It is located at the southern end of the narrow triangular plain of the Hutt River, on the northern shore of Wellington Harbour. The name, from the Māori Pito-one, means "end of the sand beach". - Wikipedia
Mr Ji's Kitchen like all restaurants and cafes in Petone is situated along Jackson Street.
So on one Saturday afternoon late last year, Le General and I set off to taste-test this new found shop for lunch.
It took us two drive up and down Jackson Street to locate this "Kitchen", it is right up (if you are coming from town) the other end of Jackson, the shop front is not conspicuous; in some way situated at 285 Jackson have some advantage for diners, in the week-end the lower end of Jackson Street is painful to get a parking space!
We were shown to our table in the compact (small) dinning room, I notice a laminated newspaper clipping on one of the wall...
Burton by the way is a very well known restaurant reviewer for the Wellington Dominion-Post newspaper. Kiwis think he is like a food-review-demi-god, his reviews actually can MAKE or BREAK a restaurant bussiness!
Personally, I take his reviews on Chinese restaurants with a grain of salt; I rather trust my Asian taste buds ;)
On that fateful afternoon, I ordered Beef Brisket Noodle Soup and L.B. went for Shredded Pork with Garlic Sauce on rice.
Wow! They were really good!
I love beef brisket, Mr Ji's managed to made the soup clear and not oily; the herbs was subtle, not over powering. Best I ever tasted!
Le Gen's shredded pork, as it turn out; was David Burton's favorite!
While at the restaurant, we discovered Mr Ji's also serve Peking Duck!
I am a real sucker for Peking Duck, those that we tried in Wellington were so-so and we decided that we will come with our friends to savor this famous duck dish from Beijing that has been prepared since the imperial era, and is now considered a national dish of China!
Like all Peking Duck dish, you can have it in either one or three course.
At Mr Ji's, single course cost $52.80 NZ; $59.80 and $68.00 for two or three course.
I was not disappointed, this is the BEST Peking Duck I tasted in Wellington! Le Gen and our friends agreed!
For your third course, the remaining duck bones are cooked as a mild favour soup with tofu.
It was during this visit that I got to know Yun Ji, Mr. Ji's daughter.
Yun run the shop front in the evening, we find her service efficient and with a welcoming smile :)
It was during this visit that I express to Yun that I intent to blog about the dishes, she told me that they will be on holiday in Malaysia till early February; thus you only see my posting now.
Cut to the chase, here are the other dishes that we had tried and highly recommended by me, however; your taste might be different ;)
Boneless sweet and sour fish, another dish Kiwis will love...
That was then, it is now 2013, February 8...
Friday night, Chinese New Year Eve... three of us were at our favorite "Kitchen" for our CNY reunion dinner.
The little restaurant was packed...
We welcome Yun back from her long R&D and she show us the slate board with "special" for the night...
Out of the six specials, only five are still available, going from the top... Stewed pig trotter with black bean paste, Fatty 3 layered pork with preserved vegetable; Beef tendon done two way and Good Luck, Good Wealth Italy Chicken!
We decided on the following:
1- Hot and Sour Soup, Ming's favorite.
2- Stewed pig trotter which is like an appetiser.
3- 3 layered pork with preserved vege.
4- Whole blue cod, steamed.
5- Gan Bian Si Ji Dou (Dry fried four season bean)
The classical Hot and Sour Soup, guaranteed to warm you up! Mr Ji's version is not overly spicy to suite local taste buds.
Traditional Hakka recipe for steamed mui choy (preserved mustard greens) with 3-layer pork slices.
Mr Ji's come with dumplings which you sandwiched the fatty pork and vege. Very delicious, but probably not for the health fanatics ;)
When my beloved father was in Wellington with mum, they tasted the New Zealand steamed BLUE COD; my dad said this was the best fish he ever ate! I wish they could have tasted this one, the fresh blue cod is steamed to perfection and literally swimming in a pool of tasty sauce! The juice go well with our rice :)
Gan Bian Si Ji Dou (Dry fried four season bean), 干煸四季豆; our favorite vegetable dish! The dish may look simple but there are key steps to getting that "wrinkled" crunchy look on the beans in this dish!
Phew! That's that... this has been a LONG review and all the writing make me HUNGRY! Excuse me while I go get something to chew :)
Mr Ji's Kitchen
285, Jackson Street
04 568 9308
Hours: Mon – Sat 11am – 2:30pm / 5pm – 10pm
Sun 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Parking: Free Off-Street