FOOD REVIEW: Steve’s Takeaways

So many times I have come home to discover that my fridge is empty, and I have nothing for dinner. I slam the door, shouting, “Damn you, refrigerator! Why must you betray me time and time again!?” Then I’m slumping, knees to the floor, defeated. However, when my fridge turns its back on me, I know there is always someone I can count on. That man is Steve.

Steve’s Takeaways
191 Dominion Road
Mt Eden
Auckland

24 June 2009

When treating a loved one, finding a place to wine and dine that is both tasty and comfortable can be quite a challenge. You may find that you want all the flavour and brownie points without throwing away $40 and gambling on what could turn out to be a tiny dry piece of eye fillet. If this is case, then replace brownie points with salty oils and I can confidently say I have found the solution.

From the moment you walk into Steve’s Takeaways, owner Steve and his partner will make you feel welcome with their best English-is-not-my-first-language greetings. The place is decorated with a large menu board, the set menu specials painted on the windows, and an ‘A’ grade food hygiene certificate that hangs proudly on the wall like a child’s first handmade father’s day card. Steve and his partner treat this place like their home, and it shows.

While Steve cooks your meal, there are a few tables provided with retro seats so you can wait comfortably. Steve has not only thought of your comfort, but your entertainment, and has placed a decent pile of magazines around for your reading pleasure, covering a wide range of interests. All of the magazines have their publish dates ripped off, to add to the overall quirkiness of the restaurant.

As for music, you can forget the cliché jazzy background tones of more common restaurants. Steve’s ancient theory of “ress is more” proves itself once again, as you find yourself tapping your foot to the soft sounds of sizzling woks and battered bits bubbling in hot oil.

The set menu consists of a vast range of European, Chinese, and Indonesian meals, all mastered by head-chef Steve. Finding myself absolutely spoiled for choice, I opted for the half dozen chicken nuggets ($3.60). My dining partner went for the half dozen chicken nuggets ($3.60). We had to wait five minutes for our food, yet that didn’t bother us, as Steve put on quite a spectacle as he cooked our dinner right in front of us behind the counter.

Despite the delightful atmosphere of Steve’s restaurant, my dining partner and I decided to take our food home and eat it there. Upon hearing that we wanted our food takeaway, Steve happily presented our dinners in simple yet practical paper bags. To make sure our food didn’t fall through these bags, Steve placed these paper bags inside thicker paper bags, which goes to show that this man really knows his trade.

My partner found her nuggets to be salted and cooked to perfection, while I found my nuggets to be crispy morsels of pleasure. If there was one fault we could find, it was simply that despite tasting so divine and heavenly, they still followed the laws of this world, and therefore came to a quick and unwanted end.

Amongst the hip and not-so-hip cafes of Dominion Road exists paradise. Steve has built us a temple of not only bliss, but of convenience, so don’t feel like you have to take your lover out to a fancy restaurant where you practically throw fifty dollar notes at them like they’re some dirty pole-dancer. Take them to Steve’s, where Steve will prepare your dinner for you, and even take care of the awkward small-talk. He might even provide the pole-dancing.

You might read this review and think it’s biased. Perhaps you will think Steve even paid me to write this review. Steve did pay me, but he didn’t pay me with money. He paid me with excellent food. Let him pay you, too.

By Dion Gilchrist.

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