I've had a chance to visit a few more lunch offerings around downtown Auckland. Here's how they stack up...
Sunshine continues to excel. Really really good stuff. I have no words.
Grand Harbour was good as expected but I didn't like it quite as much as Sunshine. That may be because we only had two people at Grand Harbour, or maybe our luck with the carts was down that day.
BBQ King is an interesting place off mid-Queen-St. Highly recommended by my friend Stephen, the wonton soup I had was pretty good but it was a little crowded and chaotic. Not that that's a bad thing really.
Eat Asian is a really low-rent Asian food court below the Strand Arcade. Okay but nothing really to recommend it.
I've revisited Food Alley a few times and I'm really enjoying it. Hot stone bibimbap, mmm.
The food court in the downtown shopping centre looks good on the surface but every time I go there I try to get beef brisket and they've run out. So I'm not impressed.
Janet and I went to the food court in Atrium on Eliot today, up behind the old Civic Theatre. WOW. I think it wins the battle of the food courts, by a gallop. There's a wide range of Asian places --- Malaysian, Thai, Indonesian, sushi, Chinese, Indian --- but there's also a dim sum outlet (attached to the full-service dim sum restaurant next door), and non-Asian options such as Turkish, a roast-meal place, and a hot dog stand. There's also Uncle Jack's, a Taiwanese drink-and-snack bar, the sort that offers "Mango Slush with Pearls and Pudding" (recommended!) and "Deep Fried Taiwanese Pork Chop" (unsure). This food court has spectacular variety, immaculate presentation, and reasonable prices. Highly recommended.
I still haven't gotten used to the ultrahip Chinese kids behind the counters rattling away in Mandarin and then speaking to me with a broad Kiwi accent. But I like it.
I need to keep exploring the food courts, and there are also a number of independent restaurants to try --- including our old yumcha haunt Empress Garden, and dim sum at the Dragon restaurant at the Atrium. Mmmm mmm. It's a good thing I walk to work.