- Tues – Sun 12 noon – late
- Payment Types: EFTPOS, Visa, MasterCard, Diners
- Price Range: Moderate, $15 - $25
- Alcohol: Beer, Wine, Spirits, Cocktails
- BYO/Corkage: No BYO
- Good For Groups: Yes
- Takeaways: No
- Delivers: No
- Takes Reservations: Yes
- Dietary Restrictions: Vegetarian, Dairy-free, Gluten-free
- Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
- Outdoor Seating: Yes
- Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Mekong Baby is a new modern Southeast Asian fusion restaurant in the heart of Ponsonby and it’s a modern take on Indochina.
The lavish interior of Mekong Baby Eating House & Bar has been styled on Hoi An, a historic French colonial port village in Vietnam, with several different and intimate spaces that create individual experiences for diners. There is the Opium Room with a fireplace and velvet upholstered banquettes, another area called Ms M, plus a function area upstairs seating 30 quests.
55 Reviews for Mekong Baby
The table was great and plenty large enough for our team.
Our waiter was very fast to get us a drink and new the wine list well .
The food was quick to arrive and there was certainly plenty of it.
All of it delicious , perfectly cooked and well presented.
In the end we actually had to ask the waiter to stop as we were all too full to eat any more
A great night and a great place to take your group.
Will be back !
Visited May 2014
Its rare to find staff who can anticipate your needs without being overbearing, even rarer is a wine list that compliments the cuisine without being overpriced, but then again, Meekong is a rare baby!
Visited June 2014
Visited May 2014
The food on the other hand was top drawer. We asked to be served a selection of their best dishes and I enjoyed it all. The green papaya salad, the prawn pork and mango salad, the fried squid and the fried chicken (super hot!!) were all excellent, the coconut sago dessert was soooo good and the perfect way to cap off the meal. On paying we had no trouble splitting our bill three ways.
I would go back to eat that food again, come to think of it I thought about going back for lunch!! 4.5 stars for me
The manager’s service however is severely lacking, in contrast the waiters were great. I’ll give you the main points on my latest experience below:
- Upon arriving for my booking of 12 people I requested an extra seat for one more last minute person. The manager told me that he didn’t have any seats (period) then just looked at me as if I should make the 13th person disappear. Only after I suggested I turn my guests away did he then run upstairs and get another seat within 30 seconds, I guess he did have more seats.
- After this (before eating) I spoke with the manager about splitting the bill & the refund of my $200 booking deposit. He advised that splitting was no problem and I would receive my $200 refund at the end of the meal.
- When we did go to split the bill, suddenly the manager treated us like this was the most difficult thing he’d ever have to do & we were being a major pain in the ass for him. In my experience managing POS systems, this is not difficult at all, it is called customer service.
- The same manager allowed us to split the bill, but refused to refund my $200 because it was too difficult. He advised that my credit card details were on file (why was my payment information being stored for future use without my knowledge?!) and he would arrange a refund on the upcoming tuesday in 4 days because it was ‘all too difficult’ for him.
- The following friday, I had not received my refund so called Mekong Baby. The person I spoke with said she was aware of my case, took my CC details again, told me that they were not being held on file and promised an immediate refund. However she neglected to explain why no one had called me to arrange my refund after it was not processed as promised. I guess they go by the ethos ‘you win someMore, you win some’ or ‘finders keepers’.
- Once again the next Wednesday I had still not received my refund and called back. This woman was more apologetic but really just wanted me off the phone, I actually think it was the same person I had already spoken with. After giving my CC details to her another time she promised the refund would go through. I made her email a copy of the receipt through because I was sick of their false promises.
Overall, the managers & admin staff give this eatery a callous impression and by the end of it, I was left chasing them for 2 weeks to get my money back. This is really unacceptable and I fear a less persistent person than myself would have been $200 poorer for having eaten there. In addition, they are very willy-nilly with people’s sensitive credit card information. This should be taken securely & processed immediately. Not written down or stored for any purpose, I get the impression that my details are scrawled on 3 post-it notes lying around their restaurant for all to see.
This restaurant has the potential to be great if only they would become upfront, real & reasonable people instead of the lazy and rude staff I found them to be. I understand that a booking of 12 people can be quite a handful so I tried to clear everything with them beforehand, but they just moved the goalposts when it became too difficult. This was a special event for our families to celebrate a milestone but unfortunately I’m left thinking about the deficiencies of Mekong Baby, rather than the lovely meal shared with family & friends.
Visited June 2014
When we arrived we were given excellent service and the menu explained to us.
First course was the kingfish sashimi with nam jin sauce … now I am not normally given to superlatives however we were instantly transported into gastronomic heaven. Second course was the goat curry, tender and wildly delicious. Third course, and out came the Wagui (sp) beef – yet again our culinary senses went into another strata of culinary ecstasy. Round Four was the braised pork belly and we were still savouring each mouthful, although granted our bellies were now becoming a bit porkish too.
Since we arrived home we’ve been regaling our friends about Mekong Baby and so enamoured were we with their sushimi, we attempted something similar ourselves. Let’s just say ‘something similar’ is about as close as we managed to get. So we’re definitely going to be back for more of those unforgettable and elusive flavours.
Visited May 2014
The food is a 10/10 actually cannot remember the last time I ate somewhere were each dish that came out was better than the one before it. Stunning food.
The barman was friendly and made solid cocktails.
The service was friendly.
Came here for my brother’s 26th birthday and everyone was blown away. Drop whatever dinner plans you had make a reservation you will not be disappointed.
Visited May 2014
Visited May 2014
Below is an outline of our initial experience.
Since then I have been contacted by the restaurant owner. Mr Parrat has been incredibly professional and charming in attempting to make up for our initial experience. He has apologised for the issues we had, and expressed his disappointment. He has acknowledged that things were not handled well. As we have already booked another venue we are unable to attend for our function, but he has offered for me to go for a complimentary lunch in an attempt to make up for our experience.
I appreciate his efforts to find a solution to our problem and take the reviews from his customers seriously. You cant really ask for anything more than that. Thank you!
We have been to Mekong Baby before for functions organised by other people. The staff somethimes have a dismissive attitude, drinks can take forever to come and the wine we ordered by the glass had clearly been open for a long time. A lot of the food on the banquet menu is very fatty and/ or fried. However, the evenings were always quite good fun. They can seat big groups of people together. There is tonnes of food to keep even the heartiest of appetites happy and the atmosphere is pretty energetic. And although the food is oily the flavours are great.
Foolishly I decided to host a function there that I organise on a yearly basis for 30 people. I made a booking for their largest function room on Tuesday this week by going into the restaurant in person and speaking to the staff who took all my details and made the reservation. Today I have been rung to tell me that we cant have the function room as it is already booked. Nor will they seat us in the restaurant as we want to come at 7pm and not 6:30. Despite another member of staff telling me on Tuesday that we could take the function room or be seated in the restaurant.
Really, the biggest problem is the attitude of the manager Lindsey wMoreho doesn’t seem to think she has done anything wrong by cancelling an already made booking for 30 people. And also seems unwilling to accommodate our booking in the restaurant at 7pm after their screw ups. The rest of the restaurant is full she tells me – for 2 and a half weeks from now in Ponsonby. I just don’t believe her!
The sooner they sort out their attitude the better.
We ordered a ginger pepper mojito (amazing) and a pepper margarita (quite good) which were served promptly. Then, we ordered the betel leaf wrapped crab small bite, a shredded chicken and coconut salad, lamb ribs and wagyu app.
I’m a big fan of anything betel and found the crab app (a bite sized filling of crab and veg wrapped in a crisp betel leaf) to be a great palate awakener, a spicy snap of flavor right off the bat. It was only $6 and worth it. The chicken salad was solid, refreshing and grew on us as we powered through it. Then came the revelation of the night, the lamb ribs. Morsels of crisp, perfectly seasoned and amazingly tender lamb, flash crisped, falling off the bone, perfectly complemented by chili, fresh herbs and lime. AMAZING!
We then had the wagyu wrapped in betel. A bit of a let down as the menu didn’t state it was ground wagyu. It came out, a Viet answer to Dolmades. Good and solid, but not as revelatory as the lamb.
We finished with palm sugar/coconut ice creams. Yum!
Overall, a really nice experience. We want to go back and try the pork belly.
I would highly recommend it !
The food is amazing, I love the chicken salad and pork belly and the staff Dom is very good.
Visited April 2014
My favourites have been the Braised pork belly, red beef curry and the Duck Massamam.
The reason why I am not giving a five star is because I find the service to be a tad arrogant, and also the seating times annoy me, what if I want to eat and drink all night?
Not here apparently.
Visited December 2013
Nice relaxed environment which was a good way to start a night out in Ponsonby,
Didn’t have a reservation either but was still able to get a table.
Found the staff do be really nice and helpful and i liked how the food was made for sharing so you don’t have to much food jealousy. Pork belly was amazing as was something else which i can’t remember.
Yeah all in all it was great and had such a cool atmosphere that while i was just out with a small group it felt like we were somewhere we could have fun and eat good food (winelist was really good too and i’m a total wine snob).
A drinks order got missed and when the lady came with it and said it was free since the order had got messed up she neglected to say it would still sneak its way onto the bill.
Nice decor but without good ingredients and service this is definitely to be avoided.
Visited March 2014
Maître De was absolutely delightful and offered to place us in a stunning private room. Our waiter Louis looked after us with competence and with a friendly smile.
We ordered a variety of dishes to share, from a refreshing prawn, sticky pork and mango salad to a green fish curry with okra and choy sum.
The braised wagyu skirt with rice noodles disappeared from the table a bit too quickly, so that we had to re-order ASAP.
I am a mojito lover by nature but the Mekong Baby twist with ginger and chili is now my best friend in Ponsonby Road. A must try. The virgin version “chili and ginger mo-no-no” is perfect if you’re a light weight. Spicy enough, not too sweet.
This place is a 10 out of 10: Intriguing recipes on the menu, good cocktails, friendly staff and cool ambiance.
From the lightening to the music and the restaurant décor: Every single detail is well looked after to create an atmosphere which is classy and sexy at the same time.
Visited March 2014
The menu is set out as: Small beginnings (suggesting that you share and enjoy these first) then: Something bigger followed by Happy endings. Not so! We were surprised when ALL our food arrived within 10 minutes! Since when does the kitchen control the dining experience as was the excuse given to us (and to other reviewers I note). We love the sharing element and have loved our social eating experiences in Vietnam and South East Asia but it only works with care and attention to the guests. Most of the staff seemed pretty competent so perhaps less rush and more love then you might be onto something great and long lasting. Worth a mention is when my husband told the girl on the till that the service style had spoiled the experience, she said “how lovely.” That illustrates my point that you are just not listening!
We ordered the coriander and chili ribs, which lacked a bit of flavour however, they were so tender! Our main to share was the Goat Curry. Seems that Lady Luck was with us again, as it was fantastic! Simply melt in your mouth meat in a flavoursome gravy. OMG BIG TIME!
My cocktails were tasty, spiced lychee and miss Saigon. Seems like a very trendy place for drinks.
Safe to say that we will be back for the goat curry!
Visited January 2014
The food however, was a different story. For a restaurant that portrays itself as fine dining in Asian cuisine, it was anything but. We ordered the pork belly first to share, for $28. It was nice, but nothing special. The meat wasn’t the best quality, and there were only five small-ish pieces making it hard to recommend.
The red curry we ordered second. We couldn’t even finish the meal, only making it halfway through before asking the waitress to pass our comments on to the chef. The curry sauce was so over salted it was inedible, while the meat was fatty and tasteless, and added nothing to the dish.
The waitress returned the dish to the chef, with our expectation being that something had run amok in the kitchen. The chef believed it to be fine. A sad reflection of the food quality.
I never expected a discount, or even a replacement dish. This is also the first time I have ever posted a review of a restaurant. I will not be going back, for $30 a main you can find a lot, lot better.
Visited December 2013
The service was haphazard at best and rude at worst. The food was average with everything tasting the same after about the 3rd dish……… Chilli with a side serve of chilli! Does the chef not know any other flavour?
We ordered the $60 pp banquet for 8 only to be told we couldn’t select from the menu and the chef would decide what was served.
I will commit this restaurants name to memory and ensure that I never set foot in here again!
Sat outside in the sunshine and enjoyed an assortment of Wok Fried Squid, Papaya salad and Pork Belly with lovely Brown Basmati rice. Everything was delicious – the Pork Belly “to die for”. Each dish was accompanied with a delightful sauce. The combinations were perfect. Staff extremely helpful and attentive – suggesting we start with a couple of dishes and if still hungry can order more. Finished with a delicious “Happy Ending” of Lime-Papaya Meringue Pie.
Definitely want to return soon to try other dishes and some of the cocktails which sounded exciting.
A definite must to try when in Auckland.
Visited November 2013
The food wasn’t bad, nothing to write home about though.
We were reminded at every opportunity that we needed to leave by 8.15pm, even though we had not finished our drinks.
If you are after excellent food and a good chat with friends or family avoid Mekong Baby like the plague.
If however you would like to be rushed through your meal and treated by the wait staff as an inconvenience, this restaurant is right up your ally.
We will not be returning.
The second visit, yesterday, a business lunch. Staff realised we were working and didn’t intrude other than to take orders, bring our orders and let us get on with it quietly.
Yum we got the work completed over prawn cakes -again!
Wagyu beef and Lemongrass, Crisp Rice Flour Crepe with tempeh, mushrooms and chilli jam. I realised this time just how substantial the portions are at Mekong Baby, it’s a great feed.
In summary a perfect spot for a night of fun and celebration, and also a quiet business lunch, well fed and watered on both occasions.
Then I saw staff talking among themselves, rolling their eyes, pulling funny faces and talking about the customers they were serving. Unacceptably rude!! And the fact that the restaurant was so busy and they took their time to catch away….
Food- I had better! All of 8 different dishes we had, only one was great. The others were so average…
I had two cocktails, and they tasted like juice… Very disappointing.
Will never return!
However, my meal of Lamb Shoulder of which I was really looking forward to, never arrived. As the meals all come out at different times, I just assumed it would be coming and initially didn’t want to cause a fuss. My side salad of Iceberg Lettuce hearts arrived so I picked away at that waiting for my meal to arrive. When everyone else had nearly finished their meal, I asked the waiter if mine was coming. He looked confused, came back from the kitchen and said that it hadn’t been cooked but it was definitely coming now. There was no apology. 30 minutes later it still hadn’t arrived. I asked another waiter about my meal. He seemed shocked and very apologetic. He said he would do his best to find out what was going on. He never came back. The first waiter came back 20 minutes later and informed me that the kitchen had cooked my meal and it had been taken out. But I’d never seen it. I expressed my disappointment and dismay. He came back from the kitchen again and finally told me that it the meal was not coming. The waiter still did not apologise and took no responsibility. It was now 10.45pm so it was a bit late to order a new meal. My table was almost ready to leave!
On paying, I asked to speak to the manager. I informed him of what had happened. He briefly said sorry and let us have one drink off our bill…but only because my partner asked.
All of this was made so much worse due to the fact that I’m 5 months pregnant and by 11pm all I’d had to eat was a lettuce salad!
My Mekong Baby experience was a sorry letdown.
I ended the night, satisfying my hunger at Burger Fuel.
Visited August 2013
On phoning to make a reservation we were informed that Mekong Baby operates a two sittings per night policy and we were given the choice of arriving at 6 pm or 8.30. 8.30 is later than we care to dine on a week night. 6 pm is too early given the need to navigate the rush hour traffic and search for parking (very difficult) in Ponsonby. A reservation time of 7 pm was agreed with the person on the phone who made it clear that we would need to vacate our table at 8.30 and we would be welcome to arrive early. Keeping this in mind we managed to arrive at around 6.30 pm.
Upon announcing ourselves to the maître d we were reminded of the requirement to leave at 8.30. The waitperson who attended our table reminded us of this also and continued to mention it at every opportunity during our time there. This message was repeated at every interaction with staff. We lost count of the number of times we were told when we had to leave and, during the evening (if you could call it that) the departure time was advanced, firstly becoming 8.15 and then, at 8.10 we were told our time was up and the bill was plonked on the table. We hadn’t finished our drinks and were told that we were welcome to take them to the bar but they needed the table, thank you!
I deplore restaurants where the diner is left dangling through slow service. No problems here with Mekong Baby. The service was pleasant, efficient and lightening fast. Our first courses arrived within 5 minutes of placing the order and dishes were removed while we were still eating. As we queued at the cash register to pay we noticed three other empty tables in the dining area we were in and no-one appeared to be waiting for them, or arriving. Curious!
The cash register space is squeezed between a table and the counter and wait staff were constantly Morepushing past us. There is a way of saying ‘excuse me’ that really means, ‘get out of my way’. By walking an extra two or three paces they could have walked around the table and avoided the crush.
We enjoyed the food and the décor was modern and stylish (but with no reference to Asia). We were not given an opportunity to have desert.
We are regular restaurant attendees and not naïve. We understand that a restaurant table is a revenue generation centre and they do not make money by having people linger over a glass of water. There are subtle ways of moving patrons on. There is nothing subtle about Mekong Baby. From the time we arrived we felt rushed and uncomfortable. The insistence on timekeeping and repeated reminders became unpleasant and we felt unwelcome. We did spend $200 in an hour and a half! I think Mekong Baby needs to understand that there is more to running a successful restaurant than the food and décor. There is a reason it is called the Hospitality Industry. In Auckland’s highly competitive dining scene there are many restaurants where this is well understood. The Mekong Baby experience is one we won’t be repeating.
We took ourselves elsewhere and spent another $100 on deserts and drinks. Mekong Baby could have had this revenue if they had tolerated us just a little longer.
We had Kingfish Sashimi which had the most amazing sauces drizzled on top; hot & sour; deliscious. Then we had the Lamb Ribs which were so unique in that they had their bone in at the end of the rib but otherwise the meat was completely off the bone and encased & crumbed & came with a spicy dipping sauce; melt in your mouth; devine! Following this we had the Goat Curry which was sublime; lightly spiced but the most amazing curry sauce. We didn’t drink any alcohol as she had to go back to work but all 3 dishes were so memorable; I can’t wait to go back and try some other dishes. Only problem with this place is it is very hard to get through to the restaurant by phone to make a booking!
Was great value for money, we couldn’t believe how many dishes we got and there was plenty for everyone! great way to try lots of different things.
Betel leaves and quail eggs were both yummy, squid was fantastic. Kingfish was delicious.
Papaya salad was yummy, but spicy and nothing exciting. Pretty plain, wouldn’t order again and would have been great if it had come out with the pork.
Table all declared the Pork Belly as the best pork they’ve ever eaten. Was delish!
Fire chicken was just that “fire” and over half the table were unable to eat it so odd choice to give a table. Those who liked the heat enjoyed it but also said it was far to spicy and would have preferred something else.
The green curry was nice but needed more flavouring, the sauce was slightly watery. Have had better curries in Thai restaurants.
Service was some of the best I’ve experienced, nothing was too much trouble and wait staff were able to answer all our questions for the kitchen.
Drinks are pricey, $10 beers is steep. Over all it was a great night, keen to go back and try the cocktails and have pork again!
Visited July 2013
Superb food, beautifully displayed, a wonder to eat.
Superb service, probably even better than that, from the highest to the lowest, nothing too much trouble.
Great ambiance and warmth, would go again in a flash.
The food was excellent, including a fantastic green papaya salad with peanuts and prawn floss, a beautiful goat and coconut curry and spicy lamb ribs. The servings are quite generous so we couldn’t do justice to the menu. I want to go back to try the slow cooked lamb shoulder and the prawn, pork and mango salad.
I wasn’t keen on the fire chicken, it seemed one dimensional to me, but my companions liked it.
Dined last night this was superb
Great Service , although a little glitch to start with
Wine prices at realistic pricing levels
Dined on Vietnamese Roll, starter a superb fresh spring roll filled with crisp veggies and marinated chicken great dipping sauce
Main was Spicy Chicken which on staff members recommendation was very spicy, the chicken strips were not spicy but the salad with its Asian dressing was too die for , hot and spicy , could have eaten it all night magnificent fusion
Dessert on staff recommendation was sago pudding , again superb served cold with little toppings and ice cream
All in all excellent
We thought we would give it a whirl as it was once upon a time not so long ago our regular haunt – GPK. But owner Dom has completely reinvented this restaurant, hired mostly new staff, but kept his star chef Ben and the result is stunning.
The décor, staff and ambience are all fabulous. But there’s no doubt who the real star is …… the food. It’s just divine. Mind you the cocktails are pretty amazing too I had Rum Sun it was smooth – best cocktail I’ve had in years.
Dishes come out as they’re ready and are generally shared and its all the more exciting for it. You get to taste a wide range of delicious dishes. Asian fusion from along the Mekong River – the menu combined a variety of exotic styles including curries, divine roti, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Cambodian dishes (and probably more)
We had the pork belly – absolutely to die for. Goat curry WOW so tasty, lamb dish – very tender super yummy and beef along with prawns, and Vietnamese rolls (all fabulous) and not nearly enough roti (order double it’s so tasty).
It was a Tuesday night when we went and it was packed and deservedly so. But we got a table straight away.
The powder room is quite something too by the way ladies.
We’ve recently eaten at Jervois Steak House, Cibos, Industry Zen, Euro and would have to say we enjoyed our dinner here the most by far. But we paid a good deal less.
The prices are reasonable – hopefully they’ll stay that way and we can eat here often. Mekong Baby is quite sensational – we’ll be back.
A great concept, different flavours and dished from along the Mekong River. Food was excellent, and variety very good. Large servings and, if you are a fan of spicy, you wont be disappointed. Impressed enough to re-book for a 5 person client luncheon. Recommended