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May 1, 2017 | by  | in Food |
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Oriental Kingdom

Oriental Kingdom is well known in Wellington for its less than classy reputation and less than acceptable food, but the trip was made anyway for a football team BYO. The decor seems to be stuck in 1996, probably both the last time it was updated and the last time someone went there sober. The tables and chairs are acceptable, but you can’t be too critical of it as they are likely home to at least two litres of white wine; if you licked a table you would probably get a buzz. The low quality of the decor likely comes from the knowledge that their customer base is young, drunk, and reckless. Nice tables and chairs here would be like putting a nice rug in a crack house or wearing a white shirt to a spaghetti festival; just a bad idea.

We ordered the Char Kuey Teow, which is a standard Malaysian seafood and flat noodle dish that is stir fried, along with the finest thing on the menu — the corkage. The dish had a lot of flavour but barely any sass. Instead I tasted a dish that should have been served in a Styrofoam container by an ex-convict named Perry trying to get his life back together. Too many vegetables, and not enough seafood or affection in the dish. It further reminded me that Oriental Kingdom is a restaurant that is Capital Market level, but does not belong in Capital Market; thank fuck.

The other meal we got was the chicken wings, to see if they compared to the chicken we’re currently in the process of perfecting. They didn’t even hold an extinguished candle to any reasonable fried chicken. They were dry with barely any meat on the bone; it was clear these chickens were not raised on steroids like any respectable chicken in 2017. These paleo chickens left much to be desired; Pete Evans loved it though. They came with sweet ‘n’ sour sauce in an attempt to add both flavour and moisture, but all it added was sadness, not because it was a terrible sauce but because I could see through the cover-up.

In all honesty, Oriental Kingdom is the drinking destination you don’t deserve. The food quality and hygiene suspicion is on level with your alternate restaurant in Capital Market, but the vibe in the restaurant is a student’s dream. The owners clearly understand that they are not a popular destination because of their food, but rather their BYO rules and location to other bars and pubs. It saddens them, and that’s the kind of sadness that we can all relate to. The most confusing part of the experience was the fact that there were families with young children there. The mind boggles as to why you would bring children to such a seedy establishment when there are many more respectable Asian restaurants in Wellington. It could be said that the parents wanted to involve the kids in New Zealand’s binge drinking culture early on, so that by the time they hit year 11 they are able to funnel a box of Mavs in a night, and by the time they are a fresher then can hit the Wine Before Nine and Goon Before Noon before all of their friends. The added benefit of this is not having to worry about choosing to donate organs on their driver’s license, because they will all be monumentally fucked.

 

You can catch Kii and Tom on SalientFM (88.3) on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 6.00–8.00pm. Find them on Facebook: “Kii and Tom”.

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