The Mustard Seed

3 star rating 32 reviews

Restaurant location map

09 9250799

Auckland City Hotel, 157 Hobson Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland

  Malaysian, European
7 AM to 10 AM, 12 Noon to 2 PM, 6 PM to 9:30 PM


Reviews for The Mustard Seed

3 star rating
by Ed
2 months ago

Some foods are well priced, others are not which gives me mixed feelings about this restaurant. compared to other Malaysian restaurants, this one is placed on the not-as-good end of the scale.

Food: 6/10
Service: 3/5
Ambience: 3.5/5
Value: 3/5
Overall: 15.5/25

5 star rating
by Ramija Tasnim
3 months ago

Amazing food, good customer service (food takes a while to come out but that's understandable) and really pretty set up! For sure one of the best halal places to eat!

3 star rating
by Ryan
3 months ago

Did not enjoy our dining experience here, the pictures look nicer than you expect. The restaurant is located inside the hotel but has a very makeshift feel, when we dined on a friday night, it was unusually quiet. 

Service was ok - wouldn't rave about it. Tried a few items off the menu, including the Tom Yum soup and a few of the curries. It was a bit on the sweet side for me and didn't wow. Have eaten at a few Malaysian eateries around town and this one sits on the bottom of the scale.

4 star rating
by Annie Ren
4 months ago

Liked the overall vibe of the restaurant. Retro seating, music and a play/pool room outside. We went their for a snack/dinner meal quite late and enjoyed a very decent platter comprised of crispy curry puffs. skewers with this peanut sauce and the typical fried wontons and spring rolls. The platter worked out well with the Wat Tan Hor, which was light, smooth and filling. It's a bit more expensive than the typical Malaysian restaurant, but it does have a very good dining environment. :)

2 star rating
by Erin
7 months ago

Went there for lunch and was very disappointed.  The rice seemed as though it had been frozen and reheated, the curry cold and the laksa flavourless.

5 star rating
by Adeline
10 months ago

I love this place. Tommy the owner is a really friendly guy and goes out of his way to make his guests happy! Thanks Tommy - the restaurant industry needs more people like you!

The Malaysian dishes are as authentic as they get - our favourites are the nestum prawns, grilled eggplant, all rendang dishes and the fried fish! Honestly - every dish is so yummy it's hard to pick our favourite dishes! :) 

Lovely ambience (authentic decor), unpretentious customer service, tasty food... highly recommended!

2 star rating
by Neil Young
Oct 27, 2014

Went in for lunch and had to wait around 50 minutes for the food to arrive. We were told there would be a 15 minute wait. Very understaffed and lack of attention to detail with two of four diners on my table having their orders messed up.

1 star rating
by Brian Tan
Aug 18, 2014

I have no idea why this restaurant has such a high rating over here, because to put it shortly Mustard Seed:
Charges premium prices on lousy food. (salty and overdosed on MSG)
Poor service, unfriendly staff.
Took ages for food to arrive.
Manager loves to give excuses and talk loads to distract you from the facts above.

Thought restaurant in a four star hotel would be great. I've NEVER EVER been so wrong.

2 star rating
by Joanna
Jul 18, 2014

I went out with my family to this restaurant and was disappointed with the food and service. They only had one waiter and service was very slow. On top of that the waiter bought the red wines to the table and spilt it over me! I did not have an apology direct from the waiter but the manager came to apologise. Overall experience here was not good. Food was overly salty and service did not meet my expectations. They still charged us for the meal even though they spilt the red wine on my jeans and bag!

5 star rating
by Charlotte
Jul 07, 2014

I hosted a surprise 21st party for a friend here and was super impressed by this restaurant. I booked in advance and was emailed the menu as we were a larger group. Good communication prior to the day, and confirmation. Food was amazing and they brought the cake out at the right moment. Staff and Tommy were fantastic. Amazing.

4 star rating
by Chelsea
Jun 23, 2014

I celebrated my birthday here and booked in advance due to high numbers. Great communication prior to arrival and then on the night. Fantastic customer service and beautiful meals. Staff were attentive and accommodating. A fantastic night.

1 star rating
by Wendie Zhang
Jun 14, 2014

Booking:called 3 times to make a booking, no one answer. Left a message, got a return call after a week. Being told have to wait for 3 weeks till can book a table. Very obvious that we being treated like 2nd class customer. You can tell from the manager on how they spoke to you too.
Agree with all below. Wine does not taste like wine, no alcohol.
Soup was very small n very spicy.
Main dish was ok, but dessert was told that only one choice.
A frozen cake with a icecream.

Will not return and regret to get the voucher!

3 star rating
by Ryan Lee
Jun 04, 2014

Got a deal voucher for this restaurant. Came here before, a while back. Turned out to be a joke now.

Don’t get me wrong, food was still the great, real authentic Malaysian cooking. But as if management suddenly thought that selling the voucher was a bad idea, started cutting corners. Served wine that tasted like diluted cordial. Charging $1.50 for rice? $6.50 surcharge for Tom Yam Prawn soup even if same price as chicken option? Seriously? At least the waiter was kind enough to let us know, otherwise, we would have missed it. Reading other review, glad that he gave us the option to choose our dessert. The manager wasn't happy, called him over and could've sworn sparks flew. Gave us our choices anyway. We salute you.

Don’t get me started about making reservations, we know that we voucher buyers are being treated as lower class customers. Your restaurant wasn't even full when you said you couldn't accept any more bookings. Was a Friday too.

Not coming back.

2 star rating
by Nicky Davidson
Jun 02, 2014

We bought a voucher deal recently and were also told that there was at least a 3 week wait to book for a weekend so we went on a Wednesday night instead. The glass of "wine" included in the deal was SO bad, the red wine was sweet and tasted more like Ribena than wine, we were assured that it was really wine from a box but even wine from a box should still taste like wine! The mixed starter was nice, laksa soup was tasty although it had no coconut milk flavour and was a very dark colour for laska, the main courses of beef rendang, chicken rendang, sambal chicken and one other chicken dish were nice enough, annoying that there is a surcharge for rice. We thought we got a choice for dessert but apparently is was set as a mango dessert with ice cream. Our waitress was quite blunt, especially when we asked to take the leftovers away in a box, she told us quite sternly that "voucher says no takeaway!" I'm sure the point of restaurants offering these kind of vouchers are to get new customers to try the restaurant, offer them a good experience so that they'll keep coming back, our experience was very average and we won't be coming back.

5 star rating
by Andrew Lee
May 27, 2014

My friends and I bought a voucher deal each and was intended to bring our girls for a double date. But none of us could find a mutual time, so he decided to go first. His feedback was less than appealing. He couldn't make a booking because no one would pick up the phone, and when they arrived without one, the manager turned them back. When they finally got in another day, they were disappointed to find like what previous commenters said: cheap lousy wine (white or red ONLY), served lukewarm food, limited choices and surcharges that did not make sense at all. Not to mention a ruthless and unreasonable manager whom refused them any other dessert rather than a lousy piece of soggy cake and ice cream.

Needless to say, my girl and I were less than keen to go but decided otherwise, since we already spent money on purchasing the deal. It’s true that it was difficult to get a booking because, seriously, no one ever picks up the phone! But we decided to try our luck anyway a few weeks back. We arrived early to find the restaurant rather empty. We were greeted by a lone waiter (whom we later found out to be the ONLY waiter, I mean, seriously, the only person outside of the kitchen). He politely asked for our booking, and when we said we did not have any, smiled and led us to a seat anyway. Once settled down, he repeated the terms of vouchers (which we dreaded) and warned us of the hidden surcharges on rice and seafood (“stay away from ordering the soups with seafood”). When inquired on the limitations on wine and dessert choices, he just shook his head –smiled-, and asked us what we wanted anyway.

The food came out with great speed, even when people started packing in (6+ tables), service was good, or rather, the waiter did well between tasks (which seems like everything outside the kitchen). I agree with Arthur in saying that the food was great, we had the belacan chicken and assam fish (both were pipping hot in our case). Our wine orders came a bit late, but to our surprise, it wasn’t the cheap disgusting one my friend talked about. I don’t know what they got previously, but ours was great. We ordered a Dark Knight Sundae and Banana split for dessert each and both was presented quite well with copious amounts of toppings and whipped cream.

In my opinion, and drawing from these two experiences, I’d say the fault lay with the management (who didn't seem to be there that evening, hence our good experience). Like what Andrew & Victoria said, they’re too focused on money extraction and ripping people off, not to mention hiring a single staff outside to deal with everything? Shame on you!

I’d give 5 stars, because in my case, it’s only fair. To the waiter, I hope I don’t get you into trouble by posting this comment, but you have me and my girl's upmost respect and thanks. Too bad you had to work there. To the chefs too, Awesome food! Keep it up. (P.S. We can hear everything you say in the kitchen, keep it down a little?).

1 star rating
by Arthur Tse
May 27, 2014

In short: Good food marred by lame attempts at money-extraction and penny pinching by the restaurant. The service is also very poor.

Like Victoria T. below we too had a voucher and on the voucher ad it was never stated that those of us with the temerity to purchase a voucher would be treated like second class citizens (i.e. subjected to limited number of voucher users per night). In short, by the time we wanted a booking, if we wanted to eat on a Friday or Saturday night the wait time was 3 weeks plus.

The ad stated that "Fish Soups excluded" and "$6.50 surcharge applies for all seafood dishes". So you would think that common sense implies no surcharge would apply on a Seafood Laksa with prawn, right? After all, it isn't a "dish" and fish soups were explicitly excluded from the deal. Really, the difference between their seafood and, say, their chicken soup is that the soup has one or two pieces of prawns instead of chicken. Oh no, they wanted a surcharge when we settled the bill.

The ad also stated "Dessert includes banana fritters, sago gula melaka, and mango coconut charlotte". But we weren't given an option to order desserts. We were just given some chocolate ice cream and some bog-standard piece of cake that looked like it was made 2 weeks ago.

To be fair, the Assam Prawns (a main) were absolutely amazing. The chefs there truly know how to make the prawns tasty and easy to access. Big, whole prawns are partially de-shelled at the end so you can easily access the meaty tail bits and this also makes it easy to access the head and torso. The soups also tasted quite nice and the fried puffs, spring rolls and so forth were pretty nice.

However, Andrew is right about their tendency to serve their foods lukewarm. The lamb curry was okay-ish but it was lukewarm. And we also had to explicitly ask for our soup, which ended up coming out after our main.

The deal they offered on the daily deal site was unbelievable value and frankly unsustainable even as a loss-leader. But if a restaurant choose to offer deals, even ones that seem to be excessively generous from a commercial perspective, they should stick by the bargain struck.

Oh and the ad said surcharge for seafood dishes were $6.50. Funny how we were charged two blobs of $8. Poor form, Mustard Seed. We didn't argue but doubt we will ever come back.

2 star rating
by Victoria
May 24, 2014

This was our experience with a deal voucher. People without the vouchers may have different experiences.
When booking it's clear they only reserve a certain number of tables for "voucher deals", the place wasn't as busy as we thought it would be.
Entree was nice, came out quickly and good value.
With the voucher any seafood dishes ordered are an extra $6.50PP. Which leaves only 2 or 3 soups out of around 6 you can actually order. We ordered the Tom Yum (bit on the sweet side for us) and Curry Laksa (this was good).
The main were ok, our only issue here was rice cost extra, which was a bit sneaky if you ask us. They were "out" of one of the options we chose, which appears to us they specifically made the "price-ier" options unavailable for voucher users.
Our of the 6-7 desserts, we were only allowed to choose from 2, a mango and coconut dessert and the sundae.
The wine was a cheap cask wine.

The entire experience left us with a bit of a sour taste, given the restaurant was obviously deceptive in trying to get people in and in the true value of the voucher. Would rather than just be honest in the options available than wait till you're sitting there and tell you things aren't available for you to order.

1 star rating
by Brenda Roper
May 19, 2014

Came here after buying a voucher. First they said we didn't have an appointment and they were fully booked so couldn't fit us in. Lucky we had proof of booking so they had to give us a table. We were booked in at 6.45pm. Didn't come to take our order for another hour or so. Finally got our entrée but only one came out and he finished his before we got ours. Didn't get our mains till after 9.00pm. They never cleared our table once, it was hard to order drinks and we had to continually ask where our drinks and food was. They said due to the queue it was delayed, yet there was never a queue and there was only 10 tables with people on it, so it wasn't fully booked like they first told us. They were out of a lot of the items we wanted, and this is a Saturday night??? The food was ok, but the service was the worst I have had. Finally got out of there about 10-10.30pm. Would not recommend this place.

1 star rating
by Andrew Treeby
May 14, 2014

Came here after buying a deal voucher. Food was good but the mains were brought out lukewarm. Five mins later and the mains were cold. As we had already eaten soup & an entree we hoped we could have the rest to take home. After requesting a take away container, the waiter returned from the kitchen to announce the chef would not allow this as we had gotten a deal voucher. This is ridiculous. I wonder if I could have offered money to take home our half eaten meal? My wife and I eat out a lot and had been meaning to try here for a while. It's a real shame we left with such a sour taste in our mouth as we would have been back plenty had we had a good experience. Thumbs down to The Mustard Seed. I do not recommend this place!

4 star rating
by AshCon Street Proz
May 05, 2014

First time trying this place. Had a great and big bowl of Laksa which is my usual at Malaysian restaurants and I would give this Laksa a 4 out of 5 raring. Recommended.

4 star rating
by Kristine Green
Apr 21, 2014

The service was amazing very high end and just lovely.
Food was good too will definitely go back and would recommend for a cheap night BYO makes it that much more affordable.

1 star rating
by Julie Pye
Mar 31, 2013

We stayed at Auckland City Hotel Easter Saturday. For an additional $50.00 we were meant to get 2 full breakfasts at the Mustard Seed. What we got was a choice of ricies or cornflakes and chopped apple/orange for the fruit salad. The cooked selection was lukewarm. The choice was fried rice, noodles, baked beans, tiny sausages, hashbrowns and cold rubbery scrambled eggs. Budget bread, watered down orange juice and bitter coffee topped off the worst breakfast I have ever attempted to eat !

5 star rating
by Renee Chin
Jan 17, 2013

I'm a big fan of laksa and I think The Mustard Seed did a fantastic job. Definitely worth to go again with some friends and try on some other food like prawn mee, wat tan hor and other malaysian mamak style's food. Beautiful food, affordable price with excellent customer service. I'd say this is THE BEST Malaysian restaurant in town so far!

5 star rating
by Zhi Quan Lee
Jul 30, 2012

We purchased a voucher and long forgot about it. We posted on their Facebook wall in hope that they would extend it. We knew chances were next to nothing because it had expired for 3 months. But Joni was nice enough to offer us a free main dish.
Outstanding customer service and world class food. She was very friendly and we had a nice chat when paying. We ordered the braised eggplant and it was heavenly. The servings are very generous, and there was enough for us to takeaway! Excellent value for money. Great location with a nice ambience. By far the best Malaysian food I've had in NZ.

5 star rating
by Miss Kiki
May 20, 2012

This is hands down the best Malaysian food I have had in NZ. We have been here twice now. First time had Assam fish and Aubergine stuffed with a prawn mix. Probably too much food for two people, but we ate it anyway.
But the last time we went we had Nestum prawns and Beef Rendang, and this was the BEST. The Rendang is so flavoursome and delicious, the Nestum prawns were big, juicy and delicious!
And the plus side is the service is brilliant, very attentive.
We will definately be back. I'm feeling hungry now just thinking about the Rendang! YUM!!!

4 star rating
by John Upton
Jan 31, 2012

Wow what a hidden gem. Bought a voucher on the internet and booked for 2 of us which entitled us to a 3 course meal. The booking was hassle free, staff very welcoming and obliging. Tommy the Manager was very courteous and helped us with our menu. The food was excellent, service and staff very accommodating. Highly recommend. I will return.

4 star rating
by Sam Becker
Dec 10, 2011

The food and service were exceptional. The portion sizes are enormous, one dish could easily serve two or three people. We went away with four doggy bags. The pawns, beef and chicken were all succulent and the starters very tasty. Excellent value. We will certainly be going back.

The restaurant itself is clean and tidy but could do with a more cozy feel. The restaurant has a very high barn ceiling with lots of large empty tables scattered around. This is a hotel restaurant so I guess doubles up as the breakfast restaurant perhaps they need to divide the room into smaller areas. With a cozier more luxurious I feel they would have the place pumping. The menu is plastic with pictures which gives it a cheap feel. The food and staff are being let down by the dining room decor. Not a restaurant for special occasions but a good place to meet and chat with friends with some great food and service.

5 star rating
by Paul Hy
Sep 12, 2011

First thing me and my partner noticed when we walked in was the warm welcome and greeting into this restaurant. The service is exceptional and the staff seem very happy. Our nasi goreng and prawns on black bean sauce were delicious. To top it off we also had a sago gula melaka dessert which tasted fantastic. The restaurant has a nice open setting, will be great for a function or party. I'm going back for dinner sometime.

5 star rating
by Farah Adibah Rozlan
Aug 19, 2011

we had dinner here yesterday for my friend's birthday. the food was good & the butter prawn was beyond words! but the greatest thing is the friendly and honest service that we received. definitely a good place to have a function or even for a casual eat-out.

5 star rating
by Emily She
Aug 08, 2011

I went here a few weeks ago for my friend's surprise birthday dinner. The staff sent us menus to look at prior to the evening. There were 12 of us on the night and we ordered 11 dishes to share between the 12 of us. And it came to less than $15 each. So we were all very happy considering how much food we had eaten!

The food was really good, westernised Malaysian food, but delicious nevertheless!

The staff were extremely helpful with everything, they even organised when to bring the cake out with lit candles, aiding to the surprise. All in all the staff were so polite and attentive and they made the experience so much more enjoyable. The service could not be better!

The food is great, and the service is fantastic! I would definitely suggest eating out here.

5 star rating
by William Chong
May 13, 2011

Have been for dinner a few times with friends and we've enjoyed their delightful cuisine and sterling service each time. Favourites include the Nestum or cereal prawns (you'll need to phone beforehand to order it), chicken and beef rendang, Hainan chicken, Thai tofu.. Very pleased to keep finding more and more great Malaysian restaurants around Auckland.

1 star rating
by Winston
Jan 28, 2011

The food here has deteriorated. I usually spend 6 months in Malaysia & 6 months in NZ. When in NZ, this used to be my fav eating place until it changed hands. I walked in and was surprised to see that it was under new management. Food didn't taste anything Malaysian. In fact it was awful. It's no wonder they were quiet.