Central Auckland's dirtiest eating establishments were named by the Herald a month ago.

Food grades in the former Auckland City region show 10 restaurants and cafes have received E grades, with 29 given a D grade.

The New Zealand Herald online asked readers if they were influenced by the food grading system. Nearly 13,500 readers responded and just over half said they used the rating to make a call about whether to dine there. Or not.

But to the every day diner, how do these places really stack up?


A few brave members of the online team have decided to put their bellies on the line and review all 29 of the D listers, revealing one a day for the month of September. D grade eateries are reviewed twice a year, according to Auckland City Council. While they are subject to change, our list is correct as of the last week of August, 2013. If the grade is changed at the time of publication this will be made clear in the review.

So join us on our journey eating through the D list. Check in at lunch each day, read our review, and let us know in the poll if you have - or would - eat at the outlet.

Fu Man Lou Restaurant, 3/921 Dominion Rd, Mt Roskill
We ordered: A plate of sweet and sour pork ($20) and the tofu and vegetables ($20) with steamed rice. The generous dishes arrived at our table looking very flash. The pork was tender and flavoursome, delicious with a mouthful of perfectly steamed rice. The veggies were nice and crisp, but the watery tofu let us down.

The vibe was: Cold and stark, we were the only table sitting in the big Chinese restaurant. We imaged it could be a bustling spot for weekend yum cha.

The décor looked: Nice, with a few odd bits and pieces in what appeared to be a private dining room out the back.

The service was: A bit confused at first, they obviously didn't expect any patrons at this time. Despite this, and the language barrier, we found the staff warm and helpful.

We left feeling: Pretty happy with our meal and without the MSG hangover that can come from Chinese food.

We could see their D grade: Was actually a B. They were reviewed days after our diary began and have now been graded higher.

The most D-grade thing about it: Nothing anymore.

- www.nzherald.co.nz