An Auckland eatery has blended cheese with a quintessential Kiwi frozen treat.

Malaysian chain Hokkaido is famous around Asia for its baked cheese tarts, but since opening a shop on Auckland's Queen St last year it has started selling cheesy soft-serve ice-cream.

The eatery is one of an increasing number around Auckland with food offerings some might consider more weird than wonderful.

A taste test by the Weekend Herald confirmed the ice-cream was most definitely an acquired taste.


While an initial lick left a mildly sweet, cheesy flavour in the mouth, it wasn't long before a strong, almost blue cheese-like aftertaste set in.

The company introduced its cheesy confection late last year - just in time for summer.

Plans were in place to begin offering the soft serve in a cup - with sweet and savoury toppings available for a sundae-bar scenario.

Store owner Shing Jian Liaw said the cheese tarts, which were also available in strawberry and blueberry flavours, remained the firm favourite with customers.

"They're quite unique," he said.

Hokkaido staff member Yeju Lee creating a cheese soft serve. Photo / Dean Purcell
Hokkaido staff member Yeju Lee creating a cheese soft serve. Photo / Dean Purcell

"There is a trend picking up where customers like having their tart as a snack with coffee."

Rows of the sweet pastry cases lined a cabinet at the front of the Queen St store, filled with a gooey baked cheese.

The filling had a creme brulee-like appearance from the outside, but a taste confirmed it was firmly in the savoury camp.


A few streets away, newly opened Barby's Bakery fused chocolate and cheese, or doughnuts and noodles in the creation of Indonesian baked goods.

Willy Chandra, the man behind the bakery, said chocolate, cheese and nuts were a popular combination in Indonesia. Despite this, many Kiwis seemed hesitant in trying some of the taste sensations.

Barby's Bakery's
Barby's Bakery's "Twin Love" is described as a "yummy blend of sweet bread between cheese and chocolate". Photo / Dean Purcell

"Some people who come in here have been encouraged by an Asian friend," Chandra said.

"They say, 'It's not right', but then they will come in to try it."

One treat on offer at Barby's was an "Indomie donut". The savoury doughnut involved cooking Indomie instant noodles, before moulding them into doughnuts and steaming them.

Other unusual foodie options on offer in the Auckland CBD included kimchi or wasabi flavoured popcorn from Popoco, by the Civic Theatre.

And one of New Zealand's top chefs says the unusual offerings are all part of the city diversifying culturally - and we should expect to see more of them.

Ray McVinnie said we're seeing different cultures' food become our normal, adding it was good to see a wide range of cuisines represented in our culinary scene.

"We just have so much on offer, and I think it will continue."

When it came to fusion food, McVinnie - a former MasterChef New Zealand judge - said it was important the creators had a grip on what they were doing - particularly if it was a new take on a traditional meal.

"Especially if it's not from your culture, you need to learn the traditional ways of using a particular ingredient, or making some certain dish," he said.

"You need to learn the rules before you break them."