It's sushi, and fries, but neither as you've likely ever eaten them before.

Rectangular globs of sticky rice shaped and dipped in a delicate tempura batter are being offered up for $9 a bowl at Mt Eden's Wu and You.

Served with a ramen seasoning and a creamy spicy sauce, the side is billed as "sushi fries", though the fluffy sticks are a little less salty and a little sweeter than your average chip.

The sauce, a blend of Korean spice paste and Japanese mayo, adds a nice kick of flavour.

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Wu and You opened last Wednesday and the Asian fusion eatery is going through as much as four kilos of rice a day to meet demand.

Restaurant manager Nixon Sherchan said the team wanted to try a new take on an old classic.

"Everywhere you go fries are so popular, and everyone is doing the same kind of fries.

"Since it's an Asian place and we use rice a lot, we thought 'why don't we do fries with rice'."

Customers were so far enthusiastic about the dish, Sherchan said.

"They say it's nice, it's tasty, it's different and they've never tried it before."

A nice hot bowl of chips covered in salt are a favourite amongst small children, barflies and everyone in between.

Chef Braden Kerr with a bowl of Wu and You's sushi fries. Photo / Doug Sherring
Chef Braden Kerr with a bowl of Wu and You's sushi fries. Photo / Doug Sherring

But in recent years Auckland restaurants have branched out beyond the spud, with everything from polenta to kale taking the place of the carbo-loaded potato.

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So how many times can restaurateurs reinvent the wheel?

Coco's Cantina on Karangahape Rd was amongst the first to try a new chip, serving up plates of polenta chips and garlic aioli sprinkled with herbs which quickly became world famous in Auckland.

Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, the hearty snack pairs perfectly with an after work drink.

In Parnell, Simon and Lee's tteokbokki, cylindrical Korean rice cakes which are fried until slightly crisp and then seasoned, are enough to make you wish you'd ordered a beer, said Canvas reviewer Kim Knight.

Known for being delicious but hardly healthy, chips have been reinvented for the clean-eating crowd in the form of kale.

Fried and salted or simply dried, kale chips can be found at several locations in the city including at Little Bird's Unbakery in Ponsonby, where they are served with a kimchi and chickpea burger on a lettuce "bun".

Tempura battered sticky rice, called sushi fries, at Wu and You restaurant in Mount Eden Auckland. Photo/ Doug Sherring
Tempura battered sticky rice, called sushi fries, at Wu and You restaurant in Mount Eden Auckland. Photo/ Doug Sherring

Loaded fries, of the kind you can find at Tiger Burger in Grey Lynn (piled high with mayo and kimchi), the CBD's Kimchi Project (same deal, but the fries are waffled rather than straight cut) or Carmen Jones on Karangahape Rd (covered in sauce, crackling and tiny squares of pork belly), have also elevated the humble spud recently.

Simon Gault's new waterfront venture, Giraffe, takes things one step further on the fancy front, wrapping every duck fat fried chip individually with pancetta.

And, if you're a stickler for the classics and like a good bargain, Swashbucklers on the Viaduct will do you a good old fashioned bowl of fries - for only $4.

Fries for all seasons

Wu and You's sushi fries, $9.

Coco's Cantina's polenta chips, $9

Simon and Lee's tteokbokki, $10

Carmen Jones' 'crackle dawg' chips, $15

Tiger Burger's K Fries, $12

The Kimchi Project's kimchi waffle fries, $15

Giraffe's triple cooked potatoes, $15

Swashbucklers 'bowl o' fries', $4.