Today marks the end of an era for one of Auckland's most beloved takeaway restaurants.

The Chinese Cuisine restaurant at the iconic Mercury Plaza food court is closing its doors after 25 years.

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Since it first opened in 1994, crowds have come from near and far for a bowl of their legendary barbecue pork wonton noodle soup, or a plate of their delicious roast pork, duck and chicken on rice.

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But today is their last day of trading with the building set to be demolished to make way for Karangahape Station, part of the $4.42 billion City Rail Link.

It's a sad end for owners Tony and Ming Chan and their daughter Katie, who have built close relationships with their loyal customers – including the All Blacks.

"I'm already getting emotional about it," Katie told the Herald.

"I will miss a lot of customers. Some of them are old people that we have known for years, it's upsetting.

"I think I will cry if I see some of our regulars. I will be upset for my dad. It's been 25 years and now it's time to go."

Families have been flocking to enjoy one last meal at Chinese Cuisine. Photo / NZ Herald.
Families have been flocking to enjoy one last meal at Chinese Cuisine. Photo / NZ Herald.

The Mercury Plaza food court holds a special place in the hearts of many Auckland locals. The building has housed a video arcade, an Asian supermarket, a Chinese hairdresser, and numerous popular food stalls.

Chinese Cuisine has long been a favourite destination for rugby and league players, with some of the biggest names in New Zealand sport on first-name terms with the Chan family.

Rugby-mad Tony is regularly seen wearing a Blues or All Blacks cap or shirt. Photos of him together with the likes of Richie McCaw, Sonny Bill Williams and Ma'a Nonu are displayed proudly behind the counter.

"We always have the Auckland rugby boys in here, the Blues, North Harbour and Counties teams, and Warriors players too. And the All Blacks come in whenever they are in town," said Katie.

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"Some of them have been coming for a long time. We had Jerome Kaino in here lots. Issac Luke comes in with his friends and family. Ken Maumalo, he came in yesterday with his wife.

"I am really proud that we have their support but I'm upset at the same time because the All Blacks are away while we are finishing up and closing. They can't make it for one last meal."

The Mercury Plaza near K Road will be demolished to make way for a new train station. Photo / NZ Herald.
The Mercury Plaza near K Road will be demolished to make way for a new train station. Photo / NZ Herald.

Over the last few days business has been booming with long queues of customers from 11am through to close and the kitchen working overtime to keep up with demand.

"The oven was going non-stop from 9am to 3pm. On Saturday we did five duck, nine chicken and lots of barbecue pork. Normally we would do half that.

"Today I will have my daughter and my sister coming in to help."

Customers have been signing a large card dedicated to the Chan's with many expressing sadness about the restaurant's closure.

"We've been coming here forever, the last 25 years," said Wu, who was enjoying a final meal with her family. "It's so sad. Where am I going to go when I'm sick, hungover, and hungry?"

The good news is Katie plans to re-open the business and continue her father's legacy.

"I am hoping that I will carry on next year. I will look for a new place to carry on from what he's done.

"I would like to say thank you to our customers for all the support for my mum and dad over the last 25 years.

"I hope when I reopen next year with my dad supporting me that we will see them all again."