Where to eat out this weekend: Happy Boy

Greg Bruce,
On Trend,
Publish Date
Saturday, 2 September 2017, 12:06PM

Address: 705a Manukau Rd, Royal Oak Price for two: $55.30 Ph: (09) 320 5238


They didn't do takeaways on first opening a few weeks ago, preferring to focus on the insane crowds that flocked to eat in almost from the minute they first opened the doors of their wildly neon store at the virtue-signally time of 4.20pm, but now they take phone orders, over the mad in-store din, with friendliness and efficiency. At 7.36pm on a Saturday night, the wait was 20 minutes.

It's a great menu, and its sides display a level of thought-differentiation: panko fried squid rings with shichimi salt and Japanese mayo; sticky five spice free range pork ribs; sriracha mayo as standard with the skinny cut chips.


The food is presented in big brown paper bags featuring a big Happy Boy image, but the real packaging thrill is inside the bag, where the restaurant's Japanese video game-inspired graphics are all over the boxes and containers, in a variety of digitally drug-addled colours and designs. Burger and fries boxes are sturdy thick-walled cardboard. Much thought has gone into the takeaway experience's first impression.


What you're getting from Happy Boy is not burgers as you traditionally know them because, while everything inside is a fundamentally traditional, honest burger, the steamed bao bun makes it a more or less completely different experience.

It's probably not a great takeaway date, because you spend a good deal of your meal picking the bun off your teeth. It's a denser eat than normal, takes longer, and has a whiter flavour profile. Maybe you'll love that. The standard beef burger was good and the crunchy cornflake chicken was better. The box of squid rings was enormous, and it and the chips went nicely with the sriracha mayo.

None of it was enough to make you go, "Here's a place that has changed the game", which is not something you'd expect of a takeaway joint really, except for the fact that this one screams so loudly, "Look at me".