As often happens on a Friday night out drinking, we suddenly found ourselves hungry and in need of a BYO venue. We had been happily taken care of at Crumpet (something that seems oddly un-reviewed on the Wellingtonista) and had purchased wine from the surprisingly well-stocked bottle store on Dixon. But Cinta was closed and a scan of Shanghai’s menu showed that it served shark fin soup, and we refuse to eat anywhere that serves shark fin soup.
Luckily right next to Cinta was another BYO Chinese restaurant (sans evil soup): Red Hill. We shrugged, and went in… we could not have been more lucky.
At the top of the stairs we were confronted by a large karaoke screen playing to an empty restaurant. This only excited us.
The friendly staff gave us a big table right in line with the screen and we did that thing that everyone does at Chinese restaurants: we ordered way too much food. While we drank our wine and waited for our food our group, which is loud at the best of times, started singing along to the music. At this point the smiling staff brought over microphones.
Our food arrived in a short while and the microphones that had been used to great effect for singing ABBA, John Denver and some pop songs that none of us really knew, were placed on the table. The dumplings at Red Hill are awesome (not Dumpling House awesome, but still really good!), though opinion differed in the group as to whether steamed was better than pan-fried. The lamb dumplings were especially tasty.
The rest of the dishes were equally good. Doubled fried, spicy pork belly was a crowd favourite. Red Hill cover almost every animal on their menu so you can get sweet and sour venison if you so please. Vegetarians, you’ll do ok, but this isn’t really a very vege-friendly place. It was while we ate that we discovered we could select the songs on the big screen (this was via group of young men who sat at the next table and requested Ne-Yo and Westlife). Normally I’d include some photos of the food except none of my friends or I instagrammed any of it, seriously, the one time that would be useful!
We’ve returned to Red Hill twice more since that first night (which ended rather raucously at the Korean Karaoke bar on Dixon St): on Feb 4th and on Valentines Day. Both times we had a group of roughly five or six and the staff were always happy to accommodate us and the food quality hadn’t changed at all (still good). Valentines Day was slightly embarrassing as two couples were asked to move tables so that we could fit in. (Happy Valentines Day guys, no hard feelings I hope.)
If you want to go for the Karaoke, it’s on Fridays and Saturdays. Red Hill also do Chinese steamboat hot pots on Mondays.