Gordon moved to New Zealand in his early twenties and started at the bottom of the kitchen ladder as a kitchen hand. After many years of working in restaurants and noting how hard it was to run a successful restaurant in New Zealand (mainly due to the smaller captive audience), Gordon and his wife Yina Yang decided to start a food truck, The Rolling Pin, in 2016.
The Rolling Pin brings a unique twist to South East Asian cuisine. They wanted to show Kiwi’s that there is more to Asian food that noodles and fried rice and have brought a unique twist to the Asian food scene in NZ with their Dumplings & Slaw, Noodle Salad Bowls and Stuffed Bao’s. After serving several thousand dumplings and receiving acclaim as one of Auckland’s best dumplings, they now have a permanent spot in Wynyard Quarter as well.
The best word to describe The Rolling Pin’s food is ‘layered’. Their combinations create the perfect balance of sour, savoury and sweet and their legendary dumplings come teamed with a fresh Asian salad for that crunch. Gordon believes that the condiments he serves are equally as important as the dumpling itself and is famous for refusing to serve his dumplings if they run out of their slaw.
On the show, we talk about:
- Being a chef v/s a cook: overcoming the Asian mentality of hospitality not being a great career choice
- Innovating on the traditional dumpling and the importance of condiments
- Having a food truck in a corporate location v/s central Auckland
- Why having a hospitality business in NZ is much harder than other Asian cities
Listen to the Podcast Here:
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Quotes from the episode:
“As a commis, I used to come to work really early in the morning so I could do stock-take with the Head Chef and learn all the names of the Western ingredients. After hours, I would watch plenty of You Tube. No movies, just videos about food. That really helped me get familiar with the food I had to cook at work.”
“How many times did I eat Sweet and Sour Pork in China? It’s rare to go to a restaurant in China and ask for fried rice or sweet and sour pork. These dishes are just something Chinese people cook for others”.