David Lee opened the first Aigo Noodle Bar in Ponsonby, and it was instantly humming. The formula translates well to Newmarket, in the space previously occupied by The Candy Shop (also part of Lee’s Namu Group stable).

The Aigo concept centres on blending Korean flavours and ingredients with Italian dishes and techniques. At the Newmarket branch, the yukgaejang ragu with house-made pappardelle is a highlight.

Yukgaejang is a spicy, umami beef and vegetable soup that’s traditionally eaten on special occasions in Korea. Aigo’s version is made with Wagyu mince, mushrooms, daikon, leek and scallion oil, and handmade pappardelle that has wavy edges to hold the sauce.

Another standout is the pizza, its house-made dough topped with jeyuk ‘nduja (a Korean twist on the spicy Calabrian pork spread), tofu cream, spring onion and cheese. The Ponsonby site has its popular cacio e pepe tteokbokki; in Newmarket, try the pancetta rose tteokbokki with chewy, gnocchi-like pieces of rice cake in a smoky, creamy pancetta sauce.

Aigo Newmarket feels more spacious than the Ponsonby venue (which is a more traditional noodle bar, with its close booths and bar seating), even though both seat around 60 people. Lee is playing into this effect, creating an elevated, polished experience at Newmarket that’s designed for lingering.

To drink, there's a variety of natural wines that pair well with the restaurant’s bold, punchy flavours. They range from light, fresh whites and sparkling to rich, textural oranges, juicy chilled reds and complex, powerful drops such as the Terroir Project cabernet sauvignon.

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Updated: June 6th, 2023

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