Time Travels

In memory of Auckland’s Oriental Markets (1989-1998)

For many Aucklanders living in the ‘big smoke’ in the ’80s and ’90s, the Oriental Markets in Quay St were their first introduction to Asian culture and food. Some went there to buy a good pair of kung-fu shoes (a style pretty popular in 1980s New Zealand, courtesy of Bruce Lee). Others have fond memories of fried noodles, pork buns, and Shitake mushrooms.

Opened in 1989, Auckland’s Oriental Markets offered ethnic food and entertainment, all under one roof. But it wasn’t meant to last. The premises closed less than a decade later, in 1998, and the building itself was demolished around 2001.

By then, the site had already been sold for about $20 million, and plans to turn it into a huge mall or a convention centre had both fallen through. Where the structure once stood is now a Countdown supermarket.