I'm back in my old neighbourhood for a bit due to a family illness. I'm often crossing the Mangere Bridge when I go out to eat, but here's what I've found south of the Manukau Harbour.
Neptune Seafood on Coronation Road in Mangere Bridge has been our go-to fish and chip shop for most of my lifetime. The keys to getting good fried fish, and not canola-soaked freezer-burnt dogfish, in the NZ suburbs are (i) go to a fishmonger, (ii) select your own piece of fish, e.g. tarakihi, (iii) ask for it to be fried in breadcrumbs (NB: this is controversial), and (iv) eat as soon as possible. If anyone knows the keys to getting good chips in this country, please tell: I've never had much luck, even at highly rated places. But enlivening average chips is the one true use of Wattie's tomato sauce.
Also on Coronation Road, Pars Kebab has good coffee. The roaster is Burton's, presumably the same Burton who has founded several coffee companies, notably Columbus. The short black at Pars has a nice acidity. If I want something shorter, and I often do, the Columbus in Onehunga is excellent.
The Kirkbride Road strawberry farm is slightly past the peak of its season now, but it's still worth picking up a chip or two on your way back from the airport. There's often a trade-off between strawberry size and taste, but not here. Cash only.
Some day I need to take a more serious sample of Indian food in Otahuhu and Papatoetoe. On this trip, I've only been to a place in Hunter's Plaza, and it wasn't even the more interesting place in Hunter's Plaza that sold both dosa and kebabs. I mention this mostly to note that you can get South Indian in shopping malls these days, an indication of how Auckland has changed.