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Fern & Kiwi originated from New Zealand, with the management behind opening their first cafe back in 1988. With 25 years of experience and 21 cafes under the brand name Lone Star Cafe, they decided to venture overseas with Singapore as the selected destination last year with its offering of food, wines, beers, music and live entertainment all served in a friendly and fun atmosphere.
Admittedly, I am not an expert when it comes to the authentic New Zealand cuisine. Some research pre-dinner led me to discover that it is largely similar to Australian and British food with influences from Mediterranean and the Pacific Rim. It is also driven by local ingredients and seasonal variations and interestingly, "dinner" (also know as "tea") is the main meal of the day where families typically gather and share their evenings. This inspired restaurants to generally provide a larger proportion of the diet!
Split into a bar and restaurant, we went for the latter which was located on the first floor. Upon reaching the entrance of the restaurant, we were given the option to take a manually-operated lift or the flight of stairs. Feeling lazy, we decided to try the lift which involved us holding on to a button to propel it upwards!
Upon being ushered to our table, we were prompted for a bottle of "Still" or "Sparkling" water and I naturally assumed that they do not serve tap iced water. It was after ordering a S$12 bottle of "Still" water did we realise that they actually serve iced water for free.
Pure South New Zealand beef fillet (S$45/++) While the New Zealanders term it the "Eye Fillet", most people would be more familiar with the term "Tenderloin". Due to the cut being closer to the rear of the cow, the muscle actually does little work and explains why it is usually the most tender beef cut. We requested it to be served medium-rare and it was perfectly cooked, just the way we wanted. These 225 grams of grain fed protein was nicely complemented with a side salad drizzled with balsamic vinegar and a pot of brown, mushroom-flavoured, creamy sauce which did not quite suit my palate for the evening. Overall, I liked that the slab of tenderloin was carefully handled in the hands of the chef who knew how to handle this protein well.
Lemon 7 Yuzu (S$15/++) This was a rather interesting dessert with a lemon yuzu bar being the main highlight, which had a rather firm texture to it. Paired with passion fruit caramel, crushed candy meringue, freeze dried pineapple, raspberry and coconut soil, expect to be overwhelmed in terms of the different elements offered. We love the acidity and tang from the passion fruit and raspberry which cut through the sweet flavours from the candied meringue and caramel. Served on a stone slab, it was also beautifully dusted and surely won us over in terms of presentation and tastes.
Lemon 7 Yuzu
$300 for 3 pax
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