Fern and Kiwi Bar & Eatery was suggested by another friend a few months ago, but we did not dine there eventually. I have been meaning to visit, since I was curious about New Zealand cuisine. So, tonight, I finally got to have dinner here.
A typical New Zealand cafe slash bar slash restaurant, this Fern and Kiwi offers a fun, relaxed environment with its wood decor and dim lighting. The doors and windows remind me alot of winter in Australia, actually. Level one is the bar area, level two is the restaurant area where we were dining at - alfresco seating is available, as well as great music playing all night long.
My main course was the New Zealand King Salmon Fillet - grilled salmon served on a bed of green lipped mussels and sumac risotto with dill creme fraiche and vine tomato confit. The salmon skin was crispy and the flesh was freshly tender; the sweetish flavor was very scrumptious. The risotto was a little too sweet for my liking, but I loved the juicy green lipped mussels and huge cherry tomatoes.
Charliez* had the Oven-Baked Cod - grilled cod fillet served with roasted baby potatoes and grilled asparagus and special Fern & Kiwi sauce. The cod was freshly succulent, and like my salmon - it was crispy on the outsde and the inside was fresh with the sweetness of well-prepared cod. It melted in the mouth. The savoury-saccharine sauce added a hint of flavor in contrast with the pure, light taste of the cod. The baby potatoes were soft and the asparagus + tomatoes made for great accompaniments.
For more detailed information and photos, please feel free to visit:
I made a booking for lunch on Sun at 12pm via this website. The booking was successful, and I even received a confirmation email.
Yet when I reached the restaurant, it was closed.
Why take a reservation for a timing when the restaurant is closed?
For the complete review and more photos, click here!
The menu prices are not ordinary. It costs $35 to $45 for a main dish, and appetizers are well above $10. It's for tourists, set in a touristy area, so, wallets, be well prepared. The service is great, staff prompt and friendly. Just don't sit on the second level, near the kitchen, if you want to enjoy your expensive dinner like a fine dining place. You'll hear the grumpy chef lecturing the servers, or shouting out your orders in a very unglamarous way. We started off with an appetiser, Southern Ocean Chowder ($19.50). Green lipped mussles, sea run salmon and scallops, in a light creamy fish broth with potato chunks, this soup looks pretty when served with the oil floating nicely on top. However, we had to add quite a bit of salt and pepper to season it... It is a really big bowl, easily serving up to 2 persons. There's all sorts of ingredients from the main dishes that you'll see inside the soup- cod fish, salmon, potatoes... A group of 4, we ordered steaks, Pure South New Zealand Beef Sirloin ($41.50) and Pure South New Zealand Beef Ribeye ($41.50), both veiny (grass-fed... ...), not juicy and marinated. Overall, nothing impressive, especially with the normal salad by the side. The Oven Baked Cod ($39.50) and Canterbury Plains Rack of Lamb ($39.50) fared better than the steaks, and had more interesting side dishes ,like grilled asparagus and sauteed haricot beans. The Cauliflower gratin with Upper Moutere cheese ($10.50) was not as cheesy as we had expeceted, but the light, fragrant natural taste of Cauliflowers brought out the taste. The Haricot Beans and feta cheese with almond flakes ($10.50) is average as well, but we thought our zhi-char stall could've done better, as they tasted quite similar... Appetiser Southern Ocean Chowder ($19.50) Green lipped mussles, sea run salmon and scallops, in a light creamy fish broth with potato chunks Pure South New Zealand Beef Sirloin ($41.50) 225grams of grass fed sirloin Pure South New Zealand Beef Ribeye ($41.50) 225grams of grass fed sirloin Oven Baked Cod ($39.50) Served with roasted potatoes and grilled asparagus in a Fern & Kiwi special sauce Canterbury Plains Rack of Lamb ($39.50) Coasted with trio of peppercorns and grilled garlic served on mashed potatoes and sauteed haricot beans Sides Cauliflower gratin with Upper Moutere cheese ($10.50)Haricot Beans and feta cheese with almond flakes ($10.50)
For the complete review and photos, click here!
Located next to the taxi stand at Clarke Quay, Fern and Kiwi is more of a drinking hole, with the food to support it.
At a recent visit, I had some beer and whisky, but what stood out for me was that the pub grub that came with it was pretty good by itself. Recommended is the fried fish, huge onion rings, and the must try, the roasted pork belly which melts in the mouth. Pair these with a large mug of beer and it is the ideal formula for a great night with friends.
Service was generally efficient in a relaxing atmosphere.
The food at Fern and Kiwi was very good indeed. For starters, we had the beef carpaccio (which i really liked), the foie gras (was nice) and the salt&pepper squid (good but the batter could be better. They use the body and tentacles. Not the usual squid rings) The lamb rack I had went well with the peppery sauce and mash. The Cod on the other hand was a little dry but still nice. I didnt get to try the steak but the portion looked big. Great atmosphere and great staff, especially from Nigel who was nice and helpful the whole night. He even cracked a joke to lighten the atmosphere. Price would be on the high side though. If only it was a little more affordable.