The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Kiwi food @ Kiwiana, New York

Less than three hours after we finished our late lunch feast, we ate a fabulous dinner at Kiwiana in Brooklyn. Hubby's excuse for the gluttony within such short span of time was that we'd spent half the day cycling all over New York City, and he could still eat more. I didn't protest even though I was exhausted and still full from our 3pm lunch, because we only had one weekend in NYC, and this was our only chance to head out to Brooklyn. Kiwiana was on our must-eat list for our NYC trip because one of hubby's colleagues in Hong Kong co-owns this restaurant, and hubby had promised we would check it out. Plus Kiwi food piqued our foodie interest. I'm glad we went because the food was good! Chef Mark Simmons hails from New Zealand, trained in Australia and Japan, and was a former Top Chef contestant. We met the guy, and he was super-friendly and down-to-earth.

The cozy little restaurant:

Kiwiana is small and cozy, in a simple and homely setting. The staff was enthusiastic and friendly, and I felt right at home. The menu wasn't big, which I appreciate as it meant that Chef Simmons can maintain good quality control of the food going out from the kitchen. You can tell with every bite that the ingredients were of top notch quality, and the dishes were executed well. Kiwiana was worth the trip to Brooklyn (which was only a short subway ride from downtown).

To start our meal, we shared the Foie Gras Torchon with kumquat marmalade, bitter greens and toast. The torchon was smooth and extremely flavourful, and the kumquat marmalade was simply delicious!

One of the specials of the day was the Kiwi Burger going for US$10 (normal menu price US$15). We'd ordered one for the boy, who unfortunately was too tired to eat. Which meant more for mummy and daddy:

The Kiwi Burger - ground lamb, fried egg, cheddar and beetroot with hand-cut fries. This was very good as far as burgers go. The lamb patty was moist and cooked perfectly, and hubby was thrilled to see beetroot:

For mains, hubby chose Seared Diver Scallops with cauliflower and bacon ragout, and passion fruit sauce (US$24). The scallops were big, plump and sweet, cooked just right with a lovely char. I was in love with the cauliflower and bacon ragout, which was a tasty substitute for mashed potatoes:

I got the NZ Snapper with saffron and chorizo risotto (US$26). I never knew snapper could be so juicy and moist, and the crispy skin was the epitome of the Maillard reaction goodness. The saffron and chorizo risotto was lovely and would have been great on its own too:

For dessert, we chose Lemon Poppy Seed Panna Cotta with raspberry gazpacho (US$8). You can't go wrong with lemon and poppy seed, and the raspberry gazpacho gave a bright burst of colour to the dessert:

Pecan Bread Pudding with tangerine marmalade and whisky caramel (US$8), which came compliments of Chef Simmons. And we were glad for it because the bread pudding trumped the panna cotta! Unlike the soggy bread versions I've had, this was sumptuous and delicious, interspersed with crunchy pecans and moistened with marmalade and caramel. I'm not usually a fan of bread pudding, but this was delectable, and a meal on its own:

We had a great dinner at Kiwiana. The staff are some of the friendliest waitstaff we met on the east coast, and the food was excellent.

847 Union Street
Brooklyn NY 11215
United States
Tel. +1 718 230-3682

Kiwiana on Urbanspoon

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