Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fern and Kiwi-Bar and Eatery : Kia Ora !

Be greeted by this cute cartoon character when you enter
What exactly is New Zealand food? I've read some where that its about quality ingredients but I think it is simply featuring best local ingredients from various parts of NZ.
Kia ora is a Māori language greeting which has entered New Zealand English. It means literally "be well/healthy" and is translated as an informal "hi" .
Curiosity led me to this restaurant, one of the very few places that brand themselves as selling NZ cuisine. This is actually a branch that is opened only in September this year by Lone Star Cafe, an established restaurant in NZ. It has now 21 branches all over NZ.
Some vegetable sticks as starters (complimentary from restaurant)
Even though the cuisine is similar to Australian style, I would say one will not be disappointed with the quality of food here.
 Classic Lone Star Spare Ribs with honey, hoisin and orange glaze
Fabulous larger-than-usual spare ribs that stacked up on top of some coleslaw. 
Try it and you will know why it has always been the star dish of it's main restaurant Lone Star back in NZ.
This entree size was so big that it can be a man's main course. Good for sharing between 3-4 if you plan to try other dishes.

The chunky ribs are sweet,not too tough, and have some fats that literally melts not in your mouth but in your fingers. This is not that kind of lean spare ribs with little meat but those that are meaty enough to tempt you to just grab one and tear off the meat.
 Cajun Kingfish Slider (2 pieces) and New Zealand Beef and Venison Slider (1 piece)
the fish version......
Kingfish that is panfried very nicely on both sides (look at the dark brown edges) and the tartare sauce is thick but not too creamy. Its also more tangy than the usual kind.
Garlic toasted Brioche burger bun is toasted till the outer skin in golden to dark brown. Crisp but not too hard or dry.
Beef and venison slider with onion and rosemary, homemade beetroot radish (pink topping)
 The beef and venison meat pattie here is average and slightly dry. Not much difference from a typical burger. Would recommend the Cajun fish version instead of this.
Another hidden star-the Otago Loin of Venison , with slow roasted herbed tomato and steamed bak choy on red current port wine jus
Worth trying this if you are sick of braised lamb shank. An under-rated meat, this one is grilled medium well but yet it is so much tender than a beef fillet.
But a caution is that those who prefer heavier taste might find it bland. Its side dish of steamed bak Choy might be too simple for some.
new zealand sea run salmon fillet-with dill and creme fraiche dressing, on top of a bed of green lip mussel and spinach risotto
This is another dish worth trying not because of the green risotto but because of the fish. You might think salmon is so common but to grill it till its meat is still moist and not too greasy is not that easy.
The spinach risotto has absorbed the flavours of green lip mussels and there is a sticky texture to it. ( perhaps due to mixing with the dill sauce but this is much tastier than the black ink risotto at ochre)
Semi open kitchen concept 
Fresh oysters 1/2 dozen
Not worth ordering for the size if you like plump fatty ones.
Try the oysters with this made-in-new zealand tabasco sauce--Kataia Fire Chilli Pepper Sauce
The original, and now world famous, New Zealand hot sauce, made from locally grown organic chilies, and named after the local town.
Lone Star "world famous in New Zealand" coleslaw
An overrated dish. Disappointed with this as its dressing is not those creamy kind but simple vinaigrette style. Health-conscious ones will like this lighter version that is matched with toasted pine nuts.
Moro Bar and Kahlua Cheesecake topped with orange mint salad
This cheesecake is highly recommended if u want to know what Moro bar taste like. ( a local snack which they say its like mars bars which I don't agree). That aside, the cheesecake is neither those of the rich dense American style nor the light mousse version. It is actually sticky but not too heavy for a dessert. First time encountering this kind of cheesecake ( hard crunchy base--not the usual digestive crust kind)

Inner sweet sticky surprise of chopped Moro bars :)
Pavlovas- crunchy meringue with fresh chantiliy cream and fruits A traditional nz classic dessert (named after ballerina dancer Anna Pavlova) executed well, try this once if you haven't. Of course, this is not the only place that sells it.
this is something you should order if you prefer to have a light sweet ending to your meal. 
airy, crunchy shell and the chantily cream filling is not sweet at all.
 
how about a cuppa flat white latte after the meal?

Cool dark interior with really great warm service from the staff. They are extremely friendly and one can easily start a converstation with them. Worth a try but wish they had offered some Maori traditional cuisine......

Fern and Kiwi
3C River Valley Road, #01-02/03 The Cannery, Clarke Quay, Singapore 179024



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