Wai­tan­girua be­comes restau­rant hotspot

Kapi-Mana News - - OUT & ABOUT - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

Wai­tan­girua’s old pub now houses the area’s first restau­rant.

The Hun­gry Tiki opened two weeks ago and is dish­ing out gourmet food in Porirua’s east.

Jimmy Isaako said his restau­rant could seat 400 peo­ple and proved din­ing out could be cheap, healthy and tasty.

It’s Isaako’s first ven­ture into the food busi­ness and he’s con­fi­dent he’s on to some­thing good.

‘‘Any high-risk busi­ness has high re­wards. I’m ruth­less in busi­ness and I love a chal­lenge.’’

Isaako, born in Toke­lau, has been a proud Porirua man for 38 years.

‘‘I’ve trav­elled a lot, but I al­ways come back. There’s no place like Porirua.’’

Isaako’s busi­ness oc­cu­pies the space that once housed the Two Tears pub, then the Hill 16 night­club.

He said the build­ing had been empty since the pub was closed. The pool ta­bles, TAB tele­vi­sions and mir­ror ball re­main, but Isaako did rip up the old car­pet.

‘‘It smelled just like an old pub.’’

He wants to pro­vide cheap, healthy gourmet food at fast food prices.

All the food is made fresh on the premises by chef Meagan Te Kira. She spe­cialises in mak­ing tasty food for peo­ple with al­ler­gies.

Isaako and wife Shar­ifa are look­ing for­ward to work­ing with their com­mu­nity and their busi­ness al­ready spon­sors a lo­cal sports team.

The cou­ple em­ploy seven staff and ex­pect to hire more as the restau­rant gets busier.

The $12 Sun­day roasts are prov­ing to be the most pop­u­lar so far and Isaako said ev­ery­one could ex­pect to leave with a full puku.

Though he’s look­ing for­ward to cook­ing for the Porirua east com­mu­nity, Isaako wants peo­ple to travel to dine at the Hun­gry Tiki. He said Welling­to­ni­ans and Kapiti Coast­ers should ig­nore the area’s rep­u­ta­tion and give it a go.

Isaako ac­knowl­edged that for some the idea of trav­el­ling to Wai­tan­girua for a gourmet meal might be un­usual, but he was con­fi­dent the proof would be in the pud­ding.

‘‘Even ve­g­ans will leave with a full puku.’’

Jimmy Isaako wants ev­ery­one to leave his restau­rant with a full puku.

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