Cuisine - - SOCIAL -


We have some stun­ning food in New Zealand but if there’s one thing that we can lay claim to that no other food pro­duc­ing na­tion has, it is our con­nec­tion to Māori cui­sine and the indige­nous in­gre­di­ents found in bush and on land. Monique Fiso (pic­tured), a stel­lar chef, is lead­ing the charge in show­cas­ing this and she will open her restau­rant, Hi­akai, in mid-novem­ber in Welling­ton. She’s cho­sen a site where tra­di­tional brick­mak­ing was car­ried out from the 1860s, has re­vamped the his­toric build­ing with the help of her fam­ily and will re­tain the old kilns as a trib­ute to the city’s her­itage. Fiso has worked hard to rein­vent tra­di­tional food by giv­ing it a mod­ern twist, and is in­cor­po­rat­ing the as­ton­ish­ingly wide­spread range of flora and fauna she’s dis­cov­ered in her ex­ten­sive re­search. Joe Mcleod is her full time for­ager, Tom Hil­ton is the pas­try chef (a Māori with a Bri­tish ac­cent, Fiso teases) and Cameron Dou­glas has worked on the wine list. Ex­pect to see titi, ti kouka buds and kiekie flow­ers on a menu that will fea­ture so­phis­ti­cated fare, in­tense tech­nique and un­usual and un­der­rated seafood species.

Hi­akai, 40 Wal­lace St, Mt Cook, Welling­ton

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