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FOOD & DRINK

Kai Pasifika is Mt Eden's New Contemporary Pacific Island Restaurant

One seafood restaurant closes and another one opens — this time with fried chicken.
By Stephen Heard
May 10, 2017
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By Stephen Heard
May 10, 2017
  shares

Proper seafood restaurant Ika was a valuable addition to volcanic suburb Mount Eden. Run by leftie politician Laila Harré, it was the kind of place you could get a hunk of sambal stingray for $12 while listening to scientists, artists and council members bang heads at monthly community engagement events. The sad news is that Ika has now closed its doors. The good news is that seafood fans will likely approve of the new arrival.

Kai Pasifika is a contemporary Pacific Island restaurant. The brainchild of celebrity chef and longtime advocate of South Pacific cuisine, Robert Oliver, Kai Pasifika has been in the pipeline for a few years, a failed crowd funding campaign and all. The idea was floated after noticing a lack of modern Pacific Island restaurant experiences in Auckland — a legitimate qualm with the city being home to the largest Polynesian population in the world.

At the new opening Oliver is joined in the kitchen by Fiji-born chef Bertrand Jang. Raw fish is a major player on the menu, with a choice of Cook Islands-style ika mata, Fijian kokoda and Hawaiian salmon poké. Larger sharing plates will transport diners straight to the islands, including Samoan roast pork, Polynesian brown sugar chicken, Kaiviti fried chicken — the restaurant's take on KFC, Tahitian fried rice and Samoan chop suey.

The dining room is casual and price points have been kept relatively low for a contemporary restaurant, between ($7-32), which is great news for everyone.

Kai Pasifika is open now seven days from 6-10pm. Find it at 3 Mt Eden Road, Mt Eden.

Photo: Kai Pasifika

Published on May 10, 2017 by Stephen Heard

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