Meet Auckland's New Artist-Run Café
Head east for an entirely handcrafted café experience.
Ruby Chang-Jet White is known for her stunning handmade ceramics and culinary talents under the pseudonym Miss Changy. A graduate of Auckland's Elam School of Fine Arts, food has always been a big part of her practice — through a series of popular restaurant pop-ups she has put her spin on everything from handmade noodles to the bowls you eat from, the chopsticks you eat with and the stools you sit on. It's a living, breathing, mouthwatering art project.
It only makes sense that Miss Changy has now evolved into a full-blown artist-run café — in a gallery, no less. Small Fry can be found inside Pakuranga's Te Tuhi gallery.
In true Miss Changy style, virtually everything in the space has been made from scratch. For the fit-out she worked in collaboration with multi-media artist Amelia Fagence who helped realise the modern and Malaysian-inspired space with natural materials (mostly macrocarpa) and custom light boxes. Elsewhere, Small Fry co-owner and White's partner Bob Dougan built a beautiful copper tap offering filtered water, illustrator Pebpeh created the café's 'bully' artwork, and White fashioned all of the ceramics.
White says the menu is led by flavours and dishes that represent her mixed cultural background — Malaysian-Chinese and European-Australian. You'll find Miss Changy's popular Sarawak laksa, kaya toast, chilli hot chocolates and sambos built on sourdough buns made fresh every morning and filled with slow-cooked meats and Asian herbs.
White intends to make the space more than just a café, "I want to activate it with events outside of its operating hours (think: artist supper clubs, pop-ups, food classes etc). I have a few lined up already which I'm very excited about and look forward to sharing with everyone once the details are ironed out."
Find Small Fry at Te Tuhi Gallery, 13 Reeves Road, Pakuranga. It's open now from 9am-3pm, Monday to Saturday.
Image: Helen Mai
Published on September 06, 2017 by Stephen Heard