Food: 4 stars
Service: 4 stars
Ambiance: 5 stars
Price of mains: $21 to $36
Park Kitchen, opposite The Roxy Cinema in Miramar, touts itself as a neighbourhood eatery and bar. Its standard must reflect Miramar’s status as the heart of ‘Wellywood’, as a lot of money would have been poured into the design and furnishing. The lightness of the walls an the use of pale wood reminds me of another popular establishment on Cuba Street in Wellington – Loretta’s.
I was lucky that I managed to secure a table for 7.30pm on a Saturday night. According to the very polished and efficient Maitre D’ who has only been there for two months, the place is always humming. The cleverly designed menu offers something for everyone – small plates for trendy youngsters who want to share, full sized main for more traditional diners who want their own plates, and there were plenty of gluten free and vegetarian options as well. Judging from the wine and food flowing at every neighbouring table, everyone was having a jolly good evening.
For my main, I choose the Market Fish, Grilled King Prawn and Lemon Foam. I was given the option of tuna or tarakihi. I was splendidly surprised by the large portion of lightly seared tuna. The accompanying king prawn was packed with flavour. The firm flesh suggested that it could have been fresh instead of frozen. The pork belly dish was very beautifully plated, the jus had a good body. The tanginess of the accompanying grilled stone fruit was a surprise to the pallet but it really cut through the richness of the pork. It was a bit of a shame, however, that the golden standard of a good belly pork, which is a good crackling, was not present to make this dish a ten out of ten. My good husband ordered the spicy kumera bean burger with spicy chipotle mayo. I am not too sure about the ‘build-your-own-burger’ format, but the patty was packed with flavour.
To wrap up the meal, the family of three shared the chocolate brownie meringue with seasonal berries and cream. I was really curious how they incorporated the chocolate brownie into the meringue, hoping that it would be swirled through. It was presented as little cubes mixed in the middle of meringue. Crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside. Kudos to the chef with his/her generosity of the fresh berries so late in the season.
All in all, every plate was polished off, and I look forward to my next visit to this fine establishment.