It is really nice to have friends who own cafes and cook lunch for you specially, even more so if while you are eating that lunch they shoo other would be diners away telling them lunch is finished! I love that feeling!
We have friends who have a cafe that we always visit in Mount Maunganui called Two Small Fish. It has had several write ups in the likes of Cuisine and other mags and is always pronounced to be a good place to eat. I concur!
It is run by Trent Clarke and Nicola Brown, both of whom used to work for us when we had our ill fated restaurant. Both showed the potential they have definitely realised in their own venture, their cafe has been going strong for about 5 years! They concentrate on seafood obviously, usually they have about 7 different kinds of fish, which changes regularly, depending on availability. They also do a number of other seafood dishes, squid, prawns, crayfish, scallops and crab are regulars. All of which I have tried, all delicious. One favourite that appears quite regularly are gurnard tails stuffed with scallops (I think!) and wrapped in nori then fried. I have always liked them!
The last time we dined, we were worried that we wouldn't get fed as it was quite late in the day, fortunately we weren't refused and I chose John Dory on kumara mash with green beans, beetroot and a cabernet sauvignon verjuice jelly. It was YUM! Can't remember what Glen had, I was too busy concentrating on mine. I am always amazed that Glen orders seafood when we are there as he is not a big seafood fan, obviously the way it is described on the menu entices him!
Trent is a pretty laid back character and always makes time for a chat even when he is flat out in the kitchen. Nic manages the front of house with startling efficiency and makes it look so effortless. I always enjoy a foodie chat with both of them, it gets me inspired!
While we were there we were discussing blini as I had made them for the first time over Christmas. He happened to be whipping up a batch so showed me how he makes them. Different to mine, as he used mashed potatoes, his were denser and larger but still had the same lovely yeasty flavour that sets blini apart from your standard pancake. I think I will go with his method next time as it looks so much easier and nicer.
If you are ever in the Mount, pop in and try their lovely food. They are open most days for lunch and dinner (might be closed Mondays?).
After that gorgeous big lunch I wasn't keen on too much dinner, but kept with the seafood theme and had prawns and smoked fish with basil mayo and a glass of well chilled sauvignon blanc. Bliss!