With New Zealand’s native ingredients continuing to enjoy a renaissance, the owners of the popular Puha & Pakeha food truck are about to add an eatery to their stable.
Known for their modern Maori fusion fare, Puha & Pakeha’s new Grey Lynn eatery, opened last week, giving customers a permanent spot in which to enjoy their take on traditional Maori kai and its unique flavours.
The original Puha & Pakeha food truck was established in 2014 by husband and wife team, Jarrad and Belinda Mckay, two home cooks who say they are passionate about re-engaging New Zealanders with Maori kai.
Belinda says as their business grew in popularity, it became evident they needed a permanent base for customers to find their Puha & Pakeha menu favourites.
“The eatery’s offering will be the same ‘street food’ that’s been so well received in our caravan over the last few years, but customers will also now have a casual, relaxed space in which to enjoy that food,” she says.
The eatery will offer some of the most popular dishes from the caravan, such as their tua tua fritters with kina chili chive mayo, kumara and coconut bites, and the Aotearoa reuben sandwich, as well as some new creations, including piko piko & edamame bites with kawakawa tahini dressing, and a hapuku raw fish salad.
Those with a sweet tooth will also be delighted by the desserts on offer, including a kawakawa meringue, rewena bread trifle and the sensational fried bread ice cream sandwich with manuka caramel sauce.
Also new to the eatery is a milkshake selection, featuring the flavours of marmite & chocolate, strawberry & horopito and pohutukawa caramel.
Jarrad says he and Belinda are looking forward to re-introducing more Kiwis to the country’s native ingredients through Puha & Pakeha’s new eatery.
“Our vision (kaupapa) for the business has always been to engage people with Maori kai,” he says. “We feel that having this kai presented in new and modern ways in a warm, welcoming environment will do exactly that.”
Styled as a ‘fast casual’ eatery, Puha & Pakeha’s inviting interiors blend traditional touches with a modern feel. New Zealand themes abound, with native timber and plants, as well as pieces of Maori and retro kiwiana art adorning the walls, while natural elements of the building have been retained, including a red brick feature wall and concrete plastered walls.
Sustainability is a key focus; the eatery’s furniture has been made or upcycled from second hand materials and every dish, dine in or takeaway, is served with a compostable plate, cup, cutlery or container.
Local music also features heavily and there is a guitar on hand for customers to pick up and play. Singing waiata is culturally significant for Maori and is a way for guests to reciprocate the hospitality shown by their hosts.
The outdoors area follows a similar theme and will also house the original Puha & Pakeha caravan when it’s not at an event.
Moving to the Grey Lynn premises also gives Puha & Pakeha a larger production kitchen to keep up with the growing catering side of their business.
The caravan will continue to be available for catering, parties and weddings, and will remain a fixture at some of their favourite markets and events around Auckland.
The eatery space will be available to hire as a venue during the day and outside of opening hours for team meetings and product or client presentations – perfect for those looking for onsite catering as well as a small venue.
All dishes on the menu range in price from $8 – $14, available either dine in or take away.
Puha & Pakeha
Wednesday – Saturday 5:00-9:00pm
108 Surrey Crescent, Grey Lynn, Auckland