What the restaurant should look like!
The countdown to opening the restaurant again has begun in earnest. It's our 10th year and are by far the longest running establishment in our area which boasts about 20 eateries. It's a cut throat business with the two cafes closest to us each having eight different owners since we started and many other venues failing. Maybe prospective buyers see them in the summer time when it's completely manic and imagine how much money they can make but the reality is less than ten punters in the winter time is the norm and that's only if you are popular. So our decision to close for five months has been a good one economically and it's given us a life outside of the business which is important to our survival.
So it will be good to open again with seasonal products like asparagus and strawberries (not together!). The Coromandel green lipped mussels are fattening after spawning, the scallops from our bay are small but of good colour and a fisherman is now catching paddle crabs which haven't got a lot of meat but are and subtle and sweet. Crayfish are plentiful and have only gone up $2 to $38/kilo for second grade (loss of more than two legs), the first kingfish, my preferred fish to cook, have been sighted and the oysters are fat. Add these to the local fruit, oranges, tangelos, mandarins, tamarillos, avocados, macadamias and free range eggs (from our old business) and organic milk and you have a wonderful canvas to paint a menu.
There has been a big shift away from out of season and/or exotic foods but we have always used as much local as we can get because of isolation and courier charges and it made sense.
So now we're busy changing the restaurant from sculpture studio to eatery and where do we put eight big sculptures!