Enter through a clandestine entranceway to this refined new neighbourhood eatery.
When we first stepped into The Kitchen by MR TOMS our initial thought was, ‘Oh God. We’ve walked in the service entrance.’ Entering through a wood and frosted glass door on Anglesea Street, you’re launched straight into the open kitchen, so close you almost feel obliged to throw on an apron and join the line. “We wanted to immerse people in the dining experience straightaway, break down any barriers,” explains head chef Tom Williamson. Well, it’s fair to say, that objective was achieved.
The Kitchen is an intimate evening bistro tucked neatly in the back of the popular MR TOMS bar on Ponsonby Road. Opening this Thursday, 18th August, the light, bright, neighbourly eatery may only be separated from the watering hole by a sliding glass door, but the place seems a world away from what goes on out front.
Inspired by his time spent cooking across the globe, Williamson’s menu is neat and to the point, impressively managing to cover off vegetarians, pescatarians and the gluten free in just one page.
Among the starters, diners can be entertained by cured kingfish with miso, mandarin, coconut or a beef short rib with smoked potato purée, sunchoke and pickled cabbage. To follow, there’s a pan roasted Hapuka, pork cheek and rather striking beetroot gnocchi. But honestly, if any meat eater can go past the eye fillet and triple cooked chips, we salute you; a thick steak topped with a healthy dollop of smoky bone marrow butter, it’s the sort of dish that deserves, nay — demands, your attention.
Finishing on a (sugar) high note, the desserts don’t fail to deliver either with dishes like salted caramel mousse and the ‘chocolate nemesis’ which goes on to defy the limitations of our waistbands. Alternatively, for those who prefer to finish their meal with an après dinner drink, the cocktail list gets a firm thumbs up too.
That’s the great thing about this place; if you like, you can have a quiet meal and slink back out the side door avoiding Ponsonby Road and the inevitable bump-ins that come with it. On the other hand, if it’s ramping up to be a big one, then the bar is literally steps away. Almost rude not to…
The Kitchen by MR TOMS
151 Ponsonby Road
(09) 360 9138