A creative cafe that's making a tasty impact.
It wasn’t until her final year at Elam School of Fine Arts that Ruby Chang-Jet White was inspired to follow her affinity for food. An incredible collection of ceramics was well underway and she’d already gained a firm following for her restaurant pop-ups under the pseudonym ‘Miss Changy’, so it seemed only appropriate to combine the two things she loved most in a more permanent location. That location is Te Tuhi gallery, and that cafe is Small Fry.
Located inside the entrance of the gallery, the new eatery was born from creative minds and techniques. The geometric counter, for instance, has been crafted from wood gathered in Kumeu, and the custom-made light boxes feature cute little logos that were designed by White’s friend, Lena. Although still very much a part of the gallery — the current installation by Yona Lee is definitely one worth viewing — the interior, designed in collaboration with Amelia Fagence and craftsman Darryl Fagence, is a reflection of White’s heritage, as is the cuisine.
Australian born, it’s a fascination with her mother’s Malaysian-Chinese ancestry that is evident on the plate. The menu encompasses traditional Malaysian fare like kaya toast which sees coconut curd infused with pandan leaf (the vanilla of the East) then served on sourdough; the congee (a fine balance between sweet and savoury); miso brown rice porridge with mushrooms, truffle, seaweed, onsen egg; and a traditional Chinese breadstick, you tiao. There is also a tempting line-up of ‘sambos’ served in house-made, freshly baked sourdough. We indulged in the pulled pork number that comes brimming with Jerusalem artichoke, kiwi salsa verde, Vietnamese mint, lettuce and toasted pepita. The gluten free aren’t neglected either, as all the sandwiches can easily be converted into rice bowls with onsen egg and greens.
To accompany your meal, there is coffee, chilli hot chocolates, fresh chai, teas and juices. For an experience to indulge in a world where art and food collide, we suggest you make a trip to Small Fry, it’s a cafe that is destined to make a big impact on those perusing the exhibitions.
Te Tuhi Gallery
13 Reeves Road
(09) 577 0138