Monday, October 6, 2014

The Blue Breeze Inn: tropical Pacific in temperate Pacific

On Ponsonby Road, you'll find many eateries, "watering holes" and coffee shops; each one bustling in competition with the others to gain repeat-businesses of customers.  Therefore you'll find various business models and strategies utilised by the owners and management teams in order to gain a foothold and survive in this prominent arena that is Auckland's Ponsonby.  

As a former business student, I truly appreciate the mental exercises of "case-studies" that one can witness as a bystander on a nightly basis in this neighbourhood.  Questions such as "How can cafe 'x' still compete against the might that is coffee shop chain 'y'?" occupy my mind while food and caffeinated drinks occupy my stomach.

Adorned with Polynesian decor, the trendy restaurant named The Blue Breeze Inn is adored by Aucklanders.  It has, in all regards, achieved a strong foothold from which it is building its name and fame through friendly service of "Kiwi-ised", modernised and "fusionised" Southern Chinese cuisine.

The restaurant's chef de partie, Mr. Jirapong, has graciously hosted a group of Thai expats and myself at his place of employment.  Below is a summary of my impressions of The Blue Breeze Inn.

Overall grade:  4/5

Unique charms:
  • Polynesian decor - the restaurant is made to feel like you're dining in a bungalow
  • Dimly lit, crowded tables, and rather loud music - this creates a lively atmosphere, as though you're dining in a night club.  If you're looking for a place to have a chat over a meal, please keep looking.
  • Friendly and young service team - they wear Hawaiian shirts as their uniforms
  • Larger portion sizes than the Kiwi average - because the head chef wants you to share menus within your dining party, as is custom in most Asian cultures.
  • Very clean bathrooms that are also decorated with Polynesian art

However, with all the positives mentioned, I'd like to inform you that there is one big negative at this restaurant - particularly for people with sensitive noses.  Because of the type of cuisine it specialises in, the way that the kitchen is built (open kitchen), along with its high customer turnover (even on a weekday evening), your clothes and hair are going to accumulate a lot of smoke from the cooking.

The VIP table is made to look like a wine barrel

"Choc pot" dessert - chocolate and peanut butter lava mini cake with quinelles of chocolate and vanilla ice cream

Taro fritters with a scoop of lemon sorbet

Chef Jirapong and I

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