Food, glorious food. This blog series aims to provide some insights into a few local favourite eateries around Rarotonga.
Kai & Co. is the creation of a young couple, who are local avid foodies; Maeva Rongo and Mariana Ryan. They started their love for sharing their food obsession through preordered healthy packed meals and at the Muri Night Market. Then in 2018, Kai & Co was born in its current prime location, right in the heart of Avarua, at the Punanga Nui Markets.
Interesting enough, their current landlords were also part of their decision to open a fully functioning kitchen. They just could not bypass the opportunity of the location proposed to them. Rightly so, because the Punanga Nui food scene would be so different if they weren’t there.
Two years in, the couple along with their dedicated team of chefs, baristas and frontline staff, can boast some of the best food on the island. In an effort to not overcomplicate things, they provide a simple menu of individually prepared, some would call ‘gourmet’, selection of foods. Ranging from tasty burgers, delectable bagels, to naughty sweet delights.
Kai & Co also bake their own brioche buns, sesame bagels and tortillas wraps – how much more ‘refined’ could you get? Vegetarian options are also available for the discerning plant based, the chef is pretty good at vege-nising anything on the menu, all while retaining the delicious goodness they’re known for.
Be sure to check them out soon, there is bound to be something on the menu that will get you salivating.
If the name doesn’t tell you enough, The Kai Guy is a small family business owned and operated by returning Cook Islander, Ash Steele along with her husband Mike and two children Ella (3) and Matilda (1).
For some, you may think that it was a big undertaking for them to make the move from busy Melbourne but, they are actually thriving in their new island life. This is especially obvious with the children, who are learning at the local day care, running barefoot everywhere, living the real definition of ‘island living’.
Ash and Mike developed Kai Guy to not only provide family friendly meals that were healthy and fresh for their own family, but to also cater to the locals, who naturally have a proclivity for food.
Kai Guy use ingredients sourced predominantly from local famers and growers. They have salad bowls and filled wraps lunch option during the week, popular for the health-conscious based in Avarua CBD. Easy take home dinners are also available such as lasagna, shepherd’s pie, chicken pie – great to treat loved ones at home or to contribute at your next family gathering. And, in recent months started catering private events, where their charcoal spit roast is the feature along with a variety of salads and local dishes.
Kai Guy currently operates from their home, but are looking to go mobile in 2021. They are excited to bring more of their food to different events around the island, so keep an eye out for this.