Perfectionism runs high at Ivy Bistro, Mangawhai’s latest eatery. Tweaking the chocolate mousse five times in just six days gives you an idea of the benchmark chef and co-owner, Kris Malcolm has set himself.
Meanwhile, under the watchful eye of Emma Mason, partner and co-owner, the front-of-house is running impeccably. Opening earlier in August, the duo has ‘come home’ to where it all began, and Mangawhai locals couldn’t be happier.
Kris formerly ran the operation as Harvest Blue, a relaxed café by day mix and match tapas by night. But there’s nothing rustic in this latest transformation, the makeover is impressive. Emma’s love of interior design has translated into a glamorous and sophisticated space.
Behind the stunning garden-to-plate meals, is a desire to smarten up the local eating scene. “Kris and I love to eat out, but to satisfy our ideals, we’d always head to Auckland,” Emma said. “We recognised a gap in the local market for a finer dining experience, using modern techniques with an emphasis on clean and ultra-fresh ingredients. Seafood hits your plate the same day it was caught!”
Kris couldn’t be more energised; he’s already working on the next menu release.
“Creatively, I’m pushing things hard and loving every minute. While we’re keeping things reasonably safe to start with, our menu will evolve. Using bone broths, marrows, gels, froths and all the latest techniques. I’m keen to wow our diners, but challenge them too.” He said.
What’s in a name? No, Ivy isn’t a nod to Grandma, or any other family member. For Kris and Emma, it simply felt like a fresh, strong, dynamic name to match their exciting vision.
Opening hours are Wed to Sat from 9am till late.
198 Molesworth Drive, Mangawhai
Words, Kirsty Millar. Photos, Oh Gosh