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Restaurant review: Kahuna, Newquay

Published on September 28, 2018
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The tropical colours and fresh, crisp flavours of pan-Asian cooking make a happy, vibrant cuisine to complement carefree days spent loafing on the sand at Fistral beach, writes Rosanna Rothery


It’s no surprise that Newquay’s Kahuna is on the hit list for nostalgic backpackers wanting to rekindle the magical aromas and flavours of the night markets in Bali and Thailand.

Adventurous eaters can plot a journey of the Asian continent in a single sitting while reminiscing about street food favourites devoured on previous travels.

VISIT for a great selection of classic dishes including pad Thai and curries such as massaman, Penang and rendang. Or pick from an enticing array of smaller plates showcasing plenty of zinging flavours (try the Indonesian gado gado salad or Thai spicy plum ribs).

Pork, beef and lamb are the main meaty contenders competing for your delectation but flexitarians, hungry for variety, can also experiment with an impressive selection of seafood and non-meat dishes. Texturelending stalwarts like tofu, tempeh and jackfruit soak up warming spices and sauces.

DON’T VISIT for meat and two veg. Grab the chopsticks and indulge your inner wanderlust.

WE LIKED the passion and commitment of owners Ryan and Kelly Mather who, after their backpacking adventures around southeast Asia, made it their mission to bring an authentic taste of their travels home to Blighty. The menu also reflects chef Ryan’s love of the fresh, clean flavours he experienced while working at Sydney’s Steyne Café.

Local produce meets delicately spiced ingredients, sourced directly from Asia, in dishes which Nathan Outlaw hailed as ‘the best pan-Asian food you’ll get in Cornwall’ in The Sunday Times.

Subtle decor invokes the atmosphere of a tropical roof terrace (string lights, lanterns and jungle leaf wallpaper). And now there’s also a tiny trekker in the Mather team: Kelly looks after the front of house while three-year-old Gracie sometimes helps mum deliver the takeaways.

INSIDER’S TIP order a takeaway and watch the sun go down over Fistral beach as you share a selection of pillowy dim sum parcels.

What we ate (dinner)

Starter Weeping tiger (marinated chargrilled beef fillet with jim jaew dipping sauce)

Main Thai lamb massaman curry (cinnamon, star anise, cocunut milk, potatoes, red onion, coriander, peanuts) and jasmin rice

Pud Salted caramel pot (chocolate ganache, salted caramel, palm sugar crumble)

3 courses from £26.95

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