The latest restaurant in Downtown Boise isn’t just new — it’s New Zealand.
Kiwi Shake & Bake opened Dec. 20 on the street level of The Afton condos at 611 S. 8th St.
The bakery and cafe serves traditional Kiwi meat pies, mousetraps, cakes and soup, plus milkshakes, coffee, beer and wine.
And intrigued Boiseans are feasting.
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“We’ve been pretty steady,” co-owner Katie Munro said Wednesday. “We’ve got a few regulars already.” That includes a local group of Liverpool Football Club supporters, who cheered as the British soccer team beat Arsenal on television Dec. 29.
“They’re coming back in tomorrow afternoon,” she added.
Customers at Kiwi aren’t just curiosity seekers. Some are experienced meat-pie connoisseurs.
“We’ve got quite a few local Kiwis out of the area that we didn’t realize there were so many of,” Munro said.
Born in England, Munro lived in New Zealand for 12 years before relocating to Boise with her husband, Chris, a native New Zealander. So the couple is uniquely qualified to teach Idahoans about the tastiness and versatility of meat pies, which cost around $7 or $8. Or to explain that a mousetrap ($3.99) actually is a variation of grilled cheese on toast.
In New Zealand, meat pies are sort of like what hamburgers are in America — quick, casual and everywhere. Munro calls them “a staple of the diet.” But these pastries come stuffed with all sorts of goodies: steak and cheese, chicken and mushrooms, bacon and eggs.
The restaurant isn’t pandering to Idahoans by selling a potato top pie, by the way. “It’s actually a New Zealand food,” Munro said. But tater fiends will be drawn to the ground-beef-and-gravy-filled pastry covered with exquisite-looking mashed potatoes. “We have our own technique of doing them them to make them look nice, and crisp them up without overcooking them,” Munro explained.
Kiwi will host a grand opening later in January, Munro says, when the full menu becomes available. Fish and chips, battered oysters and other options will round out choices at Kiwi.
Kiwi Shake & Bake is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.