The international branch of successful New Zealand restaurant chain, Lone Star, makes its first appearance in Asia right here in Singapore, providing our locals with a uniquely New Zealand experience. Named after two of the country’s icons, Fern & Kiwi brings New Zealand closer to our island, importing fresh produce, beers, wines and coffee 5,300 miles across the globe.
The 140-seater establishment at Clarke Quay spans two storeys, decked in an earthy colour scheme with copious amounts of wood. It strikes a balance between being sleek and laid-back.
You can choose to unwind at the bar over some pre-dinner aperitifs, or head straight to your dining table. Grab a table by the window to take in the view of the lush greenery of Fort Canning. Private rooms are available for intimate parties or corporate meals.
Apart from the well-appointed interior, the wait staff are charming and charismatic. This is an ideal place to dine at, be it for a casual date or a girls/boys’ night out.
Commence your meal on a positive note with the southern ocean chowder. It will please discerning palates with its lusciously smooth and creamy broth, brimming with flavours of the ocean.
Being smack in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is also known for its abundance of fresh seafood. Hauled right from the Pacific waters, the succulent seafood includes green-lipped mussels, scallops, blue cod and sea run salmon. For textural balance, find chunky potatoes and watercress between sips.
The Cajun kingfish sliders‘ likelihood of re-orders is less optimistic as compared to the aforementioned chowder. Served between toasted garlic petite brioche buns that veer on the dry side, the fish too lacks moisture. The house-made tartar sauce does little to salvage the situation.
The New Zealand beef sliders fare a little better, with delectable beetroot relish enhancing the quality “Pure South” beef patties, although the dry brioche bun still remains the main reason for its downfall.
As for the classic pork spare ribs, most deserving praise, unfortunately, is not the ribs itself, but the presentation. Pieces of spare ribs are neatly stacked up in custom-made racks, smothered in a honey-hoison-orange glaze.
The ribs come in two sizes, as an entrée or a main. They look appetising, almost drool-worthy, but disappointment arises when given a bite. What you would envision to be succulent and juicy turns out to be tough and dry. I’ll only recommend this to the rough and ravaging carnivores.
The sea salt and pepper squid would be a better option for entrées. Ensconced in a skin-deep dressing of lemon, sweet soy, coriander and chilli combination, the star of the dish provides crispness and succulence in each bite.
Fish that once swam in the Southern seas are now on our dining tables as fish and chips. Coated in a Steinlager beer batter, the fish crust possesses a character of its own. Served alongside are fries, freshly hand-cut using a type of potato called “Lady Claire” imported from New Zealand, each carefully selected to ensure the desired texture for fries.
The fish is meaty and substantial. Fish lovers will be delighted. The flesh is a little on the dry side, but the house-made tartar sauce does the trick.
To get a true taste of New Zealand, beef is the way to go. Order the “Pure South” New Zealand beef sirloin for a 250-gram grass-fed sirloin, served with green beans, broccolini and roasted crispy potatoes with red onion jam and your choice of sauce. We randomly chose the mushroom sauce, and it hit the spot.
The meat, though of pristine quality, was a little over the medium-rare doneness that we requested for. The accompanying beetroot sauce adds another dimension to the otherwise ordinary steak. The roasted crispy potatoes served on the side lacks seasoning though.
The “Canterbury Plains” rack of lamb is served with twice roasted potato mash, a green bean salad, mint and pea salsa and port wine jus.
The most praise-worthy amongst the mains, surprisingly, is a vegetarian-friendly dish – the oven roasted pumpkin cannelloni. Despite the absence of meat, this comforting composition of spinach, goat feta, pine nuts, smoky tomato, basil sauce and Gruyere cheese hits all the right notes. This is highly recommended.
The dessert menu is not expansive but adequate.
Great both as an in-between meal snack or a sweet finale, the trio of mini ice cream cones comes with a surprise at the bottom of each cone – I’ll let you find out for yourself. The pineapple sorbet flavour is a personal favourite.
The bite sized chocolate lamingtons may not please fussy eaters. Squares of dry sponge cake are dipped in a layer of chocolate icing before being coated in desiccated coconut.
The chocolate ganache does nothing to palliate the dryness of the lamingtons.
The impressive Moro bar and kahlua cheesecake is certainly a far cry from the lamingtons. The creamy cheesecake is set on a crunchy base, surrounded by a shallow pool of melted-down Moro bar infused with kahlua, providing hints of chocolate, coffee liqueur and caramel notes. The topping of refreshing orange mint salad with ginger syrup cuts the richness of the cheesecake beautifully.
3E River Valley Road
Tel: +65 6336 2271 | Website
Mon to Fri: 5pm to 2am
Sat & Sun: 5pm to 4am