Restaurateur Nic Watt’s daughter helped create the exciting new Sunday brunch menu and kids’ entertainment area at Masu.
A Japanese restaurant is probably not your first thought when it comes to Sunday brunch, but an inspired twist on this has appeared at Masu, and chef restaurateur Nic Watt's 9-year-old daughter, Kiana, has been an integral ingredient in the mix.
Kiana helped her dad develop Masu's Sunday Nichiyo brunch. Diners pay a flat fee for unlimited visits to the sashimi station and robata grill, as well as a main and a dessert platter. Top it off with a Bloody Mary or a glass of bubbles and Sunday morning is sorted.
Nic explains they've always wanted to offer brunch at Masu, but it's been about timing. Now summer is over, they're hitting the family aspect with food and entertainment for the kids. It's all inspired by Kiana.
It's not surprising this 9-year-old who favours Japanese food over English food and jamon iberico over bog-standard ham, and cucumber, lychee and mint soda over sugar-laden lemonade, has an executive chef dad at one of Auckland's best restaurants.
Kiana has a better palate than many adults I know - and is putting it to good use.
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Kiana helped write the kids' bento box menu and, according to Nic, it's the food she loves to eat. Because it's served in a bento box, kids can eat a bit, put the lid back on to keep it warm, then head to the kids' area - the restaurant's private dining room that turns into a resort-style kids' club with toys and games and movies. Nic says increasingly families want to have adults and children well catered for.
Masu has been open two years and it's been a whirlwind. They were so busy last year, particularly off the back of taking Metro's Supreme Award at the Restaurant of the Year awards. Now though, they're well prepared for their new offering.
Besides helping write the kids' Sunday brunch menu, Kiana has been donning her chef's whites and helping in the kitchen's pastry section. The White Miso Pavlova is a favourite, especially when it's lathered in passionfruit. The Cucumber Maki Roll is another favourite and a regular in the Watt kids' lunch boxes.
Kiana is also a huge sashimi fan and loves the chicken yakitori. Nic says it's perfect for children with a bit of meat, the umami from the soy and the sweetness from the mirin.
Having a kitchen like Masu to spend your Sundays in is exciting for Kiana and her enthusiasm shows. But from the child who took a three-Michelin-starred degustation lunch in Spain in her stride at 3, would you expect anything less?