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Kirimoke Rakei: Cream and carbs, what’s not to love?

Thursday January 23, 2020 Written by Published in Weekend
Rodney Ngatikao likes to incorporate European and local dishes – and this is great on a summery day. 20012201/20012202 Rodney Ngatikao likes to incorporate European and local dishes – and this is great on a summery day. 20012201/20012202

My name is Kirimoke Rakei, I've been with my partner Rodney Ngatikao for eight years. We owned and managed Mah zone for one year. It was an enjoyable experience and the creation of our famous Double Beef burger was made here. 


We moved to Rodney's section in Kiikii which was an opportunity well worth waiting for.  DRJ’s cafe is named after our son, DeArhjay, a combination of Denise and Rodney-John.

The ingredients here are a combination of both local and European. This was Rodney’s idea: he likes to incorporate European and local dishes.

It’s good to have local fish with rukau wrapped in pastry – nice on a summery day. And also good to have freshly made bread.

This was out first time making this dish and it won’t be the last.

The fish and rukau wrapped in puff pastry is an English way of cooking, dating back to the kings and queens in England, where everything was cooked in the earth oven. 

The fondant potatoes were considered a dish for royalty.

The beurre blanc sauce is a French sauce with a nice local addition of coconut cream and cheese.

And once again, bread is a staple of Cook Islands, making bread sticks a staple in this dish.

Once the final renovations are done, we can expand the menu and offer more mouth-watering food for the community.

Marlin with rukau wrapped in puff pastry, served with fondant potatoes, deep fried taro chips, bread sticks topped with truffle infused garlic butter and a coconut beurre blanc sauce.

Bread sticks 
2 cups flour
3 Tblsp yeast
1 tsp salt
1 Tblsp sugar
300 ml lukewarm water

Mix well until a sticky dough starts to form. Roll a handful of dough into sticks. Cook at 220C for 10 mins, or until golden.


1 bundle of rukau
2 cloves garlic
1-2 cups water
1 Tblsp butter
Kara coconut cream (250ml)

Put rukau, garlic and water into pressure cooker for 15 minutes (or in a saucepan for an hour). When done, leave in for another 10 minutes. Add butter and fresh coconut sauce to finish.

Fondant potatoes

3 potatoes

Peel the potatoes and cut into three barrel shapes. Brown in a pan till golden. Put in oven for 15 minutes at 160 degrees.


Marlin fillets
Puff pastry, from freezer

Wrap marlin and rukau in puff pastry. Each package should be 1-2 cm thick. Put in 160C oven at the same time as the potatoes; bake at 160C until golden brown. Baste the bottom with butter and top with cheese.

Serve with deep-fried taro chips. And pour over the top a beurre blanc sauce, with a little coconut cream and grated cheese mixed in.


The Bond Store wine match:  Like Miley Cyrus – but with depth
Wine:Leefield Station 2017 pinot gris

This tasty little number is what you could call a “second bottle wine”.

Reason: It’s a great follow-up wine, or, you’ll need another bottle because it’s so delicious. (Memo: remember this when you pop into Bond Store!)

What we have here is wine equivalent of Miley Cyrus: a great big show-off. It’s easy to see why pinot gris is snapping at the heels of good old sauvignon blanc with this gorgeous drop.

Not content with having one string to its bow, it’s a multi-layered beauty, with a nose like a ginger fruit punch, leading on to pineapple and pawpaw and finishing dry-ish with an acidic passionfruit kick.

There’s depth to it, too (although we’re not sure if we’d extend that definition to Miley) with a discernibly creamy texture.

Another bonus of the varietal is its adaptability. It’s a great match with this week’s luxe island-style recipe of marlin and rukau jazzed up with a coconut beurre blanc sauce and served with breadsticks topped with truffle infused garlic butter: not only does it stand up to those potentially bullying aromats, it turns them into best friends.

Matter of fact, you can serve this alongside a plethora of fish dishes, any chicken dish (Asian goes especially well) or simply crack out those excellent soft cheeses from the fridge. Just add crackers, and the soundtrack of your choice. Choose wisely.




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