Kaia Wine Bar
1614 3rd Avenue
New York, NY 10128
It's kind of amazing to be able to step off the concrete jungle streets and into another world. Click To Tweet
One of the reasons why I LOVE NYC so much is because of its variety of cuisine. It is not only the melting pot of people, but also of food! If you think about it, it’s kind of amazing to be able to step off the concrete jungle streets and into another world waiting to please your hungry little soul.
Located on the Upper East Side, stepping into Kaia Wine Bar felt just like that. With its warm lighting, comfy decor and friendly no-frills staff, I felt as if I was in the middle of a friends home getting ready to sit down for dinner with their family.
I have never been to South Africa (it’s on my future travel list #dreamlife) but was so excited to try some South African food and of course WINE! Kudos to my husband for finding this gem.
Food & Drink: Upon receiving the menu I knew I was in for an adventure. Almost everything on the menu was new to me. Options ranged from Wild Boar Sliders and Elk Carpaccio to Tea & Honey BBQ Pork Ribs and Goat Ragu over pappardelle pasta.
We decided to go with the Pampoen Sop Met ‘N Kaas Braai Broodjie (most of the menu is in Afrikaans, one of South Africa’s official languages) for our appetizer, which was a curried pumpkin soup and grilled cheese. Lawd have mercy that was one banging grilled cheese! FILLED with mozzarella and ricotta, it was a crunchy cheesey all around solid sandwich. The curried pumpkin soup was a pleasant surprise as well. Warm and filling on it’s own, with the perfect amount of kick.
For an entree I ordered the Bok Fynvleis Met Pappardelle Pasta (Goat Ragu over Pappardelle Pasta) and my husband ordered The Gatsby (labeled as South African Street Food – a curried pulled chicken sandwich)
I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the slow cooked goat ragu, but it was hearty and tasty and I ate my plate clean.
I’m assuming my husbands meal was just as good because I don’t think he spoke at all while he was eating. 🙂
For dessert we settled on sharing the Malva Poeding (sticky cake with apricot crème). Our waiter advised it was one of his favorites and after my first bite I understood why. It was warm, sweet & spongey (that’s probably not a real word). By this time I was kind of full but I still managed to eat most (if not all) of it because I could not put my spoon down! Oh, hubby got a few bites in too…I think.
One of the things I loved the most, were the plates, boards and trays they used to serve our dishes on. The plates (I couldn’t snag a pic that did it justice 🙁 ) looked like they came from your grandmothers special collection and I think it gave the meal such a great touch.
We washed all of this down with one of their many South African wines. Their wine list is about 95% South African, so if you are looking to try a new vino, this is the place.
We chose a bottle of Tierhoek Grenache. It was fruity with hints of spice and paired really well with our choice of meats.
Service: The staff overall were very efficient and friendly. When we arrived (what seemed like) a very important rugby game was just finishing, so it was a bit chaotic and therefore it took a couple of minutes to see our server but we didn’t mind. There was one woman (seemed like maybe a manager?) who wasn’t the most pleasant or approachable staff member. However as we were arriving I noticed her outside on what seemed to be a heated conversation, so that could’ve been why, however it was definitely a little off-putting. Still, the rest of our experience out weighed that and I would absolutely return and recommend Kaia Wine Bar for your South African cravings.
Overall Kaia Wine Bar won us over. I would recommend coming here for a nice date night and to try some new wines.
Would love to hear some reasons why you love NYC! Also, have you tried Kaia Wine Bar or South African food? Let me know in the comments below.