New Zealand has undergone a coffee revolution in recent years with many Kiwis becoming coffee connoisseurs.
Timothy Crooks, who has won awards for coffee in New Zealand including Metro magazine’s best coffee in 2010 and the magazine’s best coffee, cafe and people’s choice awards in 2005 and 2006, brings the genuine Kiwi cafe concept to Shanghai with Fix Cafe & Lounge.
The concept is closely aligned with the third-wave movement in the industry that is well established in New Zealand, Australia and the west coast of Canada. It’s known for coffees with more flavor and acidity and less bitterness.
“I found a gap in the local market where Italian and French food and coffee culture prevails,” Crooks said.
Crooks works with a Qingdao-based roaster to make a medium dark blend using five different beans from Panama, Guatemala, Kenya, Sumatra and Mexico. “Our coffee tastes different from most you find in town. Other coffees are usually characterized by dark, Italian style roasts: less acid, less flavor and with more bitterness.”
Fix also serves authentic Kiwi fare.
“Kiwi food is very much about retaining the true flavors of the ingredients without applying complex sauces: small amount of processing and fresh food that is often called ‘whole foods’,” Crooks said. “We make everything from scratch and nothing is from the factory. The best produce and ingredients are guaranteed from different boutique suppliers such as free-range organic eggs and hand-cured bacon with Manuka honey smoked in apple or cherry wood from Qingdao.”
New Zealand’s dining concept is generally relaxed and unpretentious. “It’s common in my country that people go to cafes for dinner in keeping with the laid-back Kiwi psyche,” Crooks said.
The dishes resemble European and Asian cuisine so some modern fusion recipes are featured on the menu such as mussels in spicy broth (58 yuan/US$9.2) with the broth resembling tom yum soup and spicy gongbao chicken pizza (88 yuan). For dishes that have a distinctly New Zealand style, there is a 100 percent grass-fed NZ beef burger (68 yuan), NZ beef steak sandwich (48 yuan), mussels grilled with garlic and mozzarella (58 yuan), and NZ beef cottage pie (75 yuan).
Grass-fed beef from New Zealand has a stronger meaty flavor compared to grain-fed beef from Australia. The steak sandwich topped with sautued onions and creamy mushrooms is tender and flavorsome and is recommended to pair with a glass of New Zealand pinot noir.
Expect a wallet friendly price point and a casual, child friendly vibe that makes Fix a preferable brunch venue in the neighborhood.