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Staying north for ‘Down Under’ seafood
by MATTHEW NASH
It’s fitting that Kiwi’s Fish & Chips appear in the paper today, for the shop’s fish and chips are wrapped in the same pages every day. Husband-and-wife owners Bryan Carter and Daisy Holzman held a soft opening Oct. 1 for the restaurant at 173 W. Washington St. in Sequim, with plans for a grand opening on Monday, Oct. 8.
Carter said it’s been a dream to open his own fish-and-chips restaurant for a long time, which wraps all fish and chips in butcher paper and newspaper.
“I love fish and chips and I haven’t been able to find a place I like in Washington that sells them the way I like them,” he said.
Using an approach similar to shops in New Zealand, England and Australia, Kiwi’s cooks its fish at a higher temperature than is usual in the U.S.
“This makes the fish lighter and more crispy and not so thick and heavy,” Holzman said.
Chips are bigger than usual, too, with ½-inch fries that they cut themselves.
Fish are caught, frozen and shipped within a few days to the restaurant as filets and cut and breaded into 6-8-ounce cod and halibut pieces in-house. Once fried, then the seafood goes into the papers.
A few of the choice meats include cod, halibut, calamari and chicken. Coleslaw and seafood chowder are made from scratch. They sell Coca Cola and are awaiting their liquor license to sell beer and wine.
An ocean apart
For first timers, Carter recommends the cod and chips and coleslaw. “Everyone that’s been in loves the cod,” he said. Until the grand opening, the menu is limited to a few items each day.
Carter, a Kiwi himself, and Holzman follow his dream of opening the restaurant after living in Sequim almost a year. They retired to Hawaii, Holzman’s home state, but Carter found the humidity to be too much, so they searched online, spoke to some friends and moved to the mainland closer to one of Holzman’s daughters in Tacoma.
Most recently, they operated two resorts with restaurants in Papua, New Guinea. The Sequim restaurant is mostly takeout with some chairs and tables for sit-down snacks.
Carter said they plan to stay open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. daily because he finds many restaurants don’t stay open after 5 p.m. As for other fish restaurants, Carter and Holzman said their approach and flavor set them apart.
“We’re bringing another takeout place to Sequim besides fast food,” Carter said.
So far, Kiwi’s has four employees; the owners are looking for more applicants, particularly wait staff.
For more information, call 360-504-2527.