Weekend Lunch at Kota Kai Bar & Kitchen, Porthleven

One Saturday, while feeling totally ravenous while exploring Porthleven, I opted to have lunch at Asian fusion bar and kitchen, Kota Kai.

a row of tables along a wall with blue art work on the wall and a bar

I’ve been wanting to eat at Kota Kai for ages. I feel this Asian inspired restaurant offers something a little different. Run by chef, Jude Kereama, it has an excellent reputation, much like sister restaurant, Kota, also situated in Porthleven.

By the time I arrived at Kota Kai, it was about 1pm and I was ravenous. As a fan of intermittent fasting, I’d not eaten a morsel all day. I spent the morning roaming Porthleven harbour after completing the local parkrun. It’s fair to say I was ready to eat!

curved padded seats and a log pile at Kota Kai Bar and kitchen
Inside Kota Kai, POrthleven. a woodburning stove with wicker chairs at a table and wood lined paneling

Kota Kai – the restaurant

Entering the restaurant, I was taken with the view. Kota Kai takes up the whole of the upstairs of Celtic House and looks over Porthleven Harbour. Most tables have glimpse of the sea and boats below. Kota Kai has been recently refurbished since it initially opened in 2011. It’s a smart yet calm open planned space; one where you could easily sit with friends, laugh over cocktails and snacks, or enjoy a delicious, relaxed family meal.

tables lining windows in Kota Kai Bar and Kitchen Porthleven

The menu

The menu at Kota Kai has something to suit every appetite. Snacks and small plates are available, as well as large mains and side dishes. I was torn between having a few small plates or one large main. It all looked tempting and I found it hard to decide.

The menu reflects owner Jude’s heritage which I’ve read is half Malay Chinese and half Maori. Everything sounded delicious. Given the choice available Kota Kai’s menu also emulates a wish to welcome everyone. It’s a family friendly restaurant with lots to choose from without compromising on choice, flavour or quality.

an open dining space with low hanging natural fibre lampshades and tables with wicker chaitrs

The drink menu is good too. Kota Kai offers a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic options, including a tempting selection of cocktails.

There was a dilemma when it came to deciding what to eat at Kota Kai. I was in one of the best Asian inspired places to eat, yet what I wanted, more than anything, was a cheese burger and chips! I was so hungry and in the end, I relented to my craving. The other dishes I contemplated were the aubergine katsu curry and the Kai laksa noodle soup. I noticed the people at the table next to me were enjoying small plates, including Bao Buns. These looked incredibly tempting as well.

I convinced myself that not having something Asian inspired was fine though. I have one more reason to return to Kota Kai.

To drink I had a sparkling botanical from Pentire. I love Pentire’s drinks. Their non-alcoholic botanical spirits are made in Cornwall. They taste amazing, are totally refreshing and are similar to gin.

I was 100% ready to eat when my cheese burger arrived. Stacked high with bacon, burger sauce, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and pickled shallots, it tasted fantastic. The beef patty was super juicy and it definitely satisfied me. The chips were good too – perfectly golden.

a bowl of chips and a cheese burger on a cream plate

Once I’d finished eating, I walked back to where I staying for the weekend. I needed a good meal and I’d certainly had one. I enjoyed browsing the shops on the way to the cottage where I put my feet up for an hour before heading outside once more.

Author: plbedford

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