Cornwall LivingIssue #84

Far-flung flavour

We catch up with the owners of Kahuna in Newquay, offering an authentic flavour of Southeast Asia via a delicious pan-Asian menu.

If you have wanderlust and a taste for authentic pan-Asian food, Kahuna in Newquay will immediately make you feel at home. Just a small step off of the Cornish high street and you could just as easily be in Bali or Thailand, eating authentic food and pairing your dish with an ice-cold Bintang or Singha beer!

Famed chef, Nathan Outlaw, had this to say about Kahuna:

“This is the best pan-Asian food you’ll get in Cornwall. Because of the travelling the owners have done, they know how to do it properly.”

High praise indeed!

Inside, the jungle leaf print on the walls may be bang on trend, however owners Kelly and Ryan Mather have been living and sharing the tropical travel vibe for years. Now catering for a generation of locals who, like them, have grown up travelling, surfing and dining on street food around Asia, Kahuna’s flavours and ambiance instantly transport guests back to hitting their favourite winter breaks in Bali, or backpacking around Thailand.

Ryan has worked as a chef for 20 years, expanding his skills and style abroad including stints in Greece, France and Australia. Working at the popular Steyne Café on Manyly Beach, Sydney, he developed a passion for the fresh, clean style of eating that stamped a distinctive frame on seaside dining. Fresh seafood and dishes borrowed from pan-Asian neighbours were served happily alongside popular beachside favourites. Ryan says: “At the time when I was there, Australia were pioneering the pan global cooking scene. They loved to really celebrate fresh flavours and that colourful fresh style, which has become one of our signatures at Kahuna.”

Many ingredients that ensure Ryan’s dishes’ authenticity are not readily available in Cornwall, so he imports them. They are then cooked with care and expertise, ensuring guests have an impressive epicurean experience. In true fusion style, they marry these imported ingredients with fresh, local produce (where possible), and dishes such as Ryan’s beef rending have proved firm favourites. Why not head to the website and try out Ryan’s recipe for yourself? Alternatively, get 10% off your meal in the restaurant by producing this article. Even if it’s fully booked, you can make the most of Kahuna’s takeaway service – perfect for those Friday film nights!


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With a variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes, an inventive, light but indulgent dessert menu and a wealth of options for those looking to try something new, Kahuna comes highly recommended. The best part is that kids eat free!

“This is the best pan-Asian food you’ll get in Cornwall. Because of the travelling the owners have done, they know how to do it properly.”