19 Pleasant St., Chester, NS
I have a soft spot for the Kiwi Cafe, so when we found ourselves in Chester en route to a cottage weekend I was excited to check it out in an official capacity.
If you’ve never been to Chester, go. But go in the summer. It’s a quaint little seaside town full of big old rambling estate homes and sailboats. It’s essentially as close to the Hamptons as you’re going to find in Canada. The day we were there was a lovely sunny late summer day and the town was bustling. For people watching alone this is an awesome place. For instance, the lady sitting across from us enjoyed a giant glass of wine, some toast and the company of her tiny dog. Complete with a pink ribbon and pearl necklace with matching bow in its hair, naturally.
It was pretty busy when we arrived and we had guests with us, so we were lucky to snag a big table outside on the patio. Which is where we sat. For awhile. Until our server finally made her way over. Luckily the menus are on the table so we had plenty of time to peruse. There are lots of tasty sounding brunch options, but the Kiwi Burrito (scrambled eggs, salsa, avocado and cheese) was speaking to me.
If I would have been more with it, I would have opted for something with toast- the Kiwi Cafe gets their bread exclusively from the La Have Bakery which is pretty much the best bread in the whole world. But it was a little early on a Sunday morning for me to be fully functional.
Our drinks took awhile to arrive, and the food also arrived at a leisurely pace. And if I had to sum it up in a word? Meh.
It’s not that it was bad, but it’s not that it was really all that memorable either. Most of the meals just came with the main, and nothing else. No home fries, not even a little salad or anything (to be fair we each did get a slice of kiwi on the side. How’s that for branding!). And while it states this on the menu, some of our dining companions- who I promised didn’t have to write their own reviews- were left wanting a little more.
I’m not sure what the issue with the service was. We were sitting outside so it was hard to tell what was happening inside to cause the delays. Our server was very friendly when she was around, it’s just that finding her was a little difficult. Overall, I would go back because I have had way more enjoyable experiences here. And also, when you’re in a tiny seaside town, your dining options do tend to be a little limited.
If you go, be sure to be on the lookout for movie stars. It’s rumored that Rob Lowe even has a summer home in town. And if you don’t see any real stars, there’s always lots of trophy wives with tiny dogs to stare at.
After only ever hearing good things, this was my first visit to the Kiwi Cafe. With this being the first stop of one of the last road trips of the summer, I was looking forward to putting their reputation to the test. Nestled within the picturesque surroundings of “downtown” Chester, the Kiwi appears as inviting as the town itself. We managed to snag a patio table upon arrival, joining several other patrons looking for a Labour Day weekend breakfast fix. I mulled over several menu items before making a final decision, as there were a number of options that sounded delicious. However, it was tough to compete with the smoked salmon bagel. It’s become a favourite since we started this website, so if it’s on the menu, I’ll bite.
The salmon bagel arrived with a side salad topped with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, which was a great primer for what was to come. The bagel, from the esteemed Le Have Bakery, was fresh, lightly toasted, and came with the perfect amount of cream cheese. While the overall assembly looked a little sloppy, the taste certainly didn’t disappoint. The salmon, thinly sliced (but not too thin), had the perfect soft texture, wasn’t over or under-smoked, and wasn’t at all fishy tasting. Overall, the meal was filling but very light on the stomach. And, the coffee was so good that I ordered one to go on my way out!
The service was overly friendly but unfortunately a little slow—with both the arrival of our food and the preparation and sale of the coffee to go. However, It did appear to be busy during our stay, which was probably a contributing factor. Aside from dropping my cell phone from the patio face-down on the concrete below from a considerable height, I enjoyed our stay at the Kiwi Cafe. And, thankfully there was no major damage to my phone and it still works!