A former Royal Caribbean chef who oversaw 500 restaurants and 14,000 chefs across the cruises line’s fleet just opened a restaurant in Las Vegas specializing in New Zealand pastries and breakfast and lunch dishes.
Royal Caribbean’s former executive chef Mark Wilson teamed up with his childhood friend Blair Horler to open Sip & Savor Kitchen in the former Bruno’s Taco Bar space on Fort Apache Road. Wilson worked for Royal Caribbean for about 10 years before landing in Las Vegas.
The duo from New Zealand focuses on pastries and dishes from their homeland as well as pan-Asian breakfast and lunch fare at the restaurant.
“He traveled extensively with the Royal fleet and has food ties with Japanese, a little bit of Korean, and obviously a lot of Kiwi,” Horler says of the menu.
Brekkie rice bowls come with sticky rice and eggs, fried or poached, with Thai, Mexican, or Korean flavors mixed in. Japanese pancakes feature bacon and cabbage topped with a poached egg, while the Big Kiwi brekkie comes with breakfast sausage, three eggs, baked beans, tomato sauce, and mushrooms.
The restaurant also specializes in mince pies filled with ground beef, chicken curry, barbecue pulled pork, or greens in gravy, wrapped in a flaky puff pastry. “A pie is meant to be held in your hand,” Horler says. “Imagine a football game when people have hot dogs. We have hot pies.”
Horler says they use shark in their fish and chips. “Most people are like, ‘What?’ But that’s how fish and chips should be,” he says. As he explains, the batter doesn’t stick to other fish properly and he says some fish ends up with a rubbery consistency when it’s cooked. Shark has a different consistency.
Avocado toast and frittatas round out the menu.
Horler says the restaurant also features New Zealand pastries, including yoyos biscuits filled with meringue, as well as lamingtons, an Australian cake that uses butter cake or sponge cake that’s coated in chocolate sauce and rolled in coconut. Mallow puffs, ginger gems, chocolate eggs, fudge, Cadbury chocolates, and cookies in dulce de leche or shortbread, as well as croissants, scones, beignets, Belgian waffles, sausage rolls, and quiche round out the pastries.
While the restaurant awaits a liquor license, it does serve Lavazza coffee. Diners can also sit on the patio.
Eventually the partners plan to open for dinner.
Sip & Savor Kitchen, 6415 S. Fort Apache Road #105, 725-205-8539. Open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.