Clooney restaurant serves feijoa in a $170 tasting menu – but I've found something cheaper

At Clooney restaurant in Auckland, chef Jacob Kear has deconstructed the humble feijoa and rebuilt it as a bowl of ...
KRISTY MCKAY/SUPPLIED

At Clooney restaurant in Auckland, chef Jacob Kear has deconstructed the humble feijoa and rebuilt it as a bowl of feijoa sorbet. It is served as part of a $170 degustation menu.

In Auckland, Clooney restaurant has deconstructed and rebuilt the feijoa as part of its $170 degustation menu. But in Taranaki, Jane Matthews came up with her own solution for the last of the autumn bounty ...

OPINION: The award-winning fine dining restaurant Clooney is known for its unique dining experiences.

And now, the Auckland restaurant's 13 course, $170 tasting menu holds a simple, yet delicious, complimentary dessert called ... feijoa.

Clooney restaurant owner Tony Stewart said customers loved the "wow factor" of the reconstructed feijoa sorbet.
KRISTY MCKAY / SUPPLIED

Clooney restaurant owner Tony Stewart said customers loved the "wow factor" of the reconstructed feijoa sorbet.

The dessert has been on the menu for three weeks and restaurant owner Tony Stewart said it's all about seasonality for chef Jacob Kear.  "One thing about Jacob's cuisine is he really likes to take ingredients that are at their best seasonally," Stewart said.  

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The feijoa are scooped out and made into a feijoa sorbet then placed back in their skins. And he said the feedback from customers was that it had that "wow factor". 


Feijoas for A$24.99 at Banana Joe's in Sydney, Australia, in late April. PHOTO: SERA PRINCE

Times like this we – or maybe just I – take our overflowing feijoa trees for granted and with the season coming to an end, we want to make the most of them.  

Especially when we think of the desperate times like late April when Banana Joe's Foodworks in Sydney, Australia charged A$25 [NZ$26.90] a kilogram for them. 

For me, it all started with a bucket of feijoa at my doorstep. 

Jane Matthews froze a 20 litre bucket of feijoa - but still had much more to get rid of. She took some in to her ...
VALENTYN VOLKOV

Jane Matthews froze a 20 litre bucket of feijoa - but still had much more to get rid of. She took some in to her workmates. And then she got cooking ...

After quizzing everyone where they'd come from we soon realised we had a feijoa tree that had over produced. 

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That seems to be the only type of feijoa tree there is in the world - one that produces far more feijoa than your family and friends can consume. 

Which means I, being someone who hates wasting anything, started looking at things to do with the oodles of feijoa I had and taking on the challenge - to find a way to use a feijoa every day. 

Baked feijoas and avocado, feijoa and lime smoothies, feijoa and apple crumble, the options are endless.
EMMA BOYD/FAIRFAX NZ

Baked feijoas and avocado, feijoa and lime smoothies, feijoa and apple crumble, the options are endless.

It started with me recruiting my partner to scoop the insides from a whole 20 litre bucket full to freeze them for whenever we may want them. 

I then started looking at raw and cooked feijoa options. 

On the first night, I made a 'healthy' feijoa and apple crumble which a friend had shared on the social media Instagram.

It was demolished within 10 minutes after leaving the oven which tells me, it tasted okay. 

The next endeavour was my daily feijoa smoothies, which I altered every day - usually adding more feijoa.

Spinach, feijoa, granny smith apples and everything else that would stick to the colour scheme went in, and it tasted the part too. 

The next day was feijoa muffins and feijoa cake which an interviewee had given me the recipe for. 

The cake was the moistest cake I have ever eaten, and worked well topped with lemon icing. 

Each day I continued to eat fresh feijoa with a spoon and although it wasn't served on ice or turned into a sorbet, I was happy. 

In saying this, I have decided when I collect my next lot from under the tree I will donate them to foodbank before I turn into a feijoa, and I suggest those who have too many feijoa, use them while they're in season. 

* What is your favourite recipe for using the last of the autumn's feijoas? Share it below, in our comments section.

 - Sunday Star Times

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