Some restaurants — Burger King, Pizza Hut, Subway — make no secret of their culinary forte, proclaiming it in their brand name.
By that logic, it’s a bit of a no-brainer to deduce that Mister Karaage — a food cart operating out of Kirby Lane, an open-air community space in the heart of Nelson, New Zealand — would specialize in Japan’s karaage fried chicken.
The man behind the moniker is Kenji Usui, 55, a native of Ogaki, Gifu Prefecture, with a passion for the addictive snack. Together with his New Zealander wife, Rachel, he relocated from Gifu, where they ran an English-language school, to Nelson. There, they ran the Balmoral Motel from 2009 until 2019. Less than a year after selling the business, Usui, riding a local food truck boom, kicked off his culinary career.