Brenna and Russ Audino are just as much a staple of Block Island as their restaurant Poor People’s Pub, which has been open since 2011. With the success of the pub and an ever-expanding fan base, the two have opened their second restaurant, TigerFish, and developed an entirely different concept. TigerFish’s menu draws heavily from Indonesian, Thai, Malaysian and other Southeast Asian cuisines.
The food is inspired by the couple’s culinary adventures throughout Southeast Asia. They especially loved the region’s street food, where it only took a few minutes for vendors to prepare the most delicious noodles the two had ever tasted. “Some of my fondest memories are of my husband sitting on a plastic stool with a cold beer and watching the hustle and bustle of people going by in Bangkok,” Brenna says.
The culmination of the Audinos’ traveling experiences, TigerFish is also meeting a desperate need on Block Island. “People have always expressed interest in being able to get Asian food on the island,” Brenna says. “A lot of people think [TigerFish] will be Chinese food. We want to… show people that Asian food isn’t just Chinese food and that there’s so much more that goes along with this cuisine.”
Some of those things are ramen, pho, curries and kimchi served on small plates, which makes them easy to share, or as full entrees. A dish called Mee Goreng summons memories for the couple of surfing in Indonesia. Brenna recalls watching street vendors make the dish expertly and quickly, frying up noodles and mixing them with vegetables and prawns or meat.
As someone who loves Block Island, Brenna wanted to provide the islanders with food options other than fish and chips and lobster rolls (not that there’s anything wrong with those, of course). She and Russ hope that TigerFish will be a hit, and that their second restaurant will be just as beloved as their first.
126 Corn Neck Road, Block Island