Good Food Guide - - Waikato -

Palate’s long been the place to go for spe­cial-oc­ca­sion din­ing in Hamil­ton – by day its river­side perch makes it the city’s top spot to lunch, while come evening the so­phis­ti­cated, tran­quil din­ing room is an ex­cel­lent place for a din­ner date. Chef-owner Mat Mclean is a bit of a lo­cal hero, with plenty of chops in the kitchen and a com­mit­ment to us­ing the Waikato’s best meat and pro­duce. His dishes tend to let proteins star, with thought­ful, in­ter­est­ing ac­com­pa­ni­ments; a beef cheek ravi­oli and blue cheese pud­ding ac­com­pany a main of eye fil­let, while a cau­li­flower and fen­nel puree is the per­fect base note for a starter of seared duck and scal­lops. The wine list is also wor­thy of men­tion, full of in­ter­est­ing op­tions you won’t find in the su­per­mar­ket, and ser­vice is pol­ished. 20 Alma St, Hamil­ton, ph: 07-834 2921, palater­estau­ Lunch Tues-fri, din­ner Tues-sat; mains $34-$39 IN BRIEF So­phis­ti­cated river­side restau­rant

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