Bring­ing in new flavours

Waihi Leader - - News - By ME­LANIE CAMOIN news@wai­hileader.co.nz

Waihi restau­rant own­ers have made a u turn from Ger­manstyle cook­ing to bring Mediter­ranean de­lights to the ta­ble.

Roland Straessle and Mu­fide Cetin de­cided on a fresh start with the make-over of their for­mer Waitete restau­rant to cre­ate Down Thyme, fo­cus­ing on Mediter­ranean and Turk­ish spe­cial­ties.

The new restau­rant was launched ear­lier this month and the own­ers are ex­cited by the new chal­lenge.

Roland says the cou­ple has been in­spired by Turkey, where Mu­fide is from, dur­ing their trav­els a few months ago.

“I have been blown away by the cul­ture and his­tory of this coun­try and the fresh food at mar­kets, spe­cially va­ri­ety of spices you can get there,” he says.

“We ended up with a suit­case full of them as well as some hand-painted art and craft that are now part of our new restau­rant decor.”

The restau­rant is a fam­ily busi­ness, with Roland in the kitchen and Mu­fide work­ing front of house, and their pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence in hos­pi­tal­ity con­trib­uted to Down Thyme.

Roland has had 50 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence as chef and Mu­fide 15 years’ man­ag­ing sev­eral restau­rants and vine­yards in New Zealand.

But their food cul­ture comes from their child­hoods — in Ger­many for Roland and Turkey for Mu­fide, both grow­ing up around home­made cook­ing, with fresh in­gre­di­ents from the kitchen to the ta­ble.

“I love cre­at­ing tasty food at home and still make my grand­mother’s recipes,” Mu­fide says.

Roland says he does not com­pro­mise on qual­ity.

“We try­ing to source our prod­ucts lo­cally. We get some le­mons from our neigh­bours, we also get some veg­eta­bles from down the road. That is our motto. I make my own meat mari­nades, my fries, most desserts such as baklava, le­mon zest etc.

“If peo­ple ex­pect fast food­type meals then we do not cater for them,” he says.

As well as their Turk­ish shish ke­babs, falafel and Mediter­ranean flavours, the cou­ple have main­tained a wider range of dishes, with vege­tar­ian and gluten-free op­tions.

Their also host monthly wine clubs and can sit 60 peo­ple in­side and an­other 30 out­side.

They have also added some af­ter­noon open­ings for snacks and cof­fees from Wed­nes­day to Sun­day.

PHOTO / ME­LANIE CAMOIN.

Own­ers of Down Thyme, Roland Straessle and Mu­fide Cetin.

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