BEST RE­GIONAL RESTAU­RANT

WIN­NER

Cuisine - - SOCIAL -

PALATE 17/20

Palate is a restau­rant that con­sis­tently pro­duces well-thought-out and ex­e­cuted dishes matched per­fectly with thought­ful, knowl­edgable ser­vice, a fab­u­lous wine list and a beau­ti­ful river­side set­ting. This a feat for any eatery but when you con­sider how long chef-owner Mat Mclean and his team have been meet­ing these stan­dards, Palate can be con­sid­ered top of its game. There is real thought put into the in­gre­di­ents used and well-con­sid­ered veg­e­tar­ian op­tions are a de­light, too, such as delectably light tortellini stuffed with Cleve­don buf­falo ri­cotta. The menu is for­ever evolv­ing, show­ing a flex­i­ble and cre­ative kitchen with the abil­ity to keep peo­ple com­ing back by of­fer­ing them some­thing new, and with such sim­ple yet el­e­gant food there’s nowhere to hide. Som­me­lier Larissa Muller is an ex­pert guide through the mas­sive drinks list, which re­fresh­ingly of­fers many rea­son­ably priced op­tions.

20 Alma St, Hamil­ton, 07 834 2921 palater­estau­rant.co.nz Lunch Tue-fri, din­ner Tue-sun, $34-40.50

IN BRIEF Classy wines and el­e­gant food served up in a beau­ti­ful river­side set­ting

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