Top award for Feilding’s Amayjen
It’s business as usual for Andrew and Jen May’s Feilding Amayjen restaurant, which was voted the top restaurant in the Hospitality Awards.
“It’s pretty good to be recognised, and it’s about keeping that consistency and maintaining the standard,” they said.
The Amayjen standard brought them to the attention of judges two years ago when the restaurant was in the Cuisine Good Food Top 100 and received a Hat.
A Hat is based on a points system and the couple said Logan Brown in Wellington and Gastronomy in Napier each received two Hats, so they felt they had done well to receive one Hat.
The couple, who just celebrated Amayjen’s fourth birthday, said the criteria for inclusion was based on service, ambience, drinks list and the food.
“It’s a big pressure because you never know who they are and when they are going to visit.
“It will start all over again in January through to July when the judges will come to eat.”
Jen said they saw every customer as a “judge”, and everyone received the same service.
Originally from Palmerston North, Andrew trained as a chef at the former Polytech, now Ucol, in Whanganui. He returned to the city and worked at the Coachman before leaving for a two to five-year OE.
However, the short stint turned into 18 years and Andrew gained experience in Scotland, where he met Jen, and South Africa and Europe. He also received Michelin Star experience.
Jen started working in restaurants as a 14 year old in her hometown of Bleigowrie.
The couple worked in the Moorfield House Hotel together, and in 2010 Andrew returned home to New Zealand with Jen and a family of three.
Amayjen is open MondaySaturday for lunch and dinner and only for special events on public holidays.
Andrew and Jen May’s Amayjen in Feilding was judged top restaurant in the 2018 Hospitality Awards and added to their Cuisine Good Food Top 100 Hat award.