The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Palate 3.0 reopens in hot Hamilton spot

Palate 3.0 reopens in hot Hamilton spot

Palate restaurant has taken the pole position in Hamilton’s CBD, slap-bang on Victoria St, at the entrance to SkyCity Hamilton.

The third incarnation of the award-winning eatery, which first opened in the city’s south-end in 2005, by owner-chef Mat Mclean, promises to set Hamilton’s culinary scene alight.

Synonymous for putting Hamilton on the culinary map with local produce at the heart of the menu, Palate’s new venue, in the centre of Hamilton’s main street, could not be more apt.

Step through the door of Palate 3.0 where old meets new, much of the furniture is familiar and the calm of the previous location is replicated, with a fresh twist for the new location. Owners Mat McLean and Larissa Mullers strong ethos of sustainability was part of the brief to design Paula Hassard, who was also behind the previous two Palate’s interiors.

Long been a champion of local and seasonally driven cuisine Mat is turning up the heat.  At the centre of the kitchen is a wood fired Asado, a nod to part own Larissa’s Brazilian heritage but also a method of cooking that allows the ingredients to shine.  Mat says, “this is all about getting back to basics: grilling meat cooked over fire and embers, showcasing the best of New Zealand’s produce.”

Over the past two decades Palate has collected more culinary awards than you can poke a fork at. Mat is acknowledged as one of the country’s top chefs, known for his contemporary flavours, his strong technical skills and his continuing ability to surprise and delight diners. 

Mat describes his food as “complicated simplicity”.  It is produce driven and highly innovative but not fine dining: he wants customers to feel at home, to pick up a lamb cutlet in their fingers, to mop up the last bit of sauce and to laugh out loud and enjoy the experience.

And that experience is no longer confined to just lunch or dinner services.  The move the heart of the city and with the creation of several different spaces in the venue allow for customers to pop in for an afternoon snack of Fried Polenta with black garlic mayo or enjoy a drink after work all while nibbling on Grumpy Baker Kawakawa sourdough with cultured lemon butter or half a dozen Coromandel oysters served various ways. 

Dinners can linger longer over lunch enjoying house made pasta, like local duck tagliatelle or potato gnocchi with local mushrooms, native spinach, and Waikato parmesan.

Or of course there are the evenings where Palate has always shone.  The new menu offers something for everyone whether you are celebrating a milestone or that it is Wednesday night.

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