What’s hot in Hawkes Bay right now?!


This week I tried some outstanding restaurants/cafes on my work trip to Hawkes Bay. I ate like a Queen (literally) as she actually does eat almost paleo-like!

Sunday night we tried the reputable Bistronomy. It definitely lived up to its high expectations. The décor is very Scandinavian and uber trendy. We asked to sit on stools overlooking the kitchen and we got chatting to the chef/owner, which added to the experience. The food, presentation and service was sensational and they are well deserving of their awards. We ate a la carte, however you can choose the 6 course degustation with or without wine-match.

The menu is split into sections; bites, raw, protein (large or small), minerals, cheese or sweet. We commenced with the pork skin stuffed with mushroom mousse and the chicken wing which were both divine. Next was the veal sweetbread which was a first for me and I must admit, it was fabulous. Our smoked chicken was extremely tasty but my next favourite was the Wakanui black beef rib with soft polenta and kale. It just melted in your mouth. This was followed by a grilled cos lettuce dish and caprese salad.

I always do a foodie shop at Chantal Organics on Hastings Street and try different Kombucha brands, chocolate etc. Service is very friendly and knowledgeable. This visit I had a delicious beetroot and ginger latte at their café. I preferred it to the turmeric latte and next time I’ll try their matcha latte along with a breakfast dish. They offer a mix of GF, DF, V dishes e.g. buckwheat pancakes, chia pudding, egg dishes. Their sweet treats were tempting but not grain-free so I easily resisted. There are lots of tables and the décor is extremely pretty and fresh and it flows out to an open courtyard.

Thank goodness a fellow instagrammer/foodblogger introduced me toHapi. They truly cater for the Paleo worshipers. My client and I had the most divine Caesar salad with crunchy coconut bacon and croutons, and we shared an amazing raspberry crumble slice. The next day I shared a bounty bar with hubby and it was intoxicating. I took hubby back a third time for brekkie and he had the eggs special with cashew cheese, paleo toast and kimchi. I chose the grawnola with snow cone and fresh fruit. Mine wasn’t what I was expecting but gorgeously presented and absolutely delish. I felt guilty eating dairy-free soft-serve icecream for brekkie but it was so yummy.

I had a client breakfast at F. G Smiths in Ahuriri. Wow this place was not only gorgeous but also catered for the glutards and vegans. I had a coconut milk latte which was delicious as was my omelette with kumera chips and rocket. I then had an almond milk mocha which was delish and was so full til late afternoon. My client enjoyed his omelette with tomato salad. Hubby later joined us and tried a mi quang prawn, pork, noodle soup which was divine. OMG I’m going back there to go through the menu as they had so many delicious options. They had a few GF sweet treats amongst all the other luscious cabinet food, if you just want something to eat with coffee. Service was great and the décor is very funky and contemporary with a lovely, spacious outside courtyard.

While I was working, hubby stumbled on the best Pho he’d had at Bubble Tea in the Napier mall. I had a meeting cancel so we had lunch there the following day.  It so was extremely tasty and so cheap and cheerful. We both had a small serving however the portions were extremely generous. The owner was so friendly and hospitable and grateful for our custom. Hubby snuck in a Vietnamese coffee which he really enjoyed. I was curious to try a bubble tea however I just couldn’t quite pluck up the courage.

Dinner that night was Indian at Indigo, which has a great reputation.Boy it was on point. Hubby’s not a big Indian cuisine fan but humoured me and we were both not disappointed. The menu was huge and he chose and enjoyed a traditional northern Lamb curry with garlic naan. I had the most divine chicken tikka on slaw with a mint sauce. The place was buzzing and service was exceptional. They are also famous for their whisky bar which sounds odd, but it just fits in nicely with their décor.

Just before we headed home to Wellington post my morning meetings, we had the most delicious salads at Maina in Havelock North. Mine was a lamb and pumpkin and hubby had Thai chicken noodle. It’s set in a character house and was full of Ladies who lunchalot. The decor was lovely and vibrant. They had lovely cabinet food as well as very good offerings on the menu and it was so nice to eat outside in the middle of April.

Apologies for the long post this week but I just had to cover all these amazing places. I was in my element especially because I could eat healthily at every meal and it was all so divine. Hawkes Bay just keeps on getting better and better with its foodie places. I just can’t wait to return!

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