Rising to the top in the CBD

By Denise Irvine Cream wasn’t whipped up in a moment. In fact it’s taken more than a year to achieve the perfect consistency. We’re talking Cream Eatery here, the new café in Hamilton’s CBD, where there is a happy hum of people, good coffee and good food, and hands-on owner-operators Luke and Chrissy Houghton at […]

Getting the scoop on Kōwhai Creamery

Denise Irvine stops for gelato in Matamata On a boiling hot Waikato summer day, one of the coolest things to eat is Kōwhai Creamery’s Velluto Blueberry Gelato. It’s deliciously smooth and velvety, and the slightly acidic blueberries cut the richness at a perfect point on the palate. I’m in gelato heaven, chasing the last purple-pink […]

Sage advice: check this place out

You’ll love it, says Denise Irvine You could drift into speciality beer bar Craft on Hamilton’s Hood St, expect to have maybe pizza or burger and fries to offset the brews, and be so wrong. You’ve actually found one of the city’s best-kept culinary secrets, Sage Kitchen, which does the food at Craft, offering a […]

Making a seamless switch

Denise Irvine talks to GG’s Café’s new-ish owners about buying a local treasure When I heard that Hamilton East’s GG’s Café’ had been sold, I thought, “oh no, how will that work? GG’s, of course, is the tucked-away eatery in Lovegrove Lane, off Grey St. Originally named Grey Gardens, it has a singular charm: a […]

Waikato Blues

Once upon a time, blueberries were a rare frozen import in New Zealand and the best thing to do with them was make muffins for a sweet-tart result. Or maybe a blueberry and apple pie, channelling an American dessert staple, or blueberry jam. Not much else, though. By the 21st Century, we’d got to know […]

Asian flavours top of the table

Winners of Waikato Food Inc’s Best Cheap Eats Award were all out of Asia: The Chilli House took the top title and finalists were Japanese Donburi-Ya and Garden Place Noodle House. Denise Irvine compiled a quick guide to three much-loved CBD eateries. The Chilli House Need to know: you probably need to book a table […]

Wild Country – Celebrating 25 years

They started small, they’ve built big reputations: Denise Irvine visits two much-loved Waikato artisan businesses marking their 25th anniversary, this time Wild Country ‘We’re always looking to create something different’ Lunch today is slow-cooked lamb shoulder, served with fresh green salad and Volare bread, and the bit on the side that makes the plate and […]

Rocket Coffee Roasters

They started small, they’ve built big reputations: Denise Irvine visits two much-loved Waikato artisan businesses marking their 25th anniversary, the first – Rocket Coffee ‘It’s what we do’ You wouldn’t read about it, really: in 1995, a couple of men named Glen decide to open a café in Hamilton with a coffee roaster planted in […]

Meyer Cheese & Zealong Create a Tea Cheese

Miel Meyer typically judges a good gouda cheese on how it stacks up in a grilled sandwich, and his new tea cheeses – green and black – get the nod on this. The aromatics and flavours are excellent, he says. “And they’re showcasing the best of our region.” Meyer is general manager of Waikato-based cheesemakers […]