20 Alma Street, Hamilton
07 834 2921

Mat McLean, head chef and owner of Palate restaurant, has a well deserved reputation as one of New Zealand’s leading chefs.

With Mat at the helm, Palate has been a finalist in the Cuisine Awards every year — including Best Regional Restaurant in New Zealand in 2011 and 2012— endorsing its position as one of New Zealand's best restaurants. Palate has a one-hat endorsement from Cuisine (2015 and 2016).

Recently Mat introduced his Chef’s Table degustation dinner that showcases divine delicacies for two to six people. Located next to the kitchen, guests can watch the antics that play out during food prep and cooking. We relished the experience which is rather like a TV show (although there weren’t any ‘Gordon Ramsay’ events) and you get to enjoy some outstanding small tastes.

And having dinner served by the chef is pretty special particularly when he describes each of the seven courses in detail. And matched with each course were some very special wines admirably described by our waitperson, Larissa.

Mat McLean is the only chef to have been a finalist four years in a row in the Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards. He was the supreme winner in 2013, runner-up in 2014 and received an award in 2015 for the Best Lamb Dish. He is also one of six chefs in the country to be appointed a lifetime Platinum NZ Beef & Lamb Ambassador.

Commanding a prime position overlooking the Waikato River, Palate exudes genteel calm and sophistication.


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