A Palatable Passion

Hamilton’s very own Palate Restaurant is a locally owned ‘hidden-gem’ finding the spotlight recently.

Palate Chef Mat McLean

Chef extraordinaire Mat McLean combines his knowledge of local produce suppliers with his well-honed culinary skills to serve up some of the best dishes in the region. From seared tuna to local duck breast, foodie types and wine-lovers are finding themselves in gourmet-heaven when they step through Palate’s front door.

Palate’s exclusive Kitchen Table experience offers small groups (up to 6 people) a chance to see Chef Mat in action while he serves up his favourite selection of culinary delights. Mat says guests dining at the Kitchen Table often taste new dishes that are being refined before they make it onto the standard A La Carte menu.

“We get to play with new flavours and different wine and food pairs. It’s a really organic and honest approach to cooking, and our Kitchen Table guests become a part of the excitement in the back of house. Our coravin gun also gives us the chance to open special wines for our guests dining on our kitchen table, without pulling the cork.”


Having completed his chef’s training at Waikato Polytechnic he then headed overseas to the UK where he stayed – building up his experience for seven years. When Mat returned to New Zealand full of passion and energy, he came across a space in Hamilton’s CBD and decided it was perfect for opening his very own restaurant. In 2005 Palate was born.

Founded by Mat McLean and his partner, Naomi Lee Palate was built on the ethos of always providing consistently excellent food with stunning wines. The result of such a strong philosophy means the duo ensure only top of the range New Zealand products are used.

"I started working and cooking here in the Waikato and will finish here in the Waikato”, says Mat.

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The Kitchen Table

Enjoy our seven-course degustation, created by the chefs every night with an option of matching wines, on our kitchen table. You are located opposite the kitchen pass, with the opportunity to see our kitchen team in action during a busy service. A truly unique opportunity to see ‘behind the scenes’. The kitchen table menu is $120 per person with matching wine an additional $70 per person. Booking in advance is essential.
Contact Larissa on 07 8342921. - Click here for more info.