Hamilton Steakhouse Judged Best in NZ

Hamilton steakhouse Smith & McKenzie has been awarded the coveted title of the country’s best restaurant at the 2014 Hospitality New Zealand Awards. In doing so it regained the title it first won in 2011 beating off tough competition from other finalists from Wellington and Christchurch. The award ceremony, held in Rotorua last night, attracts entries from all over New Zealand and is voted on by a panel of industry experts.

Co-Owner Nic Elliottyson said the award was welcome recognition for her hard working team and was especially thankful for the support of her customers “we want to share this award with our locals and people from Hamilton that support us. We are always looking at ways to improve and hospitality can be a challenging and competitive industry. This win means a lot”

The restaurant, located in Chartwell, is a large scale establishment with a 120 seat restaurant, bar and separate function area. The former Cobb & Co was redeveloped in 2009 by the Phoenix Group after a six month renovation and previously won awards for its design and featured in the Delloitte fast 50 in 2011 for Business Growth & Excellence. The restaurant caters for a wide range of clientele and is widely regarded as a pioneer for the growth of quality hospitality offerings in Hamilton suburbs.

Co-Owner and Phoenix Group director Darrel Hadley says the win was particularly sweet as the restaurant and bar was now in its sixth year of operation. “Sometimes it’s easy to make a big impact when you are new however Smiths has proven over time that consistency and high standards are just as important. We are proud to be running a steakhouse in the heart of the Waikato and are stoked that the judges agree we are on the right track”.

They plan to celebrate their win with the team and customers back in Hamilton this weekend before getting back down to work. Two other Phoenix Group establishments Good Neighbour and Good George Frankton also were selected as finalists in the awards capping off a special night for the locally owned Hamilton Company.


Nic Elliottyson Co-Owner and General Manager Smith & McKenzie 0212051671
Darrel Hadley, Phoenix Group & Good George Managing Director 021456533