IN BRIEF

Comfortable and casual with exceptional beer, thoughtful food and a strong sense of place.

WHY CHOOSE THIS RESTAURANT?

A warm and vibrant space that creates a positive impact on its community and its environment with a menu that will immerse you in fresh and clever local flavours.

ABOUT THE MENU

After many months of closure following a fire, old favourites such as the spicy venison ribs and whole, pan-fried flounder with watercress return to the menu along with a focus on ingredients that are often found down a road less-travelled. The smoked-eel paté is a terrific start with perky pickles and toasted sourdough, lime-cured kanae raukura (grey mullet) with samphire mayo and ice plant packs a serious zing and be sure to have a quick diversion tactic at the ready so you don’t have to share the chipotle smoked-mushroom empanadas. Matakana oysters fresh off the Mahurangi harbour (although a very well-travelled road for some of us) are hard to resist, and for drinks you have carefully selected wines, many produced from grapes harvested by hand, along with an outstanding selection of Sawmill unpasteurised beer to choose from. This is great beer, with roots…

ABOUT THE CHEF

Head chef Will Michell has carved quite a few tasty notches on his belt having worked at Peter Gordon’s The Providores and Wellington favourites Floriditas and La Boca Loca before landing a few minutes north of Matakana. Along the way he has quietly become known for his low, slow and flavour-packed barbecue style and recently made the most of renovation downtime to soak up the food philosophies and techniques at Josh Niland’s Fish Butchery in Sydney and at Wellington’s Hiakai, zipping across to do the same at Coda and Tonka in Melbourne. Now firmly back on the pans at the Smoko Room, his menu is definitely worth the drive if you are not lucky enough to be a local.

ABOUT THE TEAM

Owners Mike Sutherland and Kirsty McKay are driven by the bigger picture. As a result, their team is welcoming, confident, enthusiastic and empowered, everything that can be great about an independently owned and operated business. You will leave feeling valued and planning your next visit.

OF NOTE

Sawmill is New Zealand’s first B Corp- certified brewery, an international  certification recognising commitment to social and environmental responsibility and transparency. With a zero-waste goal and a massive investment in solar power, they join an impressive list of businesses around the world who believe business can be a force for good.

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