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Taranaki names its top places to dine

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The Social Kitchen nominated for four awards

The finalists have been announced in the Taranaki Hospitality awards and represent the top-notch dining establishments in the region as voted by the hospitality industry.

The awards affectionately known as ‘The Halamoana’s’ are back for 2019, proudly brought to you by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand and lead partners Lexis Comply Hub.

Halamoana means “the movement of the traffic towards a destination”, similar to a wave in the ocean”.

The Halamoana Awards began in 2006 and ran for nine years. After a five-year hiatus, and under the stewardship of the Restaurant Association of New Zealand, the Halamoana Awards have been rekindled for 2019. The awards will once again pay homage to all that is excellent in the Taranaki hospitality scene.

Popular restaurant The Social Kitchen situated in the former Salvation Army citadel takes out four nominations for outstanding restaurant, ambience and design as well as accolades for chefs Blair Clement and Seamus Fawkner in the outstanding chef and emerging chef categories.

Situated within the Puke Ariki museum on St Aubyn Street, noted for its stunning architecture and outstanding sea views, Arborio picks up three nominations including best restaurant. Ngapera Hohaia-Aiton is recognised in the best waiter/waitress category while Nikhil Chauhan is nominated for outstanding chef.  

Great cafes are not lacking in the region with The Federal Store, Monica’s Eatery, Emmalou Macaron and Coffee House and Elixir café all receiving nominations in the category of outstanding cafe.

Those looking for the region’s best flat white have ample selection with Elizabeth Collins of Elixir Café, Zoe Flower of Emmalou Macaron and Coffee House, Antony Manjali of Escape Coffee and Tash Corban of Ozone Coffee Roasters all finalists in the category of best barista.

Those looking for a place to get a great drink also won’t be disappointed with the region’s growing assortment of top-notch bars recognised.

Crowded House, Frederics Restaurant and Bar, Shining Peak Brewing and the Good Home all receive nominations for the title of Best Bar.

The Taranaki community is also able to vote for its favourite establishment in the People’s Choice Award category.

15 awards will be handed out to the best of the Taranaki hospitality industry. From crew members, to suppliers, to establishments – the best of the best will be celebrated for their contribution to creating a world-class hospitality scene in the region.

CEO Marisa Bidois says, “Named by the Lonely Planet as one of the best regions to visit, we’ve seen a real resurgence of the hospitality scene in Taranaki. With a swathe of openings in the past year, there is a new creative energy amongst the hospitality crowd which is reinvigorating the dining scene. 

“As an industry it’s so important that we take time out to celebrate our success and acknowledge our achievements.”

Voting is open until Sunday 13th October and the winners will be revealed at the awards evening on Monday, 21st October.

Tickets to the event are on sale now, to purchase or for more information regarding the awards please visit Stay connected with key updates and announcements on our Facebook and Instagram pages @taranakihospitalityawards.

Voting links are here for industry and here for people’s choice.

The Taranaki Hospitality Awards Finalists 2019

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Barista
Antony Manjali, Escape Coffee
Elizabeth Collins, Elixir Cafe
Tash Corban, Ozone Coffee Roasters
Zoe Flower, Emmalou Macaron and Coffee House

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Bartender
Ajinkya Jagdale, The Hour Glas
Daniel Nickson, Table Restaurant, Nice Boutique Hotel
Jess Old, Itch Wine Bar
Kerry Simeon, Crowded House

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Waiter/Waitress
Chesney Hiroa, Deluxe Diner
Ngapera Hohaia-Aiton, Arborio
Shyon Noble, Gusto Restaurant
Victor Higgins, Lemonwood Eatery

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Chef
Blair Clement, Social Kitchen
Freddie Ponder, Shining Peak Brewing
Nikhil Chauhan, Arborio
Purna Chandra, Gusto Restaurant
Robert Isbister, Meat & Liquor Steakhouse

Restaurant Association of NZ Emerging Chef
Ashwin Karra, Table Restaurant
Elvis Colaco, Pikopiko Eatery
Seamus Fawkner, Social Kitchen
Vishal Sajeevan, Bach on Breakwater

Bidfood Outstanding Café
Elixir Cafe
Emmalou Macaron and Coffee House
Monica’s Eatery
The Federal Store

Asahi Beverages Outstanding Bar
Crowded House
Frederics Restaurant and Bar
Shining Peak Brewing
The Good Home

Antipodes Outstanding Boutique Bar
Itch Wine Bar
Snug Lounge
The Hour Glass

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Street Food/Casual Dining
Gamma Rays
Koby’s Kitchen
Little Glutton

OneMusic Outstanding Ambience & Design
Deluxe Diner
Governors Eatery + Bar
Monica’s Eatery
Social Kitchen

Nova Energy Outstanding Suburban/Regional Establishment
Lemonwood Eatery
Pikopiko Eatery
Stumble Inn
Treehouse Bar & Bistro

Eftpos NZ Outstanding Restaurant
Fork n Knife
Salt Restaurant
Social Kitchen

Maurice Trapp Outstanding Sales Rep
Chris Murray – Southern Hospitality
Debbie Davis – Gilmours
Kester Randall – Bidfood
Scott Baker – DB Breweries

KDJ Catering
Natural Fare
TLC Meats

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