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Ratings and reviews

RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
CUISINES
European, New Zealand
FEATURES
Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service
Reviews (567)
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553 results
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LanguageEnglish
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Traveller rating
418
79
42
9
5
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All reviews degustation menu tuna lamb the river wine match special night food and wine flavour combinations courses nz foodie
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Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

This place was always a highlight when we visited Hamilton. Sadly no longer. With the move to the Main Street it’s become very ordinary. Both my partners mains were over salted. Mine were very average. Understand needing to get more bums on seats but sadly...it’s just a run of the mill bistro now. Nothing special.More

Date of visit: February 2024
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Reviewed 29 November 2023

This restaurant brands itself as a top flight restaurant and it certainly delivers on all points. The taste and quality of the food is of a very high standard with a well curated wine list to match. All the staff are very welcoming and helpful...and the decor and location (nestled by the waikato river) make this an ideal place for a special occasion or to just give yourself a real treat.More

Date of visit: October 2023
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Reviewed 15 November 2023

A 5 course degustation frequently comes with an uncounted bread course, perhaps amuse-bouche, maybe cheese, but not in this case. It was 3 very small courses, a main, and a small dessert, for an overpriced $130. 2 oysters opened, followed by kingfish, which definitely was...the highlight. Third was ham hock, about the size of a coin, with "marmite butter" which sadly was an experiment that did not work, tasting as it did of marmite. The "main" was a large steak, and although the size was appreciated, seemed out of place in a degustation and more like an a la carte main. However it was overdone (medium, and we weren't asked how we preferred it) and over salted, and did not come with a steak knife. The leaks it came with were very fibrous and unable to be cut with the knives provided. A small dessert finished. Of greatest disappointment however was the wine match. If you've ever been to a wine tasting you'll know they have the two fill marks near the bottom of the glass for samples, these were filled to the lowest of those - at most around 30ml. These were served long before the accompanying dishes were brought out, and were not sufficient to act as any sort of accompaniment. We had to sit there looking at the glasses, knowing if we had the meerest taste there would be nothing left for accompanying the food. The sum total would have amounted to less than one solitary glass of wine - for $60. I had anticipated a wine match, not a wine tasting. I've had enough degustation/wine matches to know what to expect - sure, a 7+ course one will be smaller quantities, but this was embarrassing. The wine selected for wine match, sorry, tasting, was all available for around $15/glass (a properly filled glass that is) from the wine menu. The service was adequate. Our tiny samples of wine came well before each course, and in fact it was clear they'd forgotten to bring us a course when a tiny sample turned up for a course while we were still waiting for the previous one. Some dishes were described, some were just plonked down ("Here's ya steak") and left. I wouldn't say that the service was bad, but it certainly wasn't to the standard of fine dining that Palate likes to think it is. Sadly, I left a little hungry, and, not to sound like an alcoholic, stone cold sober. While the food was mostly average to good, if overpriced, the service adequate, the "wine match" frankly left me feeling ripped off. For restaurants that offer a degustation I will try it on my first visit, while exploring the a la carte on subsequent visits. In this case there won't be subsequent visit. This is an average restaurant charging like it's a fine dining establishment, which it sadly is not. If you really must go here (I too was taken by the gushing reviews) avoid the degustation and wine match at all costs. View the photos for actual amounts of wine served.More

Date of visit: November 2023
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Reviewed 11 October 2023

We wanted somewhere special to take our dad for his 80th birthday. Palate delivered. We loved it. The only shame was we were the only diners.

Date of visit: October 2023
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Reviewed 22 September 2023 via mobile

As usual we had an excellent meal. We were there for lunch and the food was both excellent in flavour and presentation but also terrific value for food of this quality. Staff were also top notch.A special place that we love returning to.

Date of visit: September 2023
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Reviewed 29 July 2023 via mobile

This restaurant is perfect for a special occasion. It’s a warm, elegant and contemporary environment, with sections cleverly separated by curtains, glass or art work. The perfect spot for a romantic dinner or catch-up with friends. The food is everything you’d expect - the best...produce, cheese, meat etc. prepared in a stunning way and presented beautifully. Service was friendly and professional. Definitely save room for desert - it was the highlight of our meal!More

Date of visit: July 2023
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Reviewed 7 July 2023 via mobile

Fantastic evening. Great food, great service, great ambience. There is so something about the decor and furnishing that makes this place feel quite special.

Date of visit: July 2023
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Reviewed 3 June 2023 via mobile

Love this place! Could not fault the service or the food. Definitely recommend Palate for special occasions. We have been here a number of times and only once I felt it was not perfect.

Date of visit: April 2023
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Reviewed 16 May 2023

we enjoyed a lovely meal at this restaurant. The food was fantastic and the service was excellent. We have eaten here before and always enjoyed it. The menu doesn’t vary a great deal, but what they serve is absolutely delicious and in summer the location...is beautiful right by the river. In winter, it is warm and cozy and we will definitely be back.More

Date of visit: April 2023
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed 9 April 2023

Going for an amazing dinner at Palate is something we look forward to for our trips down to Hamilton and we had yet another awesome experience. We went for the degustation menu with the wine match. Every course was an incredible mix of flavours which...were perfectly balanced. Really good service too, with just the right amount of attention to enhance the overall experience. We're already thinking of our next visit.More

Date of visit: February 2023
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 7 April 2023

We had a mid week lunch for our wedding anniversary, and were not disappointed. We had last been 3 years ago and are now wondering why it took us so long to return. Everything was perfect, the staff attentive and professional without being pushy. The...food and timing of courses was spot on - my fish just perfectly cooked, the octopus entree was spectacular, as was the remainder of the meal. Even the Hamilton weather gave us a perfect outside table. We will definitely be returning and not going to leave it for 3 years for next time!More

Date of visit: March 2023
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed 9 January 2023

We were lucky - my lovely husband’s work sent us to Palate for a special dinner. And it is, quite appropriately, a reward / celebration restaurant. The senior staff and kitchen are experienced and sophisticated, making the food and wine quality fare. The interior decor...and furnishings make for a really classy ambiance; you want to dress up for this. Thank you for bringing back à la carte (could be a little longer!) vive la liberté! We do not do degustation. Palate was at its height in 2018, 2019, I think, and it looks like they might be headed back there… will visit again for sure, after a couple of years hiatus.More

Date of visit: December 2022
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Reviewed 4 January 2023

Dined here Xmas Eve for a special 5 course meal that was booked & paid for 2 months in advance. Had a terribly rushed feel about the night, within 20 mins we were onto our 3rd course. The first 2 meals were cold fish dishes,...which seemed a little strange, however they were superbly done like all the meals. The portion sizes were much smaller than last yrs same experience & combined with the rushed meals it left us feeling a little let down. We had a wine match to go along with the meals, they were nice but the service was a little let down here. Previous yrs a full explanation of what is served to you (food & wine) for each meal occurred, this yr nothing, when spending a significant amount of money you expect some level of interaction better than was offered.More

Date of visit: December 2022
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Reviewed 27 December 2022

Came in mid December with our New York based daughter and her partner and booked the Kitchen table for a treat for them.They confirmed that the experience far exceeded their expectations as was as good as anything that they might expect in New York.High praise...from avid foodies!..The7 courses were all exquisite and came delivered with a low key warm approach from Mat...we were struggling to find our favourites such was their quality.Professional and and slick service from Larissa and Chloe as well...already booked again in February...can't recommend this restaurant highly enoughMore

Date of visit: December 2022
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Reviewed 5 December 2022 via mobile

Lovely meals enjoyed by our family but spoiled by the awful 'thump' music that is piped throughout the restaurant, I'd understand that if I needed to be pumped up for a fight then this would be the music to play - but not in a...restaurant!More

Date of visit: November 2022
Helpful?5  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Questions & Answers
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Hearnwillow
5 July 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from KFB1966 | Reviewed this property |
Yes, there is a lift from the lobby straight into the restaurant
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holiyokeolivia
22 June 2017|
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Response from | Reviewed this property |
Yes
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EstherL2314
8 July 2016|
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Response from FoodLover3434 | Reviewed this property |
Yip it's on their website
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PALATE, Hamilton - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Palate

Palate is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4.5
  • Atmosphere: 4.5