If you’re in the area and you’re looking for a REALLY good place to eat at affordable prices, I STRONGLY suggest the Rustic Eating House in Waiouru, New Zealand. Granted, the last thing you’d expect in a town so small that you’ll miss it if you blink (population 950) is a chef driven restaurant that serves up haute cuisine, but prepare to be surprised!
It’s located in a strip mall right near where highway #49 meets up with highway #1. I had also taken some interior shots, but I googled the place as I was about to write about it, and I’m seeing that they JUST did a massive redecoration of the interior and it now looks radically different on the inside (as in much more like a fine dining experience and less like a diner).
From the new photos someone posted I’m seeing brand new chairs padded with brown leather, green plants, and decorative piles of chopped wood. That and they’ve covered the white pillars with wood paneling …. So, that said the image below is what it looked like in early March 2019 when I visited the place, but it doesn’t look like this anymore.
So, when I first got there, I was having a hard time believing the reviews on Trip advisor, as they looked like every other a mom and pop cafe with coffees and teas, and all the take-away offerings one comes to expect at places like in Australia or New Zealand,
but that said, on 2nd glance I could see they were clearly a cut above, as in they had all the obligatory meat pies and such, but with much more interesting ingredients…
In addition to what was on offer in the cases, they also had a menu which looked VERY interesting….
I ordered the “Venison in Black” — roast venison eye fillet, with a chimichurri rub, beetroot, leek, black sweet potato and chocolate sauce.
My friend the vegetarian asked for a veggie burger, and while they didn’t really have one, they put this together for him on the fly and he was VERY happy with it:
that said, If it ain’t one thing it’s another we were sitting outside and there were shade umbrellas big ones weighted down by water. I was at one table in the shade, my travel buddy was at a different one in the sun (having an on-line work conference meeting).
A massive wind picked up and started to knock them over, so I stood up to try to keep them from falling on me and then one of the ones that I was holding went completely airborne taking me with it. Rebecca went boom again. Did not hit my head. But I was little bit shaky afterwards… basically post fall shock. I did scrape up my hand pretty good, and my neck was not particularly happy with me afterwards. That and I was a bit less than pleased with how little the staff seemed to care about what had happened to me, past asking me did I want to call for an ambulance (because, and this is what they told me…. that would take about a half hour to show up anyway and cost me a load of money). In fact the only “help” was the owner got me a band-aid for my hand and moved my plate for me, indoors. So NOT the best customer service on the planet. That said my food was REALLY tasty and the chef had no issues with modifying it slightly to meet my dietary needs.