Gourmet in the Gardens

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Have you been to Gourmet in the Gardens just yet? If not, you should! I just caught wind of it this week, and I’m so glad we went. :) Gorgeous sunny day, sprawling gardens, live music and festive atmosphere, and lots of specialty food stalls… what’s there not to like?

Gourmet in the Gardens is a relatively new event in Hamilton, running every Sunday from 4-8pm during the warmer half of the year. It’s a lot like the Hamilton Night Market, except in a sunny, open-air atmosphere, with slightly different stalls and more scenic grounds. Check out their Facebook page, the organizers update it and respond to queries in a timely manner.

I read a blog post that mentioned that some stalls start to run out of food by 6pm, so we headed there at 4pm to try and catch ’em all. Good thing we did, too, despite the slightly awkward timing (too early for dinner, too heavy for tea) – the crowd REALLY starts picking up at 5pm or so. When we arrived we didn’t have to queue up much, but by 5-6pm there were queues of 10+ people at some stalls.

Some of the stalls are the same ones found at the Night Market, but many are different. Some of the stalls that stood out to us were:

  • Argentinian BBQ – Serving beef, lamb, or sausage, grilled on the spot and served with chimchurri, bread, and salad. The beef was good, reasonably tender and had a nice smoky flavour, and the chimchurri served with it was perfect. Bread a little stale though.
  • On a Roll – Never seen this banh mi store around town, and I wish they’d set up a permanent place somewhere! The baguettes they use are wonderfully fresh, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Filling is good, right mix of meat and vegetables/condiments, but no pate unfortunately. Don’t forget to add the Sriracha sauce on the counter.
  • Paella guy – Forgot the actual name of the store, but the guy with the giant pan of paella is unmistakable. The boy, who is a huge paella fan, gives this his thumbs up.
  • Real fruit ice creams – I think this is the stall from the Country Providore by Punnet, if memory serves me right. I always loved their ice creams, they have bits of fruit packed densely inside.
  • Mizzoni Pizza – Pizza baked in a stone oven. AFAIK this stall is usually around Rototuna, but we’ve never ventured out to get it. Will try this next time.
  • All things meringue (updated 22 Nov) – This stall sells pretty little meringues and a ‘strawberry meringue smash’, which consists of strawberries, cream, meringue, jam… and tastes every bit as good as an eton mess from a nice restaurant at $6! I do wish it would have been chilled a bit more, but that’s a minor issue.

All in all, a great day out with glorious food, views, and a good walk around the gardens with ice cream. :) Would definitely come again, hopefully it picks up and attracts even more stalls! A breath of fresh air for Hamilton, and couldn’t have come at a better time, too, as the Night Market at the Kmart carpark unfortunately appears to be declining over the past few months (but that is a story for another post).

 

Cost: $5 – $15 pp
Food: 4 Stars
Service: 4 Stars
Ambience: 4 Stars
Value for money: 4 Stars

 

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