This year, the Prince’s Gate Hotel in Rotorua is celebrating 120 years of hospitality and as part of that celebration they are introducing a new dining option that focuses on the indigenous foods of New Zealand.

The menu’s ingredients are gathered, prepared, cooked and served with passion, skill and attention to detail that will afford both locals and visitors alike the opportunity to savour some of the very best produce and ingredients that New Zealand has to offer.

The chefs at The Prince’s Gate Hotel have teamed up with local Rotorua celebrity chef Charles Royal to put together a creative seven course menu that features many of the best New Zealand ingredients such lamb, eel, Blue Warehou and Manuka honey.

...this menu was akin to 60+ years of eating our indigenous foods condensed into a single evening experience; a delicious romp across the Kiwi larder.... Dave Donaldson, Deputy Mayor of Rotorua

New Zealand Māori chef Charles Royal has come a long way since his days as a field chef in the New Zealand Army when the bush was a means of survival.

Charles Royal, a Māori Chef, runs a thriving business based on treats from New Zealand’s native forests. He has been a leading figure in the rediscovery of indigenous New Zealand herbs and edible ferns – generally overlooked since early Māori settlement – that have now been elevated to contemporary fine food status. The unique flavour of these wild plants appear on our Taste Indigenous New Zealand menu, in particular Horopito (Māori pepper), Pikopiko (edible fern fronds) and Kawakawa (Māori bush basil). These add extra spice to already world-renowned local produce and they’re now also firmly establishing a distinct New Zealand food identity.

This menu is sourced mainly from the local area, and from small producers and specialist suppliers around New Zealand. Being surrounded by nutritious and fresh produce all year around, foraging is an integral part of our restaurant culture. The cooking methods we use are a combination of traditional Maori and early European settlers together with modern cooking techniques and delicate presentation.

For your dining pleasure we have carefully selected some matching wines for each course on the menu, which are mainly drawn from the very best of New Zealand’s boutique vineyards, and what we believe will be a perfect complement to your meal choices.

We all have those recollections of our favourite foods growing up and it is our hope that we will take you on a journey of rediscovering your memories of those flavours from the past, but prepared and presented with a modern twist and our individual take on some of those classic dishes.

The Taste Indigenous New Zealand menu is available at Prince’s Gate on Friday and Saturday nights, and bookings are essential. You can also request this special offering for private functions or parties so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.