Recipe for success

Recipe for success
  • Written by
  • Harri Sharman

New chef takes the helm at Bistro Lago

Recipe for success: One of Taupō’s top dining experiences is set to become even more of a favourite, with Bistro Lago at the Hilton Lake Taupō welcoming a talented new executive chef. Christchurch-born chef Hamish Neale, who has more than 30 years’ experience in international restaurants, now brings his expertise and passion to Bistro Lago. With its cosy fireplace dining and unsurpassed lake views, and chef Neale’s specialty flair, this dining spot is sure to impress for brunch, lunch, or dinner – or even a decadent afternoon tea.


Handcut pappardelle with winter tomatoes, kalamata olive, chilli, basil and pecorino - A recipe for success

Since joining the Hilton team, Neale has introduced specially curated menus, including the new express lunch and brunch menus, and reinvigorated lunch and dinner offerings.
He also plans to introduce even more enticing specials, such as the latest wine and cheese nights in the Hilton’s Cellar Lounge.

The internationally trained chef’s cuisine has been heavily influenced by cultures such as India, Korea, and most recently China. Neale has flexed his culinary muscles as executive chef for high-end venues, most recently at Grand Hyatt Beijing, re-opening the world-famous Made in China restaurant.

“After 16 years experiencing the wonders of Asia, I have chosen to return to New Zealand, bringing with me all the influences and flavours that these vibrant food-based cultures have to offer,” says Neale. He describes his cooking style as “very relaxed, with simple techniques that are executed well with good quality seasonal ingredients”. Diners can expect to see this diversity of flavours and cultures well represented in his culinary creations.

Chef Neale notes that his concept for Bistro Lago moving forward is a dining establishment that exudes a warm, country kitchen feel; a haven tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city. The food he aims to be known for here in Taupō is welcoming and heart-warming, with a home-cooked, nourishing feeling.

Neale wants to bring these authentic recipes to life in Bistro Lago, utilising the beautiful, locally sourced ingredients that New Zealand is famous for and sneaking little hints of Asia into the dishes. Paired with the delightful setting at the charmingly historic Hilton, dining here will be a must-do experience for locals and hotel guests alike.

Bistro Lago at The Hilton Lake Taupō

Executive chef plating up prawns

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