2017 Participant: Mount Bistro & Bethany's

Bay of Plenty

Plate of Origin Dish and Hero Ingredients John Dory & Habourside macadamis


Mount Bistro serves creative, innovative food, with great complexity of flavour that you can wash down with first-class New Zealand wines. Mount Bistro was established in April 2007 by multi award winning chef, Stephen Barry. Since then it has excelled to win almost every competition it has entered, and developed a reputation for consistent outstanding food served in a warm friendly atmosphere. With an emphasis on fresh local produce, their menu is a celebration of taste, reinforcing the natural essence of food with complimentary flavours. It includes modern, innovative creations like their Sword ‘n’ Sauce-ry winning dish of the 2007 Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge as well more traditional fare.

CHEF | Stephen Barry

stephen-barry-profile-1Stephen’s early influence was his mother who is an artist and chef, realising at a young age you need to be a food artist, an alchemist, and a perfectionist, passion alone is not enough. Stephen is 100% committed to being a chef and describes it as being “the ultimate in competition with yourself, every night you are striving to do your best to aim for perfection and failure is not an option.” Stephen is the owner-operator of Mount Bistro, and is a platinum Beef + Lamb NZ Ambassador Chef.


Bethany’s Restaurant and Cafe is located in Palmerston North’s picturesque Square and has some of the best views of any restaurant in town. It has seating upstairs, downstairs and outside. Upstairs provides a sweeping view of the Square and can seat up to 120 people. Owned by Reuben and Lynne Leung Wai, Bethany’s Restaurant is named in memory of their eldest daughter who passed away from cancer at the age of 12. Bethany’s food is always made fresh and prides itself on presenting all the classics with a twist.

Bethany’s now has one of the strongest teams in the kitchen with their Head Chef Michael Brill who won Manawatu Chef of the Year 2015, and Sam Lee as the recently qualified award winning third chef. Sam came to us to wash dishes just after we first opened and showed a real talent for cooking up a storm!

The restaurant is all about using locally grown fresh produce from the various markets in Palmerston North.

CHEF | Reuben Leung Wai

Executive Chef Reuben has had many years experience in the kitchen and has previously been regarded as one of the top Chefs in London. From his early days as Sous Chef at “Rules” (the oldest restaurant in London) to his appointment as Head Chef of the busiest restaurant in the UK (Browns Restaurant and Bar) Reuben’s highly distinguished career eventually culminated in his appointment as Food Development Manager for “Mitchells and Butlers” – a chain of 150 restaurants. Reuben has previously won Manawatu Chef of the Year and currently works alongside Head Chef Michael Brill who won the same award in 2015, and Sam Lee the recently qualified award winning third chef.

Needless to say, Bay of Plenty chefs have access to the very best seafood. Here you can buy kai moana as soon as it arrives at the wharf. Te Puke is the world’s kiwifruit capital, with the vast majority of our famous export crop grown here. Avocados also flourish in the warm conditions and fertile soil, and berry farms burst into life each summer so you can ‘pick your own’ straight from the bush.

This region hosts numerous outdoor festivals and events, and gourmet food markets have become a part of this scene. Sample international street food and handmade edibles while listening to live music and relaxing with friends. The Bay of Plenty has a wide range of top-class restaurants and casual eateries, and our main shopping and dining precincts are never too far from the water’s edge. This is the perfect place to indulge your taste buds.

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