Riverstone Kitchen

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Monday9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

TuesdayClosed.

WednesdayClosed.

Thursday9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Friday9:00 am – 4:00 pm, 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

Saturday9:00 am – 4:00 pm, 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

Sunday9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

1431 Glenavy-Hilderthorpe Road, Waitaki Bridge

03 431 3505

Growing your own, using local ingredients, sticking to the seasons, foraging - it’s all become quite trendy in the last few years. At Riverstone Kitchen, however, it’s always been the way. For nearly fifteen years, owner and head chef Bevan Smith and his team have been plating up beautiful, honest and most importantly delicious representations of Waitaki.

Riverstone Kitchen can be found just off Highway 1, 20 minutes north of Ōamaru. Turn off and you’ll almost immediately forget the busy coastal road behind you as Riverstone’s vibrant vegetable gardens surround you on all sides. Even the car park itself is lined by towering pear trees, parsley patches, bright silver beet and berry thickets. Take a wander through the rows and you may come across Riverstone’s gardeners as they help these flavourful ingredients make their way to the kitchen.

Once you’ve meandered along, head inside and you’ll start to get even more of a feel for what this place is all about: great food made with great ingredients by great people. Riverstone is a ‘foodie’ destination without even a drop of pretension - the space is welcoming and the team, genuinely friendly. With plenty of space, a kids’ play area, outdoor seating and colourful floral arrangements, you’ll feel right at home from the moment you arrive. 

Riverstone’s menu changes with the seasons, but dishes like the hot smoked local salmon are a regular feature. Served with fresh salad greens from the surrounding gardens, locally grown Jersey Benne potatoes during the springtime and creme fraiche - it’s light and fresh, balanced but moreish, familiar but exciting, a celebration of Waitaki’s spring and summer. Another favourite, the zucchini fritti and fried zucchini flowers, make use of every part of the plant which is grown just outside. Pair with any of the local beers or wines on offer, and you’re away.

Whatever happens, to be on offer when you visit, you can be sure it’ll be a meal to remember. As Bevan put it, “working with the seasons and our gardens feels like the natural thing to do, our inspiration is always right in front of us.” The team actually goes even further than this, though. All of the local meat they use is butchered in-house, and the bread, cakes and carby treats are made by hand by the in-house bakers. All things considered, Riverstone’s menu is the delicious end result of a supply chain that almost couldn’t be shorter and a team that’s dedicated to their craft and the bountiful region they call home.

Dining here is just part of the experience, though, so leave plenty of time for your visit. At the front of the restaurant, you can flip through Bevan’s cookbooks and choose a few jars of Riverstone’s jams, chutneys and preserves to take away. Just behind, you’ll find ‘Dot’s Castle’ and her many floral gardens, too. 

Words by Olivia Sisson & Photography by Nancy Zhou

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Location

1431 Glenavy-Hilderthorpe Road, Waitaki Bridge

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