Foundation Bar Kitchen Lounge
Maahanga Drive, Te Awa
I’m always let down by my food experience when dining at chain cafes and restaurants that are part of a shopping centre, It’s all the same, and the vegetarian selection is ho hum. So, while at The Base / Te Awa Shopping Centre on our ’24 Hour Child-Free Hamilton Break’, I went in search of something original to fill my belly, and was pleasantly surprised to discover Foundation Bar.
Firstly – it’s funky. Interesting decor with bright green accents, along with great background music that had me tapping my toes and singing away to some classic Kiwi beats (ie, ‘Crawl’ by Atlas and Fur Patrol’s ‘Lydia‘).
We placed ourselves at a high table with stools in the enclosed outdoor area, to enjoy the sun, sip our beers and watch the world go by.
The menu is vast, with separate brunch, shared platters, pizza and kids menus to accompany the main dishes available.
I was impressed that there was a slightly unusual vegetarian main on offer – twice baked blue cheese souffle ($18). The souffle was tasty, but what blew my socks off was the salad. Apples, grapes, snow pea shoots, microgreens, topped with toasted hazelnuts and a honey dressing. Out of this world! If anyone is friendly with the kitchen staff, I’m keen on receiving a copy of this recipe.
Always one for surprises, my usually carnivorous hubby chose the Vegetarian Pizza ($22). Roast vegetables, feta, pesto and parmesan covered in rocket on a crispy base. I was glad my main was a small portion, so that I could indulge in a couple of slices myself, because it was absolutely delicious.
The staff were attentive, friendly and service focused. I was having trouble deciding on which boutique beer to order, and they gladly provided me with a small sample to help me decide.
Apparently a new menu will be released this week, which gives us a great reason to return. We will be back!
Top Tip: It’s in the Entertainment Book.
In a Nutshell: Brilliant food, outstanding service and a great atmosphere. Hamiltonians should definitely check out Foundation Bar this summer.