I was really thrilled to see the write up in Age Epicure on May 29 on the Bank Street Wood Fired Pizza and Garden. And even more thrilled to see it chock a block the following weekend. It couldn’t happen to a nicer couple – Cameron Ka Ka, his wife Janelle – have turned a rather run-down end of the old Harvest Home Hotel into a really funky little restaurant serving delicious food and wine, in sleepy little Avenel!
What’s more the menu and wine list are dotted with local produce and wine. The local butcher’s renowned pork and fennel sausages feature on the Scotty (named after the butcher Scott Reid!). The Mushroom Pizza uses the local mushroom farm’s delicious swiss browns. And the wine lists specialises in local wines. They made a choice to pour my Vermentino by the glass, which has introduced a raft of people to this new variety. Quite often I get a call from someone who has dined at the pizza place and become quite smitten with it and want to buy a case!
What makes the whole thing so remarkable is that Callum and Janelle waited nearly 2 years to fight their way through layers of local government red tape and bureaucracy before they could begin renovations. The frustration must have been enormous, I am sure many would have thrown their hands up in despair and walked away…. And now we have this fabulous little restaurant in our back yard, little businesses are getting marketing support and local kids are getting expert hospitality training…. Win, win win.