The Cow Shed - A Delicious Discovery
'Oh!” I squealed as we were bouncing down a particularly bucolic back road somewhere near Mangawhai, “this is just like ‘Two Fat Ladies’ except we don’t have a motorcycle or sidecar and only one of us is fat.” Upon arrival we were warmly welcomed by Wendy and Robert Klink who converted their old cow shed into a restaurant four years ago. The decor is vintage and homely with shelves of homemade pickles and chutneys and the original cow shed rails separate those who have yet to eat from those who are already wrestling their huge portions of delicious, spit-roasted meat into submission.
The Cow Shed is all about simple food done well. The menu is set (chicken, lamb or sirloin steak when we went) and they ask you to choose your mains when you make your booking. This takes a great deal of waste and stress out of the equation and makes choosing your BYO wine very easy.
The Klinks are a family of foodies.Their son Dan now runs the Mangawhai butchery and recently won Best Sausage, the supreme award at this year’s Great NZ Sausage Competition.
Their daughter Amy and her partner Sam are based in Melbourne where Sam works as a chef, but this summer they will be returning to run a pop-up breakfast and lunch cafe at the Cow Shed from December 27 to January 27. Wendy and Robert will be serving dinner seven nights a week over this time too (normally just Fri/Sat/Sun nights).
My slightly less thin editor and I concluded that the experience is well worth a trip down a few bumpy gravel roads with or without a sidecar.
The Cow Shed (BYO) 53 Pebblebrooke Road, Mangawhai Phone: (09) 431 2354 Em: Bookings essential. Event enquiries welcome.