A Havelock North restaurant has taken dining in to a new level with its latest offering.
Malo @ Home has extended its service into the comfort of your own home.
Head chef and owner Bert van de Steeg is excited about Malo's latest venture- and he's no stranger to cooking in people's homes.
"When I worked in Queenstown I did a lot of chef-ing at lodges and private residences so I thought, why not offer my services in Hawke's Bay?
"We offer that personal touch, you can choose to go casual or formal, we are really flexible and will discuss and plan your unique experience with you, " Bert said.
Elisha Milmine decided to have Malo @ Home to celebrate a joint birthday for her and her husband.
"It was just wonderful and ticked all the boxes for us," Elisha said.
"We had been planning a party but then lockdown happened and so I spent my birthday in lockdown.
"Post-lockdown we wanted to celebrate and catch up with family and friends but were limited with level 2 rules. Then I read about Malo @ Home and thought it was perfect.
"From start to finish Bert and his team were amazing. They were efficient, professional and happy to discuss whatever we wanted. Their flexibility really stood out for me.
"We had 20 people at our home and were able to have a good catch-up, enjoying each other's company, eating premium food in a comfortable space without having to worry about cooking, serving the food or cleaning up.
"I would absolutely recommend it. It was such a good night and everyone really enjoyed themselves and the food. They really did go over and above what I was expecting."
Bert says the idea came about after the move from lockdown to level 3.
"Lots of restaurants and cafes were offering takeaway meals but that's not what we do here. I thought about what I could do to take Malo to people and thought about the fact that some people were still not ready to venture out - so we would take Malo to them instead.
"So far we have had nothing but positive feedback, and lots of inquiries."
Bert says his menu is based on the season. "We work with whatever is available and fresh. We do as much of the prep at the restaurant as possible."
He says they have a strong team at Malo Restaurant and he is confident about stepping away and leaving them to it.
"They are more than capable of running the kitchen in my absence and producing the quality food we always serve.
"We offer quality seasonal food, simply done. You don't have to cover your steak with other bits and pieces if it's cooked perfectly and is of high quality."
He said the lockdown had been challenging. "I had only been running the business along with my business partners, Dave and Kelly, who own the Gin Trap, for eight months when we went into lockdown. But everyone is in the same boat and we love the way the locals have been supporting us."
So remember the next time you invite your friends or family over, you might like to invite Bert as well.
"We will cook, serve and clean up — all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy."
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