Opened back in 2005 in the heart of Nelson, Hopgood’s has had a solid standing when it comes to creating phenomenal food. This award-winning restaurant on Trafalgar Street is housed in a heritage building and offers dishes made from fresh local produce which you can happily pair with stunning Nelson and Marlborough wine or beer.
We were only in Nelson for the weekend and luckily, one of my friends was organised enough to make a reservation. This is highly recommended as they are consistently busy, so if you come without a booking, be prepared to be turned away.
As their focus is fresh local produce, their menu is kept deliberately short and changes regularly to reflect the latest products from the local suppliers. My beef carpaccio entree with a soft-centred, deep-fried egg and truffle scented parmesan fries was heavenly. This was on par with the rich chicken liver parfait which we smeared over pieces of toasted brioche.
For main, I decided against my gut instinct to order the Angus beef fillet and opted to try the pan-fried grouper. I don’t recall trying grouper before so was unaware that it’s a lean fish with a firm texture which is not my preference when it comes to fish. However, the seasoning on the dish was pleasant and I especially adored the plump golden raisin with the cooked eggplant.
Hopgood’s popularity is understandable and we could see why they were awarded runner-up in the 2015 Best Regional Restaurant category in Cuisine New Zealand Good Food Awards (2016 due to be released in August). The service was bubbly and efficient, the shabby-chic decor was not intimidating and we loved our meal there. I urge everyone to try Hopgood’s if you’re in Nelson.
Hopgood’s Restaurant | 284 Trafalgar Street, Nelson