• Welcome to The Riverhead

    The Riverhead has been a house of refreshment and conviviality for around 150 years. In that time it has seen many events and stories come and go, countryfolk and townspeople, fishermen and farmers, smugglers and clergymen, marauding riders of the night through to social visits from the local constabulary. All have played their part in giving The Riverhead a rich stable of stories befitting the oldest riverside tavern in New Zealand.

  • The Portage Bar
  • The Landing
  • The Landing
  • The Riverhead
  • The Portage Bar's new outdoor area ideal for smokers
  • The view from the Rockery
  • The Portage Bar at night
  • The View
  • Garry Dunn's magnificent chandlier
  • The Landing Restaurant
  • Through the window and into The Landing
  • Our taps including the elusive Heineken Tap
  • Outside Deacon's Kitchen
  • Inside Deacon's Kitchen
  • Our Smugglers Mural
  • The View
  • The Fireplace
  • The Heroes wall in The Portage Bar
  • The Portage Bar

News & Events

We WON the ‘Spirit of the Monteith’s Wild Food Challenge’ for this region!

We’re really stoked that we have been named one of the winners of getting into the spirit of the competition. We dressed The Riverhead in buffalo paraphernalia and it obviously impressed the judges.

A huge thanks need to go out to all those people who came in and supported us by trying our wild buffalo dish and voting for us…..congratulations goes to all the winners!
We were only second on the Leaders Board so it must have been a fairly close run race!



The Monteith’s Wild Food Challenge has finished…but you can still try our dish for a few more days!

Thanks to everyone who has tried our Monteiths Wild Food Dish and voted for us….!

We have been on or near to the top of the People Choice Leader Board all month!

For a Wild Dish, ours is a delicate balance of flavours….it’s not a heavy meat meal, it’s tender and juicy and delivers on sensual qualities you’d expect in an award winning dish.



The Monteith’s Wild Food Challenge is on again throughout July….we’re up for it! Are you?

Come on in and experience Wild Food throughout the month of July…

Be Wild!

It’s that time again when all the chef’s go a little stir crazy and create their favourite Monteith’s Wild Food Dish.

Monteith's Wild Food Challenge The Riverhead 2014This year our entry is called
‘The Fasting Buffalo’

Pan Roasted Water Buffalo with Karengo Salt, Native Daisy Dim Sum, Black Garlic,

Parsnip Gorse Flower Puree, Baby Beets and Karu Parera Potato Crisps

The main requirement of the competition is to find ingredients within 100km from our venue. We were lucky enough to find some Asian Water Buffalo from Whangaripo Valley.

Our chef cleverly set up to age  the meat many weeks ago in preparation of the competition. From here, we introduced a natural sodium seasoning (sea salt) made from karengo (seaweed) and basted the buffalo portion in a reduction of beet stock, black garlic paste, sprinkle of sugar and Dopplebock beer.

Then we needed to look at neutral ingredients that would support the dish but not influence the flavour profile of the key ingredients.

Chef’s Ian, Ryan and Paul were adamant on sourcing more local ingredients with in the 100km zone.

We had our herb supplier in Woodhill grow edible native daisy (chickweed) which is enclosed in the dim sum and used as garnish, Karu Parera potatoes, as the crisps, and gorse flowers, infused in parsnip milk and also used as garnish from our Māori foods forager Mark.

We included beets to give the dish some earthy notes. Garry, our onsite creative builder,  has produced a corrugated iron plate to fit with the rural rustic theme and the spirit of the competition.

When matching the Dopplebock beer with the buffalo, something extraordinary happened that the other beers couldn’t achieve. The Dopplebock not only stood up to the buffalo but accentuated the saltiness and delicious black garlic paste.

Dopplebock is a German Beer and was created as a monastic drink referred to as “liquid bread” sometime during the late 1700s.

It was created because the monks so frequently fasted from food up to 46 days, that they created “liquid diets” made almost exclusively from beer. These were believed to cleanse the body. During this time, the monks would fast from food, and the stories are that they enjoyed Dopplebock quite freely.

Some believed that the more you drank the more holy you became.

This tradition also spread to the town folk, where there were incidents of revelry, frequently around the churches.

So, come on down and try our wildly exciting entry with your own little ‘holy’ taste of Dopplebock thrown in. The price is $38.50 and that includes the bottle of beer. Vote and be in to WIN a $5,000 Wild Experience!

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