Kaimai Cheese Factory Cafe, Waharoa

My lunch yesterday was not Vegan, I was breaking the journey down to Tauranga, and eating out Vegan is seldom a rewarding experience (except at Cosset, and even there it is mainly the baking rather than a hearty meal that I expect).

I stopped at Waharoa, at the Kaimai Cheese Factory shop and cafe (thinking to combine buying nice cheese with a pleasant lunch). I chose the “cheese-lovers’ platter” thinking that a cheese factory platter should be superb – a chance to display their products at their peak.

The cafe is in the front part of one of the factory buildings with viewing windows into the factory. The space is pleasant, spacious and airy. The platter was a series of disappointments. It was presented crowded onto a small board, Cheddar, Brie (or was it Camembert?), a washed rind and some blue, also on the board were slices of bread and a few crackers, and a little bowl with pickled onions and some marinated Feta, and another with chutney. Nice, but overcrowded.

The cheddar was a pleasant enough young cheese. The Brie or Camembert was so young and hard that I was not only unsure which cheese it was meant to resemble (when it grew up) but wondered if the cheddar was softer. It did get better, the washed rind had begun to develop some flavour (what a shame I did not come a few days later, and what a pity the cold of the fridge tried to mask what flavour was developing) and the blue was soft and sharp. The pickled onions were lovely, and the Feta fine… but overall what a disappointment! I almost did not stop to buy cheese for home, but remembered that I could ripen that and allow the flavour to develop before eating.

Someone, at least if anyone who is a professional in this business reads this, is sure to say: But they are only giving customers what most want. Kiwis on the whole like their cheeses immature! If that was the case why not offer a choice Cheese-lovers’ Platter (Fresh or Mature). Then everyone could be happy!

If your experience differs plase let me know, as I have had other meals here and enjoyed them, and the coffee is not at all bad usually. (I did not have coffee yesterday as I was meeting someone over the hill for coffee a bit later.)

2 comments on “Kaimai Cheese Factory Cafe, Waharoa

  1. Stephen

    Stopped there a few times for lunch in the last couple of years (half-way between us and Kim’s folks) and thought it was okay – not overly good, but not overly bad either. (Some more ‘kid-friendly’ stuff might be good for the younger two kids). Mostly though I look for what they have in the ‘offcuts’ section – feta or a blue normally, and occasionally the cheddar for Kim, and then I can take it home and serve it at the temperature I like (and with my own pickles etc.)

    I often look longingly at the cheeses in the supermarket I grew up with as a kid – Double Gloucester; Wensleydale, and Cheshire – but the prices are fairly insane. Later growing up in Wellington our family used to go over to the Wairarapa and there was a cheese factory over there (Greytown? Carterton) – that made Gouda and processed type cheeses – including curry and pineapple flavours of them. Ugh! thinking back now at it.

  2. Karen

    Very sad too see not a lot if selection of cheeses, lunch was miniable, had the cheese dumplings, too doughy, ( yes dumplings are doughy, but these weren’t the best I’ve ever encounted). Not going there again. Good luck. Wasn’t even going to get a refund on the dish!! I thought a partial refund would have been good, no luck. Passing on infor to tour down under to say Don’t go there. Cheers.