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East of the middle

Want to try Tauranga’s fine dining feast as recommended by Dish, Stuff, Herald and Cuisine Magazine? 

Whilst you can’t take a long-haul to experience the rich history of the Middle East, let Kitchen Takeover bring it to you! Our latest pop-up brings the flavours of Arabia to your plate for East Of The Middle. From 15th July – 4th September, our secret location will become a tongue-tingling spice trail, working its way from the souks of Syria to the markets of Marrakesh.

Kitchen Takeover’s culinary caravan menu will capture the depth and mystery of the region that gave us poetry and romance. Feel the heat of the desert on your skin. Let the scents of the kitchen create a thirst in you like that of a wanderer nearing the oasis. Chef Shane Yardley is back alongside Rob Forsman to interpret the enigmas of the East, blending modern techniques with traditional flavours and delectable food.

Which exotic flavour will captivate your senses in this six-course reimagination of Arab fare? Will it be a sprinkle of bahārāt belly-dancing across the plate? The tantalising aroma of saffron whirling into the air? Or sweet pomegranate exploding on your tongue?  

Arabia spans a huge area of our world, home to a rich and varied population. So, it’s only fitting that we are offering a diverse menu with gluten-free and plant-based options.

Tickets cost $135pp (plus a small booking fee) and include six courses plus a welcome cocktail or mocktail. There is also the option for wine or mocktail matches. 

What are the dates and times?

Dinner 7-10pm:

Thursday 15th/Friday 16th/Saturday 17th July

Thursday 22nd/Friday 23rd/Saturday 24th July

Thursday 29th/Friday 30th/Saturday 31st July

Thursday 5th/Friday 6th/Saturday 7th August

Thursday 12th/Friday 13th/Saturday 14th August

Thursday 19th/Friday 20th/Saturday 21st August

Thursday 26th/Friday 27th/Saturday 28th August

Thursday 2nd/Friday 3rd/Saturday 4th September 

How much?

Tickets cost $135pp and include six courses plus a welcome cocktail or mocktail. There is also the option for a two glass wine match ($29), non-alcoholic drinks match ($39) or four glass wine match ($55). 

Register Now

Yalla habibi! Remember, it’s first come, first served so you’ll have to be quick when they do as tickets will be gone faster than an Arabian sunset


Who is it for?

Wild-at-heart foodies on the hunt for a ‘big city’ style food adventure. Think the secrecy of an East London supper club mixed with the gastronomy of a top Melbourne laneway eatery and the creativity of a Copenhagen restaurant.

What will you eat?

On your plate will be all the classic foods – meat, fish, dairy and sugar. We have alternative gluten free and plant based menus (which generally covers all the bases) but cannot cover for other specific requirements.

Who is designing the mouth watering menu?

Shane Yardley is a chef with platefuls of experience. Having spent the first part of his career training in some of the world’s most renowned restaurants including the Sanderson and Bistro Largo, he did a long stint as Simon Gault’s right hand man. He has now returned to the fold as a tutor at Toi Ohomai teaching the next generation how to cook like a pro. Career highlights include Head Chef of Euro, Fish, and a guest judge on Masterchef. You’re in for a treat. Alongside him will be Kitchen Takeover’s Rob Forsman. After seven years as Al Brown’s Head Chef, he knows a thing or two about cooking. 

How does it work?

The location is revealed one hour prior by text and email. The secret location will be within 10 minutes of Tauranga CBD. The set menu will be announced when you arrive. You can choose to be seated communally to meet your undiscovered foodie friends or on your own table.  

Where and when will it be?

A secret location in Tauranga within 10 minutes of Tauranga CBD.. 

What happens if the event is unable to go ahead due to COVID-19?

We will postpone it to a later date. If you are unable to make this date we will offer an alternative date or a refund.

What is the cost?

A six-course degustation dining ticket is from $135 per person plus a small booking fee (10% of which goes to charity to offer literacy support to underprivileged children in New Zealand schools).

Register Now

Pre-sale tickets will be released on Thursday 27th May at 7pm, 24 hours before the general public so register for tickets now or they will be gone faster than an Arabian sunset.


Get in touch with Founder and Foodie, Stacey Jones at Kitchen Takeover on 022 369 8334.

Foodie Reviews

” This was the most amazing experience. The food was sooooo good I cannot even begin to describe in words as well as the flavours and the presentation. Sign me up for the next one!”

Kim Raubenheimer

“Kitchen Takeover made me feel like I was living in Melbourne, or Wellington or even New York. Like a glorious local secret, with the added advantage of getting to meet lovely, like-minded folks.”

Rosie Dawson Hewes

“This was an incredible taste sensation, perfect food, perfect setting and perfect company.  I can’t wait for the next one! Somehow i think it’s going to be tough to get a seat next time around.”

Kirstin Mead