Stunning views of the Waikato River, prompt service and tasty steak sandwich.

The battered gurnard, thick crunchy chips and garden salad with balsamic dressing, was tasty.

A taste of… Hopin Stopin Cafe, 60 Great South Road, Taupiri. 

We'd heard… the cafe was isolated but it had views of the Waikato River. They did a pretty "mean" coffee too, according to locals.

We ordered… the fish and chips with a side salad ($22.90) and a steak sandwich with chips ($17.50). 

The Hopin Stopin Cafe in Taupiri.

The Hopin Stopin Cafe in Taupiri.

The menu was typical of a country cafe, with a good selection of hearty burgers and fries, so we chose two of the most popular options. And of course, I couldn't come all this way (a 25 minute drive from Hamilton city) without ordering coffee. I ordered a mochacchino.

The first dish came with three large pieces of gurnard. The chips were crisp and the salad, although quite nice, was a bit strange. The garden salad had a few grapes, a slice of orange and a piece of pineapple. But it tasted good enough and was a refreshing side to the fish. 

The steak sandwich was a far better dish.The meat was tender and juicy and the garlic mayonnaise was beautiful. It was a simple dish done well. 

The steak sandwich was juicy and filling.

The steak sandwich was juicy and filling.

The service… was prompt. A quick headcount showed there were 30 people dining in for lunch at noon on a Sunday. We got our coffee five minutes after it was ordered and our meals 11 minutes after that. The staff weren't overly friendly, which is what I like; I prefer to be left alone to eat. 

The vibe… was quirky. The inside and outside of the building was painted a lime green colour. The walls were decorated in homemade art and there were strange ornamental frogs dotted around the place. What I was most disappointed about was missing out on a table with a view of the river. It was far too cold to sit outside and Sunday noon is peak-hour at the cafe. There's plenty of parking, though.

If you go… you have to try the steak sandwich. The portion sizes are quite big so you won't leave feeling hungry. 

The mochachino was creamy and had a good hit of caffeine.

The mochachino was creamy and had a good hit of caffeine.

Rating out of 5: 4



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