Tasty Cheese Gems – a Te Horo Icon

Jackie Wood with Gem Iron

Hyde Park corner is buzzing. Blue Skies art gallery, a busy Garden Centre and a bustling cafe ensure that the carpark is always full, with customers from far and wide looking for traditional fare.

Six years ago Jackie Wood took over the Te Horo Cafe. Mum and dad had a cafe in Coastlands, so it’s in Jackie’s blood. Her simple strategy was to serve the locals fresh old-fashioned comfort food.

In search of a signature dish, Jackie and her sister discussed cheesy muffins, using the old fashioned Gem Iron, with tasty rather than mild cheese, and a healthy pinch of cayenne pepper. And so was born Jackie’s Tasty Cheese Gems. They took off from the word go, and today they are Cafe Te Horo’s point of difference.

The cafe is open every day, from 9 till 4, serving Te Horo locals and an increasing clientele from out of town. With outside dining in the summer and a cheery woodburner in Winter, you’re ensured a friendly welcome. Lunch includes an intriguing creamy Cajun chicken garlic open sammie. Yum! Coffee is Havana, teas come from Lindale’s specialist tea-maker.

But it’s the Cheese Gems that endure. Ruth Pretty heard about them when one of her staff returned from morning coffee, clutching a tasty morsel. After some persuasion, Jackie allowed Ruth to feature her recipe in the national press. And the latest glossy Food magazine has just featured the recipe.

F_Au_14GemCoffeemagThe humble Cheese Gem has siblings, with spinach & feta and sundried tomato & feta adding to the variety.

As I munched my traditional Cheese Gem, the cafe was invaded by a herd of lycra-clad cyclists, while a gent with a laptop worked in the corner, accompanied by the mandatory gem and a long black.

Cafe Te Horo epitomises old-fashioned comfort food. Jackie and her team of ten staff will charm you with food that you’ll come back for.

Another of the cafe’s icon dishes is the Bacon egg & chip buttie – hearty, warming and filling

┬áJackie’s Bacon Egg and Chip Buttie

2 slices garlic bread or garlic pita
Crunchy fries
1 slice crispy bacon
1 fried egg
1 large tablespoon homemade aioli
1 large tablespoon homemade tomato relish

Layer the ingredients on top of garlic bread, smother with aioli & relish

Top with the second piece of garlic bread.