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Eight Plates -Telling stories with food

It’s an iconic location for Nelsonians and visitors to dine and socialise. Right at the top of Trafalgar street with stunning views of the Cathedral gardens, the sunny outdoor dining area looks like an attractive spot to relax after a busy day.

The venue has had many different faces over the years. Cod & Lobster, then after the Covid lockdowns it changed to Mama Cod, and now with new owner and former bar manager Pete Coates, it’s got a new name and a new flavour.

“We wanted to simplify the menu so that we can quickly change to suit the seasons. It gives our customers the chance to try new things. Having combinations on plates means diners can mix and match, and share with each other. It’s another point of difference that we can offer.” says Pete

The building has recently had a make over. It was formerly Lawyers offices, and the space has loads of personality. They have updated the colour scheme to tie in with the natural features of this beautiful building including moving the bar to the side area to make room for more diners.

There’s a beautiful fern covered outdoor space at the rear of the venue which on a sunny day is absolutely stunning. Upstairs has intimate dining spaces and a private dining rooms that are popular for small group gatherings.

Moving with the flow is something Pete knows well. He has trained as an actor in Auckland where he completed his Masters degree in Arts Management. He’s appeared on Shortland Street, and many other Theatre shows. He’s even been one of the Maungatapu murderers in a local historical show that won the hearts of many.

A group of his fellow actors poured their energy into running a small theatre in Auckland for many years. Hospo is how most actors and musicians pay the bills, so thats where Pete developed his passion for hospitality.

“Acting is all about telling a story. I have been in Arts Festival solo shows where I have to play 20 different characters. It’s a huge thing to attempt and sometimes one must improvise if something doesn’t go according to plan. It’s a bit like this with the Hospo industry. We are telling stories with the food and drink offerings from our region.”

“With the international borders closing the venue needed to adapt to a more local styled menu. The Internationals are slowly returning but it’s taking some time. We have retained the original head chef who is brilliant and passionate about being creative with our locally grown food.

I see my role a bit like a director. I have a great team and I am here to guide them and listen to our customers and make changes as we see fit. We are looking forward to a warm summer. The town will be buzzing and we will be ready to entertain.”

Pete has some creative ideas about bringing in a dine in theatre experience at some stage. Watch this space!

They are now taking bookings for Christmas work parties and have a large range of Gins that all have a story to go with.

Eight Plates has a beautiful energy and Pete’s got a great vision for this space. Highly recommended!

For bookings call 03 546 4300 or visit their website

Find them at 300 Trafalgar Street, Nelson
Open Thursday to Monday 10am – 10pm


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