MasterChef finalist and Stoke woman Paula Saengthian-Ngam outside her new cafe, Paula’s Plate which is set to open mid-July on the corner of Hardy and Rutherford Sts. Photo: Sinead Ogilvie.

TV star to open restaurant

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Soon the community will be able to judge for themselves just how good a cook Paula Saengthian-Ngam is, as the Stoke mum and MasterChef finalist opens the doors to her brand new café.
Paula’s Plate will open in the former Pomeroy’s premises on Hardy St in mid July and will bring something “a bit different” to Nelson’s café scene says Paula.
“It’s going to be welcoming, with great food and great coffee. I think it will be really special, and I hope other people think so too.”
The café is the cherry on top of a great experience for Paula, who says before Masterchef, would never have had the confidence to open the doors to her own café.
“It’s always been a dream of mine but I never thought I could do it. The show taught me so much about my own strength and confidence. It was an extremely positive experience for me.”
Paula’s Plate, which Paula says is a joint venture between herself and sister Jo Kilkelly, will open with just a small lunch menu that will update frequently from week to week.
“I want to take it slowly and not take on too much because I want to get it right. There’s always room for development.”
While fans are eager to try her infamous duck salad which scored an unprecedented 20 points in the final of the show, she says she doesn’t want to give too much away, other than the menu will feature “unique, yummy, and fresh food.”
With the café almost set to open the doors, all that remains to be completed is getting “the big tick” from the council, get the kitchen plumbed in and finish decorating says Paula.
“It’s just small things to finish off now, it’s looking like it could be ready to a point this weekend, but it won’t be officially ready until July,” she says.