Restaurant

The Larder

The Larder

In the day­time, The Larder’s plain decor and food cab­in­ets suit its descrip­tion as a diner or cof­fee shop, but after dark it has lofti­er ambi­tions. After all, few cof­fee shops start the meal with an amuse-bouche, but we were served demi­tasses of sweet­corn soup with pars­­ley-infused olive oil. The emphas­is was on ‘sweet’, though […]

Whitebait

Whitebait

We’re told that White­bait is not just a relo­cated White House; it’s part of the trend away from stil­ted ‘fine din­ing’ to a more cas­u­al exper­i­ence, though still with high-end food and pri­cing. There are no cer­tainly no white table­cloths, but there’s also no mis­tak­ing this for a ram­bunc­tious diner. The con­ver­sa­tion was a polite, […]

Cicio Cacio Osteria

Cicio Cacio Osteria

There are many pleas­ures to be had down dark alley­ways in New­town, but few of them are leg­al. One excep­tion has always been the nar­row arcade off Rid­di­ford Street, which has been home to a string of European res­taur­ants over the dec­ades, most not­ably (for those with long memor­ies) The Swiss Chalet. It is into […]

Mexico

Mexico

I was ini­tially puzzled by the buzz among my friends about Mexico’s immin­ent open­ing: they’re not nor­mally the type to get excited by chain res­taur­ants with branches in Taka­puna and Hamilton. Then I saw the menu and under­stood the hype. The dishes looked more innov­at­ive and bet­ter presen­ted than most Mex­ic­an food in Wel­ling­ton. Queues […]

Waimea

Waimea

This review required some men­tal time travel on my behalf, because while this issue will come out in early sum­mer, we dined in the depths of winter. We tried to ima­gine gaz­ing out across the dunes towards a golden sun­set, Kapiti Island cast into glor­i­ous sil­hou­ette as the last rays stroked the sky… but our […]

Basque

Basque

Basque describes itself as a “Tapas Bar and Res­taur­ant”, though the lay­out and atmo­sphere, with prom­in­ent beer taps and more lean­ers than tables, def­in­itely emphas­ises the bar aspect. This is under­scored by a vast and fas­cin­at­ing drinks selec­tion. As well as the expec­ted Riojas and Albar­iños on the wine list, there’s a whole unknown (to […]

Queen of Jackson

Queen of Jackson

Ima­gine life without fer­ment­a­tion. We would have no bread; no wine or beer; no cheese, pickles or salami. For some years now fer­ment­a­tion has been slowly bub­bling away as a food­ie trend, often with health-fet­ish­ist over­tones, focus­ing on sauerkraut, kim­chi and oth­er means of cre­at­ively rot­ting veget­ables, grains and beans. It was to be expected […]

Loretta

Loretta

One occu­pa­tion­al haz­ard of a pro­fes­sion­al gour­mand is a diet rich in fat and sug­ar, and accord­ing to my doc­tor the inside of my arter­ies now resembles half-melted raclette, while my liv­er is approach­ing the size and con­sist­ency of foie gras. It was just as well that my next review was Lor­etta, a new restaurant […]

Grill Meats Beer

Grill Meats Beer

I was all set to hate this place. A bar and grill run by a celebrity chef, with a jokey name and cal­cu­latedly oh-so-cas­u­al decor, set up with lean­ers and long tables to cap­ture the rauc­ous suits and out-of-town­ers. And in Cuba Street! Such a con­ceit might fly in Feath­er­ston Street or Blair Street or […]

(Near) Perfection in Plimmerton

(Near) Perfection in Plimmerton

Grey clouds rolled in from the south as our train pulled in to Plim­mer­ton sta­tion. While it detrac­ted from the care­free sea­side ambi­ence, the autum­nal chill put us in the mood for a hearty north­ern European meal and heightened our crav­ing for hard liquor. Inside Topor, the cosy atmo­sphere per­fectly com­ple­men­ted the wintry exter­i­or: warm […]