ADDRESS:   22 MacLean St, Paraparaumu Beach, Kapiti
SET MENU:   $87pp six courses
CONTACT:   022 475 5301
SCORE:   16 / 20

Helen Turnbull cut her teeth on the international stage before settling in the shadow of Kapiti Island. Now chef/owner of the avant-garde 50-50, she delivers on her promise to coax nothing but the best from all her ingredients, many of which are locally foraged or sourced. To that end, a lot of the ingredients on your plate will have come from her own garden. She spent five years in Tokyo, working for Gordon Ramsay at the Conrad Tokyo and for chef Michel Troisgros at the Michelin- starred Hyatt Regency Tokyo. Here she learnt that respect for the customer begins with positive teamwork and equality between the front and back of house – the principle that has led to her restaurant’s offbeat name. An exquisiteness to this experience clearly stamps 50– 50 as the best in Paraparaumu’s ever-growing dining cluster.

IN BRIEF An unequivocal avant-garde dining experience