ADDRESS:   454 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn
DINNER:   Tue – Sat, 5 pm – late
LUNCH:   Thu & Fri, 12 – 3pm
MAINS:   $18 – $26
CONTACT:   09 883 4454
SCORE:   17 / 20

Within the beautifully restored The Convent Hotel, Ada exudes warmth and hospitality. The big welcome at the front door carries through to the bar area and restaurant at the rear, where a long, shared table invites liveliness and camaraderie between diners. Take a pew and contemplate what is about to unfold. Chef Hayden Phiskie (ex-Cotto) masters pasta and everything else. Phiskie aces the strategic use of umami ingredients such as anchovies, aged cheeses, and ‘nduja, balancing them with super-fresh soft cheeses and seasonal vegetables. Special mention must be made of the ricotta cavatelli, with golden garlic, asparagus and marjoram. The drinks list is well honed with enough interesting examples to warrant further exploration across regular visits. Smooth and knowledgeable service pervades.


IN BRIEF: Praise be to this former nunnery