Vaughan Mabee invents New Zealand haute cuisine with an accent that speaks of the Central Otago landscape and lifestyle. He and his team bring a level of sophistication, technical wizardry and impeccable delivery to their menu, but Vaughan’s real talent is for story-telling. His menu speaks Kiwi, taking humble food memories (Vogel’s bread, Goody Goody Gumdrops ice cream, paua pies, a simple feijoa) and reinterpreting them in contemporary and clever ways to tell a tale of New Zealand ingredients, the place they come from, the season they were harvested and their place in our food culture. It’s intriguing – dig with your fingers to find a hidden truffle. It’s exciting – the sheer delight of a blown sugar-glass feijoa, dusted in its candied skin, filled with feijoa sorbet. It’s deeply satisfying – familiar yet intruiging flavours of a paua pie like you’ve never tasted before.

IN BRIEF Kiwi fine dining degustation full of intrigue