ADDRESS: 40 Hastings St, Napier
LUNCH: Fri – Sat
DINNER: Wed – Sat
SHARING PLATES: $14 – $35
SCORE: 16 / 20
Chef-owner James Beck crafts complex dishes, layering many intricate components into a seamless whole. When you offer venison partly as a classic tartare and partly smoked, black garlic puree wafers and black pudding meringue, capsicum sorbet and creme fraiche, there’s a lot going on there. But he pulls it off with subtle and delicate flavours and succulent and exciting textures. Beck likes to forage locally and get his fresh produce from local suppliers and the menu proudly lists the provenance of ingredients. An experienced sommelier advises on wine with confidence and knowledge, selecting from a list of mainly local Hawke’s Bay wines but also a selection of Australian, French and Spanish. The casual modern dining space with plain blond-wood tables and concrete floor belies the sophistication of the menu.