A little bit comfy, a little bit edgy and a whole lot of yum.


Sit inside in cool, casual comfort or out among the romance of the vines, order a glass or two of their own stunning Black Barn wines or choose from their carefully selected list from superstar winemakers and prepare to be thoroughly spoilt in this refurbished and revamped Hawke’s Bay icon.


Definitely have the chef’s snacks; they will change as different ingredients come into play, but they will all be delicious. Perhaps a cleverly pimped choux topped with pistachio craquelin, baked until puffed and crispy and filled with silken duck liver, or a custardy, rich pecorino tart topped with a gloriously glistening Ortiz anchovy. If you are lucky enough to spy a storm clam, grab it and savour the genius of the whipped lardo. Mains will serve up a decent selection of beautifully cooked proteins or vege, but it’s the sides and sauces on the plate that will give you a lingering depth of flavour. For example, executive chef Regnar Christensen’s brilliantly fermented vegetable beurre blanc or his absurdly good crayfish sauce drizzled with a deeply coloured crayfish oil, or the most delicate and yet vibrant broccoli salsa. Desserts might be a cremeux, crêpe, soufflé or caramel with special ingredient twists to ensure that you experience great comfort and a sense of place in equal measure.


We have said this before and we will say it again, Regnar Christensen absolutely understands the unique flavours of Hawke’s Bay and his menu tells an authentic story of place and season. At the same time, his reinterpretations of the classics and his layering of technique, texture and sometimes unexpected flavours will push you gently toward the edge of your comfort zone, so that you might walk away having learned something new. He’s a chef who gives a great deal of respect to his local growers and producers, and has a fierce belief in the region’s ability to be a premium food bowl.


Serious attention to detail and great care is given by so many good ’uns on this bistro floor. Driven by the unwavering passion and talent of Black Barn executive Liv Reynolds, restaurant manager Santiago Burgos nails it and creates the perfect vibe for any occasion. Head chef Seonwang Kim delivers Regnar’s vision for the menu brilliantly and assistant restaurant manager Thembi Waters has a smile and an attitude that makes you feel like you have just come home.

ADDRESS: Black Barn Road, Havelock North
Check website for opening hours
MAINS: $40 – $48
CONTACT: 06 877 7985