ADDRESS: 614 Omihi Road, Waipara Valley
LUNCH: Wed – Sun
MAINS: $34 – $40
SCORE: 16 / 20
Black Estate hits home with polish, sophistication and perfectly balanced food. This clever juxtaposition of a black barn on a rural hill, with dishes that are absolutely on point, makes the food seem extra good. With most wines coming from the grapevines surrounding the restaurant, they match the food perfectly; that’s the special touch of a winery restaurant and Black Estate deftly plays the advantage. Locally foraged ingredients might include Gore Bay horokaka and wild celery atop raw groper, a salty, crunchy flavour hit giving the dish a true sense of place. Heat- flavour matches and contrast play out cleverly in a dessert of icy fig leaf ice cream – green herbal notes, a perfect puddle of fig-infused olive oil and buttery hot shortbread. Sweeping views out over the vines underscore the ‘far from anything’ feeling.