ADDRESS:   5 Fort Lane, Auckland CBD
MAINS:   $35 – $40
CONTACT:   09 379 9702
SCORE:   18 / 20

This subterranean space at the lower end of Queen St is an address popping with confidence and charm. Hospo leaders and co-owners Sid and Chand Sahrawat showcase their heritage by offering traditional Indian dishes, given a contemporary Kiwi tickle. Head chef Sid has an innate understanding of the way disparate flavours work together, making for some surprisingly delightful combinations. The Delhi duck, for instance, comes with makhani sauce, lychee and kūmara; the Goan lamb chops partner up with Clevedon buffalo curd. A further nod to Indian/Western (specifically British) traditions is reflected in the drinks list, which features an excellent array of gins. Great wines and some unconventional cocktails only heighten the sense of fun.

IN BRIEF: A modern take on traditional Indian flavours