ADDRESS: 51 Willow St, Tauranga
CONTACT: 07 574 8200
Check website for opening hours
SET MENU: $78pp two courses, $98pp three courses

SCORE: 17.5/20

What a treat. Former chef/owner of Auckland’s famous French Café, Simon Wright, has now set up his shingle here. Add that to the fact this is part of the Noel Cimadom-Kim Smythe culinary empire and you simply can’t go wrong. Simon, a master of fine dining, has decided to redefine that term. He’s focussing on flavour-filled cuisine from the Med. So, smarten up, sit down and expect the best. Simon’s duck breast with sweet spices, pumpkin, rose petal and yoghurt is a re-ignited delight from his stellar past. Actually, anything he lends his hand to is a class act; even the simplest of staples receive the celebrity treatment here (a for-instance is the barley risotto which comes with mushroom, artichoke, chestnut and truffle). Sommelier Charles Leong and his curated wine list ensure the continuation of harmonious interplay. Smart in every sense, the air of welcome remains warm throughout.

IN BRIEF: A Mediterranean approach to fine dining


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