ADDRESS: 54 Cuba St, Te Aro, Wellington
CONTACT: 04 210 4420
Check website for opening hours
MAINS: $40 – $90

SCORE: 17.5/20

Head chef Alric Hansen and co-owner Ben Farrant have achieved the trifecta here: excellence in food, service and cocktails. Their menu is built around what’s in season, and nearly everything – bread, bacon, sausages, sauces and more – is made from scratch. Pickling, smoking, curing, fermenting: they do the whole damn lot. Traditionalists may say that Alric’s ever-so-lightly roasted oysters – in house-made organic chickpea miso – go a bivalve too far, but we say order six of these beauties and settle in for a good time. Alric also makes great creative use of Cloudy Bay tuatua, in another illustration of his kitchen-whizzery. Bar-wise, Ben mixes a mean negroni, but the wine list also deserves your concentration. Carefully curated to include the serious and the fun, both this list and the food menu exude energy and attention to detail that translate into something special.

IN BRIEF: Get thee to Cuba, come hell or Highwater


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