ADDRESS: 241 Tinakori Rd, Thorndon, Wellington
Check website for opening hours
SET MENU: $79pp six courses, $95pp seven courses, $108pp nine courses

SCORE: 17/20

Owner Asher Boote made Hillside meatless five years ago. The proof of that plant-focused pudding is in the eating. Asher has been internationally recognised for his exemplary organic, sustainable and ethical restaurant ethos – and the punters just love it. While he has lately handed cheffing duties over to Nikita Kuschke, she holds true to his every kitchen benchmark. Be prepared to be happily surprised. You can’t look up a menu online because they’re written up impromptu-fashion centred on what they’re growing in their own garden, what’s in season or what they’ve foraged at the time. Some facts: it’s a 22-seat restaurant; don’t ring – it’s email or online booking only and they say they don’t answer the phone during service; they select wines that don’t use animal products in the winemaking process; there are three separate set-price menus. In this Tinakori cottage, you’ll find every good reason to give peas a chance.

IN BRIEF: Plant-focused delights and surprises


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