ADDRESS: Solera / 165 Maunganui Rd, Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty
CONTACT: 07 572 0246
WEBSITE: solera.nz

ADDRESS: Saltwater Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar / 203 Maunganui Rd, Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty
CONTACT: 07 466 1073
WEBSITE: saltwaterseafood.co.nz

Neil Sapitula (pictured above), our Rising Talent for 2023, is rocketing to the top in terms of delivering exciting ideas and a new approach to food and drink, and he is the driving chef force behind Saltwater Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar and Solera in Mount Maunganui. Taking a seat at the bar at Solera, we saw Neil dishing up plate after plate of mesmerising small bites. A tiny wagyu nigiri umami bomb set a smart pace for the smoked mosaic kingfish that followed, beautiful to look at and popping with the flavours of namjim, black garlic and crispy curry leaves. Our humble green-lipped mussels were revamped in a smoky, delicious tomato vinaigrette leading into oysters flamed in sizzling fat from a flambadou and delivering front-row foodie theatre at its absolute ultimate. Neil is wowing those in the know with his innovative plates across these two Mount Maunganui hot-spots. We’re watching…


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