Awarded the plaudit of 2018 Cuisine Restaurant of the Year, Cocoro delivers near-perfect presentation of contemporary Japanese dishes in which only the finest, freshest ingredients are allowed a place. In a simply designed, stylish Ponsonby sanctuary, the masterful creations of chef and co-owner Makoto Tokuyama are curated with subtlety by equally urbane co-owner Ricky Lee. This is food to savour, every morsel worthy of its own study. It’s as beautiful as it is flavourful, as delicate as it is delicious. Tender morsels of pāua are a regular, as is the unctuous blue pāua chawanmushi. Farm-raised bluefin tuna with smoked pickled daikon radish will leave you wanting more while the charcoal-finished Japanese kuroge scotch fillet of wagyu with Asian vegetables and South Island wasabi, garlic and mānuka honey-infused teriyaki sauce cements Tokuyama’s reputation for showing the ultimate respect to local products. An extensive drinks list combining the best local and international tipples provides the perfect complement.

IN BRIEF Superb, stylish dining from a masterful duo