Depot has become a great fixture on Federal Street and, judging by the consistent number of diners, its popularity hasn’t waned. The atmosphere is loud, energetic and casual, the service is quick and efficient. The raw bar is a big draw here with several varieties of oysters, clams and sashimi presented on ice. Then dive into the shared plates such as dinky-sized hapuka sliders – large chunks of hapuka stuffed in pillowy buns spiked with pickled lemon mayo and watercress – or ‘Fergus’ bone marrow beautifully wood-roasted until dark and sticky with parsley and shallot salad. There’s a very good range of mid-range by-the-glass wines and beers well-suited to the menu and venue. Owner Al Brown (pictured) has certainly nailed the formula of fresh, casual Kiwi food cooked to perfection, and the crowds of contented punters from dawn til late are testimony to that.

IN BRIEF Kiwi casual at its best