ADDRESS:   296 Trafalgar St, Nelson
MAINS:   $21 – $36
CONTACT:   03 539 0905
SCORE:   16.5 / 20

For a masterclass in farm to plate, look no further than Hawker. Almost all the vegetables here come from owner Matt Bouterey’s Appleby farm. It just gets better when chef Riki Day gets his hands on them and works magic with this bounty. Of special note are the farm-grown chillies which Day brings the best out of in his spiciest south-east Asian delights. Dive into the karaage squid, all golden and crunchy, with its scattering of chilli salt and brilliantly complemented with nori-speckled mayo. Day’s attention to detail in these achingly-fresh dishes deserves huge commendation; Bouterey’s Michelin background is evident here, too. There’s a more-than-adequate drinks list and Bouterey proves a master with cocktails. Hawker House, we say, has to be one of the most exciting dining spaces in Nelson.

IN BRIEF Eclectically Asian