ADDRESS:   241 Tinakori Road, Thorndon, Wellington
MULTI – COURSE MENU:   $62 – $75
CONTACT:   04 471 1088
SCORE:   16 / 20

It’s been over three years since Asher Boote, chef and owner of Hillside, announced his restaurant was going entirely meatless. It may have seemed a bold step to the mainstream diner, but for Boote, it was an exciting, easy shift. Other things have shifted in the meantime, too: earthquake strengthening has seen Hillside move from its Thorndon home to an inner-city pop-up, Hillside Downtown. You can still expect cuisine that celebrates vegetables in their own right, not as a mere meat substitute. The menu embraces the joys of a plant-based diet and the natural diversity of Aotearoa. It starts as it means to go on, with snacks of yam, beetroot, mushroom and endive popping up in the place of the usual ticklers. Then there are palate cleansers of chocolate and kūmara and carrot and quince.

IN BRIEF Give plants a chance