ADDRESS:   209 Marine Parade Napier
SET MENU:   $75pp five courses
CONTACT:   06 833 6335
SCORE:   19 / 20

Brilliance beats within the vibrant blue beach bungalow on Napier’s foreshore in the form of chef Jeremy Rameka and partner/maitre d’ Natalie Bulman. This is the stuff of childhood memories, using natural techniques while retaining the integrity of fresh ingredients. The couple’s efforts have rung true in the past, winning three coveted Cuisine hats, as well as New Zealand’s Best Restaurant award. And now we gladly report there’s no laurel-resting in its latest iteration. Every single ingredient on Rameka’s plates has a reason for being there; the flavours are pure and honest throughout. The beat never falters to the finish – a superb vanilla pastry cream is cut with an irresistible lime coulis and served with a peppery ginger tuile. Rameka has been quietly writing New Zealand’s food story over many years, proving that simplicity and honesty, together with an intimate knowledge of local ingredients, is all it takes to create a masterpiece.

IN BRIEF A destination dégustation masterclass