ADDRESS: 209 Marine Parade, Napier
DINNER: Tue – Sat
SCORE: 16 / 20
Don’t be fooled by the low-key, laid-back beach villa exterior. While Pacifica is not the place for stuffy formality, it is the place for Chef Jeremy Rameka (pictured) to showcase his exceptional skill in producing pacific-style fresh flavours. Expert maitre d’ and skilled sommelier Natalie Bulman works front of house and the place is small enough to ensure every diner feels special. Over the five-course degustation you might be treated to caught-today gurnard marinated in coconut cream with a pop of wasabi roe, a beautiful dish full of a rich, creamy polenta topped by venison carpaccio, truffled chicken dumpling with cauliflower and chicken liver parfait, or a light-as-a-cloud chocolate bread pudding. While the descriptions are simple, the cooking is innovative, the touch light and restrained and every mouthful is a triumph.