ADDRESS:   235 Parnell Rd, Parnell
SET MENU:   $340pp 17-21 courses
CONTACT:   09 300 5077
SCORE:   19.5 / 20

Ed Verner takes risks that others dare not. Setting up a heart-of-the-city restaurant that seats only six at a time, in front of a kitchen so open you can see the whites of the eyes of the fish he’s preparing, and matching tomato riesling with gingko, is pushing boundaries beyond the pale for most Kiwi chefs. But fortune favours the brave. And so it is that Verner creates truly mesmerising dining experiences full of drama, interest and taste. The prospect of a 20-course tasting menu is daunting but by evening’s end, discussion has turned to what you want to try again. Is it snow pea and celtuce, green strawberries and wasabi, or that geoduck that makes men squirm as it’s prepared? Dining at Pasture is theatre, with audience participation. Technique and finesse are the support cast; innovation and unwavering commitment are the primary actors.

IN BRIEF: Pasture on Parnell rises to the occasion