A bright, casual seaside dining room with an ever-changing ‘Trust the Chef’ menu of dishes, masterfully crafted and filled with exciting textures and delicious flavours.


Floor-to-ceiling windows provide a stunning view of the blue Southern Ocean waves crashing on the seawall, setting the scene for a feast that is thoughtfully balanced and filled with surprise at every bite. Wine pairings are clever with an emphasis on regionally sourced bottles and service is knowledgeable, caring and smart. Caught between lunch and dinner? Pop in for waffles, ice cream and cocktails throughout the afternoon.


It’s not often that every diner is called on to truly put their complete trust in the chef and Tītī’s menu remains a secret until each breathtaking dish hits the table. The only choice here is either a three- or five-course menu, with vegetarians, vegans and dietary requirements well catered for. This surprise menu changes weekly, composed from locally sourced ingredients that can be a revelation to diners, especially when sourced from individuals growing exclusively for the restaurant. A stunningly beautiful Greenstone Creek beef dish started a recent evening. The base of paper- thin slices of cured beef was topped with fresh asparagus tips, a nugget of refreshing Meyer lemon-flavoured fresh goat’s cheese, a tiny poached quail’s egg and the tastiest little crispy-crumbed patty of braised beef ever. At the same meal, dessert had a centrepiece of pale-pink shiso sorbet, surrounded with tastes and textures of cashew nuts, lime leaves, sesame and yuzu and was a total flavour revelation. It’s no small wonder the restaurant has taken this southern city by storm.


Owner-chef Hannes Bareiter is German born and worked at a lodge deep in the Marlborough Sounds before returning home to learn more and refine his He purchases ‘surplus’ produce when he can, enabling him to use luxuries like crayfish, black truffles, pāua, wagyu beef and more on occasion. As he says, “A new challenge every week keeps my mind and taste buds in training.” And both new and the loyal customers who followed him from Glenfalloch return week after week.


The kitchen team has three skilled experienced chefs, working under pressure for four long days with three days off. Bareiter heads the team but allows his chefs to develop their own ideas, ensuring every menu is balanced and includes at least one seafood dish and a lighter vegetable-based course. Front-of-house is run efficiently by partner Melanie, who also creates the excellent wine and beverage lists. Expect to see creative cocktails through the summer, using local beverages from small distilleries and producers.


Careful costings make this experience real value for money, especially the bargain smaller lunchtime menu. Tītī is named for the indigenous mutton bird as the owners admired the birds’ habit of always returning home to the same place to nest. Hannes uses this southern tāonga on his menu only when it’s in season, as he prefers to work with fresh birds, not preserved.