Climb the stairs (yes, there are 27 of them) to this popular, bustling space. Arched windows, white-tiled walls, room-length blackboards and bench seating set the scene for Emma Mettrick and Paul Howells’ lively and engaging restaurant, though the casual ambience belies exemplary service front of house. It’s notable that mains are full meals including vegetables or salad, signalling that the chef has taken the care to balance the dish for you and each dish is well considered and complete. Top a mound of creamy mash with rosy-cooked lamb cutlets, spoon over pulled slow-braised lamb shoulder, contrast with a tang of sumac yoghurt and crisp onions – a satisfying, flavourful package. A great wine list, including featured vineyards and tasting flights is a chance to sample Canterbury wines.

IN BRIEF Hearty food in a busy, energetic environment

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