ADDRESS:   278 Hardy St, Nelson
MAINS:   $16 – $32
CONTACT:   03 546 7861
SCORE:   16.5 / 20

Nelsonians already know well of Urban’s delights. That’s why they throng to the welcome offered by owner/chef Daniel Monopoli (ex-Amisfield, among others). But be it your first or your 40th visit, Monopoli wants everyone to feel like whānau. No wonder, then, that the menu says don’t be afraid to put your elbows on the table and engage with staff and fellow diners alike. You could talk about the dishes – such as barbecued duck breast taco with in-house pickled plum, cucumber and grilled spring onion – or pay special attention to the experimentation with preserving techniques, or mention the raw bar with fresh oysters flown in from around the country. Monopoli’s not the only one in the kitchen; he and head chef Jasper Prestidge also share duties next door at Parts & Service, which Monopoli also owns. It’s a double banger.

IN BRIEF Vibrant, tasty, eclectically Asian