It’s the equal respect the Orphans Kitchen team gives to all ingredients, not just premium proteins, that makes a meal here so wonderful from start to finish. Secondary cuts, even offcuts, are welcomed into Tom Hishon’s kitchen and he makes them sing. A simple platter of Aoraki Mt Cook salmon wings, anointed with horopito and honey from the restaurant’s rooftop hives, meets the heat of the woodfired grill for just enough time to herald a caramelisation around the edges and a juicy, just-cooked interior. Service is friendly and confidently casual, the drinks list small and interesting. Ingredients are all locally procured – even the banana that goes into the most wonderfully rich ice cream is grown 10 minutes’ walk away at Kelmarna Gardens.
118 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby, 09 378 7979, orphanskitchen.co.nz Brunch Mon-fri, dinner Tuessat; larger plates $29-$40
Cuisine with heart IN BRIEF and conscience, and friendly service to match