Named after an area of Ireland reminiscent of Taupo, and housed in a refurbished 1950s townhouse, The Brantry has an intimate and quietly sophisticated vibe. Sisters Prue and Felicity Campbell have owned the restaurant since 2002, the former heading up the kitchen and the latter running front of house. Prue’s menu is produce-driven, contemporary New Zealand cuisine – think perfectly poached prawns from the local Huka Prawn Park served with watermelon curry, shaved cucumber, tahini yoghurt and crispy shallots, or confit duck leg with white bean puree, raw broccoli salad, cranberries and zucchini. Wellexecuted desserts such as spiced apple cheesecake with sesame seed snap, caramel sauce and apple crumble ice cream round things out nicely. Service is warm and the well-priced drinks list has all bases covered.
45 Rif le Range Rd, Taupo, 07 378 0484, thebrantry.co.nz Dinner Tues-sat; mains $30-$35
IN BRIEF Fine New Zealand food in a sophisticated setting