Set one street back from the main road in downtown New Plymouth, Social Kitchen boasts a window display that’s hard to miss. Taxidermied pufferfish and a range of other creatures are strung from chains around a neon sign reading “Food & Booze”, and there’s a cravat-clad rabbit atop a pile of chopping blocks, cleaver at the ready. This touch of humour is a running theme at Social Kitchen, where the vibe is relaxed and unpretentious. Every element has been carefully considered, from furniture and lighting to the beautifully displayed cured meats. The food is full of flavour and expertly cooked, with meat a big focus – think melt-in-the-mouth 12-hour spiced wild goat with Zany Zeus yoghurt and Medjool dates – and the drinks list is top-notch, with plenty of wines by the glass, plus great beer and cocktails.
40 Powderham St, New Plymouth, 06 757 2711, social-kitchen.co.nz Lunch & dinner 7 days; large sharing plates $29.90-$63.90
IN BRIEF Fun, flavoursome food and a quirky vibe