Chillingworth Road hides its special restaurant out the back. Getting there is a bit of excitement-raising theatre – a guided journey past the bistro tables, down a corridor and through an oversized door. Inside is a windowless, elegant room with ruched stage curtain wallpaper, black cord curtains and chandeliers. Chillingworth Road has joined the degustation-only movement and offers five, seven or nine courses. Service is confident and responsive, and chef Darren Wright delivers intricate, stylised offerings that mix flavours and textures in a complex dance: a braised pork cheek topped with bacon crumbs is brought alive with a date and caper emulsion, while lime- and sesame-cured salmon with thin slices of daikon and a soy lime vinaigrette highlight Wright’s affinity with seafood.
478 Cranford St, City, 03 352 7784, chillingworthroad.co.nz Dinner Tues-sat; degustation menus $85-$135
IN BRIEF Stylish surprises in an elegant back room