URBAN OYSTER BAR & EATERY
From the street, Urban Oyster Bar & Eatery gives little away, but once inside, the casual dining atmosphere has a charm of its own. But it’s the food that really shines. The menu is exciting and quirky, with plenty of specials changing daily to show off the skills of top Nelson chef Matt Bouterey (above right) and his team, led by head chef Jeff Soal (above left). The produce is local and fresh – the kitchen works with four local growers to ensure the best seasonal ingredients are on the table – and dishes are designed to be shared. You might have salt and pepper squid with salt-baked celeriac puree and black pepper reduction, and smoked pork empanada, spiked prawn fondue and charcoal shrimp mayo. The wine list is approachable and interesting, and there are some superb local craft beers on tap.
278 Hardy St, 03 546 7861, urbaneatery.co.nz Lunch Wed-sat, dinner Mon-sat; larger plates $16-$27
IN BRIEF Flavour-packed sharing plates with a fun vibe