This tiny restaurant on Lyttelton’s London St draws food lovers from New Zealand and overseas to its complex, surprise degustation menus that can change every night. Since being “discovered”, Roots has grown a little larger in staff and space, but this is still a boutique operation. Chef Giulio Sturla’s dishes tell tiny stories of time and place. He uses the best local produce, with an emphasis on foraging and fermentation, but immaculate technique and balancing of intense flavours creates the magic. Pork and milk is a classic but Roots takes it to a new level: nubs of golden brown and creamy pork appear with earthy turnips, slivers of intense pan-seared saffron milk cap mushrooms and fruity quince in rich nut milk, with crunch from shaved hazelnuts and sliced radishes. The wine list is heavily local and favours natural, organic and biodynamic, but all styles are available. Service is personable and knowledgeable.
Kingfish, choko, kiwifruit & kawakawa