ROOTS

Cuisine - Good Food Guide - - Canterbury -

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

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