17.5 / 20
THE QUESTION “What is Kiwi cuisine?” is often asked, and the answer could well lie in the offerings of chef Jeremy Rameka (right, Ngāpuhi and Tūwharetoa) at Pacifica. A delicate and restrained touch in the kitchen results in beautifully presented flavours, and an opportunity to truly taste the ingredients that Rameka has front of mind. His passion is for local, fresh ingredients, and over the fivecourse degustation dinner you might have kumara and mozzarella tortellini in a Bostock chicken broth; ling and smoked warehou in a shiitake and soy broth; and Hohepa honey and lemon vanilla pastry cream. The roar of the sea can be heard from the entrance of the small, electric blue converted bungalow that houses the restaurant, and the walls are adorned with flax weavings. Rameka’s partner, expert maitre d’ and knowledgeable sommelier Natalie Bulman, ensures diners enjoy a tailored and special experience.
209 Marine Parade, Napier, 06 833 6335, pacificarestaurant.co.nz; dinner Tues-Sat, degustation menus $50
Capturing the essence of Kiwi food, with finesse