IMA

15/20

Good Food Guide - - Auckland -

From the mo­ment you ar­rive at this ca­su­ally bright and tex­tured bo­hemian space, with a clus­ter of un­set wooden ta­bles, semi-open kitchen, book­shelves and a col­lec­tion of Mid­dle East­ern bric-a-brac dec­o­rat­ing the walls, you un­der­stand what Is­raeli owner Yael Shochat (above) has achieved here. There is a warmth to the place, with servers who re­ally do care, who are well in­formed and who make de­ci­sion-mak­ing easy. Shar­ing flavour-filled mezzestyle plates comes nat­u­rally at Ima. Care­ful at­ten­tion is paid to ev­ery diet, with main cour­ses al­most en­tirely gluten- and dairy-free. Veg­e­tar­i­ans and meat eaters alike re­ceive the same fo­cus and re­spect, with dishes like Arab rice with lentils, pine nuts, pis­ta­chios, al­monds and caramelised onions along­side the knock-out slow-braised Le­banese lamb shoul­der. 53 Fort St, City, ph: 09-377 525, imacui­sine.co.nz Break­fast, lunch & din­ner 7 days; shar­ing mains $17-$68 IN BRIEF Soul-nour­ish­ing food from the Mid­dle East and the warm­est of wel­comes

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