Good Food Guide - - Central Otago -

Rata is housed in a beau­ti­ful, clev­erly de­signed space that feels open yet in­ti­mate thanks to ex­cel­lent light­ing. The at­mos­phere in celeb chef Josh Emett’s first New Zealand restau­rant is fun and friendly and the food is ex­cel­lent – each dish el­e­gant, un­der­stated and de­li­cious. A South­land cheese roll starter is a play­ful twist on the clas­sic snack, with bit­ter greens cut­ting through the oozy, cheesy filling and sliv­ers of pear, pick­led but­ter­nut and fig slices round­ing things out. Su­perbly fresh blue cod, mean­while, is pan­fried to per­fec­tion and paired with ten­der, moist green-lipped mus­sels, gor­geous baby veg­eta­bles and a roast gar­lic but­ter sauce in a kind of re­fined fish­er­man’s stew. Staff are friendly and well versed in the menu and the ex­cel­lent wine list, and their matches are spot on. Te Nuku, 43 Bal­larat St, Queen­stown, ph: 03-442 9393, rata­din­ing.co.nz Lunch & din­ner 7 days; mains $36-$45

El­e­gant food in IN BRIEF a strik­ing space

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