Crudo, opened last year by Hamilton hospitality couple Amy Hodgson and Charlie Duncan, is in an unprepossessing block of shops in Hamilton’s St Andrews suburb. It’s an unlikely place for an intimate, tastefully appointed restaurant of its calibre; this humbleness, this quiet confidence, makes you love it even more. The food – cooked by Hamilton-trained and muchtravelled chef Gareth Cowie – is fresh, beautifully balanced and creative. You’ll find the likes of steak tartare, fish crudo, butterpoached lobster on squid ink risotto, a perfect tuna niçoise, and a thoroughly indulgent chocolate tasting plate. The kitchen places great emphasis on meticulous plating and each dish demonstrates clever techniques and flavour matching. There’s a straightforward wine list and you’ll be well attended to by Hodgson at front of house.
29 Braid Rd, St Andrews, Hamilton,07 849 1949; crudodining.co.nz Dinner Tues-sat; mains $30-$39
Cool, capable, next level IN BRIEF neighbourhood dining