If Whitebait’s seaside location – where Wellington’s harbour meets the city and the sky – doesn’t reel you in, then its strong focus on New Zealand’s kaimoana will do the trick. It’s all about the bounty of the sea here; the bilingual English and te reo Māori menu features clams, scampi, octopus, spanner crab and line-caught fish, chosen and prepared by an in-house fishmonger. Diners who favour land-based dishes are well catered for too, with wild venison from Rimutaka, merino lamb from Cardrona and various native herbs and other flora foraged from nearby Mount Victoria. The wine list showcases some of the region’s finest offerings, plus a special selection from abroad. Make sure you leave room for dessert, such as rhubarb soufflé and kabocha pumpkin tart with coconut sorbet.
Clyde Quay Wharf, Oriental Bay, 04 385 8555, white-bait.nz Lunch Tues-fri (spring and summer only), dinner Mon-sun; mains $32-42
IN BRIEF A real catch for seafood fans