SOUL KITCHENS

MARTIN BOSLEY PICKS STAUNCH FAVOURITES FROM SOME STALWARTS OF NEW ZEALAND’S RESTAU­RANT SCENE.

Cuisine - - CONTENTS - Ilus­tra­tions Kohl Tyler-dun­shea

Martin Bosley show­cases the in­dus­try’s longterm play­ers

GREAT RESTAU­RANTS ARE the sum of many, many parts. It’s not all about be­ing new or full of ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, not all about the chef’s ‘phi­los­o­phy’ or the per­fec­tion of the li­nen and the qual­ity of the glass­ware. No, it’s a com­bi­na­tion of the warmth of the host, the din­ing room that is com­fort­able in its own skin, the pro­fes­sion­al­ism of the ser­vice staff and the beau­ti­fully ex­e­cuted food that works on all the senses, nour­ish­ing the soul, feed­ing a need. Such restau­rants have been around for a while, be­cause af­ter you have eaten there you want to go back to­mor­row, and the to­mor­row af­ter that. They be­come part of the com­mu­nity, fit­ting into the daily rituals of their cus­tomers. The cook­ing is con­fi­dent yet com­fort­able, the food hon­est, un­com­pli­cated and pure. Th­ese are restau­rants where the staff look gen­uinely pleased to see you, where there is a pleas­ant hum com­ing from the din­ing room, where the menu leaves you feel­ing spoilt for choice be­cause there are so many dishes on it that you want to eat, yet you can’t go past your favourite. Th­ese dishes are con­sis­tently good, of­ten be­com­ing leg­endary, never leav­ing the menu. Th­ese are places where the in­gre­di­ents are al­lowed to shine, and not the chef’s ego. Th­ese are places that when you leave, you leave happy, con­tent, and nour­ished.

TWICE-BAKED GOAT’S CHEESE SOUFFLÉ recipe page 88

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