Andrew and Jenni May have transformed what was an old tyre shop in Feilding into Amayjen, a restaurant becoming a Manawatu go-to for quality service and playful use of seasonal, local ingredients. Meat takes the lead in a variety of forms including venison shank pie, sous vide loin of lamb in a smoked tomato and rich thyme jus, and a 300g Aberdeen Angus scotch fillet with triple-cooked potatoes, onion rings and your choice of garlic butter, mixed peppercorn, smoked onion or blue cheese sauce. Creative plates using seafood and game, such as seared scallops with a leek puree, chorizo oil, caviar butter sauce and chorizo crumb, or smoked wild boar cannelloni with a chilli, apple and pineapple salsa and burnt apple gel, also feature. Desserts are beautiful classics with a few twists, and service is attentive.
7-12 Fergusson St, Feilding, 06 323 2797, amayjen.co.nz Lunch & dinner Mon-sat; mains $33-$40
IN BRIEF Creative flavours in the heart of Feilding