Adjoining the five-star Porters Boutique Hotel, Malo is a new addition to the Hawke’s Bay fine-dining scene, opening in December 2016. An abundance of wood in the bare tabletops and floor, as well as the floor-to-ceiling slatted screens separating diners from bar and street, is punctuated by white, creating a sense of both warmth and lightness. Named for its owners, the Lowe and Mackersey families, Malo focuses on seasonal, local produce. Chef Jackson Smith, whose credentials include stints at Craggy Range and Elephant Hill, draws on Asian and European influences in his innovative dishes. Tender Sichuanglazed duck breast with Jerusalem artichokes skilfully layers complementary flavours, while a pairing of baked goat’s cheesecake and lemon sorbet is perfect in its sophisticated simplicity. The wine list has an extensive selection by the glass, and sommelier John Logan is knowledgeable in his matching advice.
4 Te Aute Rd, Havelock North, 06 877 2009, malo.co.nz Dinner 7 days; mains $36
IN BRIEF Contemporary fine dining in a modern, warm setting
Game fish crudo with Granny Smith, avocado, sour cream and sorrel