Level 1, Hotel DeBrett, 2 High St, central city. Ph 969-1545, hoteldebrett.com/kitchen.
Breakfast, lunch & dinner, 7 days. $$
Still one of the loveliest dining rooms in the city, DeBretts Kitchen is that rare thing — a hotel restaurant that manages to appeal to the general public. Occupying the atrium in Hotel DeBrett, all mid-century wood, bright carpet and artworks, there is a sense of space and fabulous light. You walk up the stairs, stop by the fabulous House Bar for a drink, then go on to eat (entry is also easy from the other side, on O’Connell St). The menu is short and seasonally driven: for lunch, there is usually a two-course prix fixe which is very good value: no wonder the lawyers of nearby Shortland St use this as their dining room. There are moments of genius here and it is usually when they keep it simple — lamb rump cooked sous vide and then finished off on the grill, tender and yet smoky, served with vine tomatoes and a herb gnocchi, a minted pea crush, say, or a dish of snapper and Cloudy Bay clams and baby new potatoes.
A favourite dish: Hapuku special, served with farro.
Fixed-price meals / Free-range chicken and/or pork / Bar / Craft beer selection