315b Queen St, City. Ph 379-5656.
Lunch Thursday-Friday; dinner 7 days.
The slopes of Queen St leading up to Karangahape Rd are lined with restaurants and bars, but our pick is Kura: push open the old temple door just up from the Town Hall, descend the stairs and there, surrounded by the bluestone walls of what used to be an underground grain silo, you’ll be warmly invited to sit and take your pick from the long list of very lovely food. There’s beer and wine, of course, but the main drinking attraction is a very good sake list. Diners are accommodated at intimate tables, larger benches, and in booths where you can kick off your shoes and relax with friends while enjoying the culinary delights of chef Satoru Sawaki (above) and his staff. Kura knows all about getting you in and out in time for a show, but if you’re there to linger, that’s just fine too. The kimonos on the wall are wedding garments, the artwork dotted around is all for sale, and in winter they light the fire. It’s very popular: they recommend you book.
A favourite dish: Deep-fried soft-shell crab with ponzu citrus sauce and spring onion.
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