Metro Top 50 Restaurants 2017: Cazador

WINNER: Best Neighbourhood Bistro - WINNER: Best Chef: Dariush Lolaiy

For the latest review, see the 2018 review of Cazador.

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Cazador

Neighbourhood Bistro—Contemporary/wild-food specialists

In its fifth year of ownership by Dariush Lolaiy and Rebecca Smidt and its 30th by the wider Lolaiy family, this casual bistro has truly come of age. Cazador’s motto is “try something different”, referencing the less-conventional cuts of meat and game on offer — roast hare saddle, pheasant parfait or wild boar, anyone? — and the canny charm with which the front-of-house team, led by Smidt, convince you to try them, or an unusual sherry. But it’s not about novelty: every element on the plate, behind the bar or hanging from the stucco walls has a considered backstory. Lolaiy is an intuitive chef, switching between a grill, a few frying pans and an oven, but his food is highly sophisticated, the balanced simplicity of compositions belying the butchery, brining and smoking involved. Steeped in family history yet utterly relevant, Cazador is a neighbourhood jewel.

A favourite dish
The charcuterie plate, which can feature anything from venison terrine and duck-liver parfait to boar salami.

What it offers
Shared-plate options / Set menu: game fest / Free-range chicken and/or pork (wild) / Good seating outside / Private room / Takes large groups / Bar / Craft beer selection

Hours—D Tue-Sat
Bookings—Yes
Price—$$
Seats—45
Chef—Dariush Lolaiy

BALMORAL
854 Dominion Rd
Ph 620-8730
cazador.co.nz

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