The Grove (4)
St Patrick’s Square, Wyndham St, City. Ph 368-4129.
Lunch Monday-Friday; dinner Monday-Saturday.
There’s an expert in the kitchen at The Grove. Chef Ben Bayly turns out a dish of crispy pig’s belly, poached hen’s egg, rocket emulsion and summer vegetables that is both gorgeous to look at and delicious to eat. He also does wagyu with black garlic and smoked bone marrow which, during our judging, was paired on the plate with fresh porcini flown up from a secret location in Christchurch’s Hagley Park. It was one of the most remarkable dishes we ate through the entire judging process. The room is both formal and informal, and that balancing act works to its advantage, making it neither severe nor downmarket. Proprietor Michael Dearth has an authentically Californian enthusiasm for his work, and it’s well worth talking to him about the excellent wine list — his pride and his pleasure.
A favourite dish: Terrine of alpine salmon with tempura scampi and oyster cream.
$$$$$ | FP | D | V | FR | C | G | CL | B | GB what’s this?
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