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Alta

366 Karangahape Rd, Karangahape Rd Precinct
  • Opens 05:00am
  • Mon
    Closed
  • Tue
    5pm-10pm
  • Wed
    5pm-10pm
  • Thu
    5pm-10pm
  • Fri
    5pm-10pm
  • Sat
    5pm-10pm
  • Sun
    Closed
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A grown-up wine bar on Karangahape Rd that serves up unexpected – but delicious – food.

The first thing you notice when you walk into Alta is the lovely, colourful mosaic floor – left over from the last operator in this Karangahape Rd space, a wine bar – which you’ll soon find out perfectly suits the style of food here: great-looking, eclectic, and a little bit weird. But it’s then all dressed up with forest-green banquettes that span one half of the room, orb mood lighting, and beautiful ceramic plates from Brood FemWares – all nods to the fare’s serious and thoughtful execution.

Much of the it is a reflection of Georgia van Prehn, the head chef and owner of Alta, who likes to look at carrots and think that maybe they should be smoked, chopped up into a tartare, laid on a bed of cashew and caper cream, and served with a scalloped side of chive-dusted crisps. It’s interesting cooking that doesn’t get in the way of taste; though combinations feel unexpected on the menu, there’s a specific appeal to imagining what you’re going to get and finding out you were very, very wrong. It’s special how the menu piques curiosity: tea ice cream with buckwheat and… marshmallow? A $23 beetroot dish? What will that look like?

Having recently switched over from a set-menu-only concept to a la carte, Alta also works well as a place to graze with a glass of good wine (the fridge is full of bottles from Wine Diamonds, the distributor behind Everyday Wine) and some snacks, especially in the summer, with the courtyard out back. Then, there’s that signature seafood platter, served prettily on ice and changing every now and then, with atypical offerings like salmon sausage rolls and sweet sichuan pickled mussels. Yum.

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