So, it’s a first date kinda place you’re after. Try Kai. Neither too stodgy or café society- it has just enough familiar reference points (your mum’s kitchen chairs- albeit painted citrine, super-nutty brown bread, glace cherries) to put you at ease and just enough thrills in the taste department to jumpstart a conversation. Or whatever. The latter is down to Kiwi chef Jess Murphy’s sixth sense for combining local ingredients in creative ways. And also, of course, her laser-sharp wine edit featuring standout selections from New Zealand. LOVE it.
Kai, Sea Road 091 526003, www.kaicaferestaurant.com