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[Pictures: David Straight]

They say if you want to eat the best French food in the world, go to Tokyo. Now we can see why. Morita is a Japanese-French restaurant. Yes. It’s not for everyone, in an unprepossessing basement on Mills Lane that is painted black and has neoclassical white columns. It’s formal – there are crisp linen table cloths and timing is sedate; dinner might take you a few hours. Service is attentive and sweet – a waiter and a chef come out to explain each course.

You can only order the degustation for dinner. At $80 or $100, it’s exceptionally good value. Fortunately, there isn’t too much fusion going on: there is the odd unsuccessful crossover, but for the most part Morita sticks to either Japanese or French, which follow each other surprisingly well. It is formal food, classical and technically accomplished.

You might start with a fish course – a Bluff oyster with ponzu, a Hiroshima oyster, mackerel. Then there’s American lobster or New Zealand crayfish, cooked to perfection and served with a beautifully silky sauce americaine, reduced for three days. You might have a lamb cutlet served with a foie gras sauce and an egg poached in red wine that spills over the plate. There is some of the best sashimi we’ve eaten anywhere. In short, if you care about food, you must go. SFG

HOURS Lunch, Monday to Friday, 12pm to 2; dinner, Monday to Saturday, from 5pm.

CONTACT DETAILS Corner Mills Lane and Swanson St, City, ph 337-0506.

IMPORTANT DETAILS Degustation only for dinner – don’t go expecting a cheap and cheerful meal. Believe us, it’s worth it.


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