Photographs: David Straight
Jacob Brown is a bit of a genius. At The Larder, he cooks food that is at once comforting and filling, yet which also looks glorious, and which combines unusual flavours: not long ago we ate a salad of watermelon, seasonal berries, mint and feta – with just a sprinkle of sumac. So simple, but so perfectly balanced.
You’ll find it on a quiet corner in Miramar, the Eastern Wellington suburb that is home to Peter Jackson’s film empire. By day it serves coffee and sandwiches (the Louise slice is excellent), but by night it is small, cosy. Service is brilliant, led by Brown’s ebullient and knowledgeable wife Sarah Bullock. The wine list is small and cleverly selected – many are available by the glass.
But it is meat – and offal, and nose-to-tail dining in particular – that The Larder excels at. At Brown’s assured hand, it is transformed into something that seems totally natural, rather than anything ghoulish; it becomes simply another delicious thing to eat. An entree dish of lamb’s brains in a gremolata crumb ($17) is an unexpected triumph, even if it is hard to pass up the pork belly main with fennel, apple puree, sage and caramelised Granny Smith ($35). Genius. JT
HOURS Tuesday to Saturday, 8am to 3pm; Sunday, 9am to 3pm. Dunner Thursday to Saturday, from 6pm.
ADDRESS 133 Darlington Road, Miramar, Wellington, ph (04) 891-0354. thelarder.co.nz
IMPORTANT DETAILS Specialty dinners are an occasional treat. Keep an eye on the website for details.