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Photographs: David Straight

The Black Hoof is up a flight of stairs in a lovely bricky space on Wyndham Street, which is one of those streets we’ve long wanted something to open on: it used to be a Korean restaurant. It’s simple inside: owners Will Thorpe and Logan Coathe – who used to work together at Casita Miro on Waiheke Island – did the place on the smallest of budgets.

It is warm, and friendly, and there is good beer on tap and other beers in the fridge, and a particularly interesting list of red wine that has some strange and inventive Spanish wines. And there is food – a simple menu of comidas that changes often: small shared plates. Serrano ham ($18); fabulous cheeses with torta and quince; pixtos properly done so they’re just little bits of bread you once would have put over the top of your glass ($5). There are great vegetable dishes – we had roasted cauliflower with almonds on one visit, and roasted beetroot with goat’s cheese the next – and we once ate a particularly excellent dish of calamari and chorizo. Don’t miss the seafoody rice dishes – arroz with clams and chorizo and saffron, say.

There are bigger plates – a slow-cooked lamb shoulder ($29) – and they’re beautifully cooked too. It is simple, rustic food and it is designed to be shared between you while you solve the world’s problems over another glass of wine. We like that very much.

HOURS Tuesday to Friday, 12pm to 10pm; Saturday 5pm to 10pm

ADDRESS 12 Wyndham Street, City, ph 366 1271.

IMPORTANT DETAILS Amazingly, they take bookings.

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