Arrowtown , South Island
Tel: 64 3 442 0131
Concierge.com's insider take:
No less a tastemaker than Charlie Trotter has raved about the food at Saffron—so prepare to book your table weeks in advance. Occupying an unfussy corrugated-iron building in the historic mining village of Arrowtown (about 15 minutes' drive east from Queenstown), the casual dining room is firelit in winter and crowded with a happy mix of skiers, foodie tourists, and local game hunters. All come for the creative, contemporary dishes whipped up by Aussie chefs Peter Gawron and Melanie Hill: starters like green-lipped mussels in a tamarind curry broth; mains like spice-crusted pork tenderloin on Indian vegetable cakes, served with a ginger-yogurt dressing; and desserts like steamed carrot pudding with toffee sauce. After dinner, head next door to Gawron and Hill's live-jazz cocktail bar, the Blue Door.
Closed the first two weeks of June.