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Saffron, Arrowtown

18 Buckingham Street
Arrowtown , South Island
New Zealand
Tel: 64 3 442 0131'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.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.