1024 North Island

Dining in hot Hastings, in New Zealand. Specialties, vegetables

18-01-2014
The entrance to Restaurant 1024 (Ten Twenty Four)

The entrance to Restaurant 1024 (Ten Twenty Four) in Pakowhai, North Island, New Zealand, right outside
Hastings, tel. +64.(0)6.8706440. 40 people seating, with everything controlled by chef-patron Kent Baddeley previously working at the renowned Petit Lyon restaurant in Wellington

Restaurant 1024 is in Pakowhai, North Island. It is named after the street number of the restaurant on Pakowhai road, right outside Hastings; the area is that of Hawke’s Bay, in the East, which often reminds one of the Italian landscape. The zone is prone to drought and on average it is warmer than the Western coast and offers modern foodies many chances to enjoy themselves.

In the open view kitchen you can notice 4 people at work for a total of about 40 people seating in an old winery. Outside there are barrels everywhere, having found an excellent second life as flower pots, tables or other decorative elements, with a floor that is perfectly connected with the atmosphere of the place. This place couldn’t be more typical of the New Zealand countryside from the outside, though inside you can sense the pace of a modern urban kitchen.

Lamb brains, romesco and dried figs

Lamb brains, romesco and dried figs

Years ago, chef-patron Kent Baddeley managed and led to success one of the most famous and pricey places in Wellington, the Petit Lyon, and then retired here where he offers a completely renewed cuisine, without being forced to apply very unpopular prices. Instead, at 1024 there’s a more easy going, contemporary and very relaxed atmosphere, in what aspires to be a point of reference between Napier and Hastings.

There’s no tablecloth and the glasses are gracious despite being retro, with a menu that is made official only half an hour before the show begins. The dishes arriving on the table are extremely colourful, and clearly follow a common theme in their sequence. Vegetables are used a lot, even though fish and meat aren’t missing, and the inspiration is given by the varied demographic composition of the area, both with regards to inspiration and ingredients.

The chef and owner Kent Beddeley

The chef and owner Kent Beddeley

There’s some imprecision and it’s noticeable. In our case, we there was a lack of balance in a turkey dish that wanted to recall the classic Christmas log with the light coloured ingredient in the middle, and the darker ones around: the result was a little too dry but it is impossible not to appreciate Baddeley’s need to widen his range and to surprise. The wine list is extremely local, but sometimes organic wines are included on special occasions. Desserts gracefully close the dinner, from marshmallow ravioli to the cheese board with small wine-based products to pair.


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Piatti downunder

Delicacies from Australia and New Zealand told by Cinzia Piatti