Occupying a compact minimalist space to one side of glamorous sibling The Euro, Urbane's low key appearance gives little clue to the extraordinary dining experience to be had within.
Yet the neutral walls, timber floors and unadorned white clothed tables are all about allowing the food to take star billing. And it does.
The degustation menu comes in seven courses or eleven, each preceded by a quadrant of amuses bouches (appetizers) and with the option of matching wines from around the world, devised by the in-house sommelier. The amuse bouches are dependent on the fresh produce of the day and the chef's whimsy – think tiny pre-historic pots of exquisite chilled corn soup and test tubes of rich consomme with crisp salted duck's tongue. Courses themselves are interspersed with some heavenly hot loaf fresh from the oven and include at time of writing a mini char grilled octopus tentacle with green strawberry, avocado and rye stick, melt-in-the-mouth pumpkin gnocchi morsel infused with parmesan and rosemary and, the dessert after which no apple will ever taste the same – local pink lady apple with lemongrass and ginger, followed by a finale of local fresh macadamia, chocolate and coffee alchemy.
Need to know: allow for several hours as courses are well-spaced – this is not about filling up in a short space of time but about a unique and unforgettable taste odyssey. Although Urbane burns the midnight oil, the kitchen closes for orders at 10pm.
181 Mary St