Keeping it simple pays off for Plato

Plato co-owners Nigel Broad and Rebecca Tansley take a break at their restaurant yesterday. Photo...
Plato co-owners Nigel Broad and Rebecca Tansley take a break at their restaurant yesterday. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Dunedin chef Nigel Broad believes in keeping it simple and that approach has been a recipe for success.

Mr Broad co-owns Plato, one of two Otago restaurants which are runners-up in Cuisine magazine's 2008 New Zealand Restaurant of the Year Awards, announced yesterday.

Plato came second to Wellington's Matterhorn in the best casual dining (metropolitan) category.

Oamaru's Riverstone Kitchen was second in the best casual dining (regional) category, behind Wendy Campbell's French Bistro in Martinborough.

Judges praised Plato for its "generous, honest and simple food", saying local seafood was a particular strength.

Co-owner Rebecca Tansley said yesterday the awards placing would be good for Plato's national and international profile.

The restaurant in Birch St, which opened in 2003, was a finalist last year.

Mr Broad believes in the appeal of simple flavours rather than complex dishes.

He described the restaurant's success as a team effort.

The judges also praised Riverstone Kitchen, just south of Glenavy, on State Highway 1, as a welcome lunch stop and destination for evening dining.

"Many chefs pay lip service to using the best local ingredients, but [chef-owner] Bevan Smith carries it out with the help of his own garden and orchard and North Otago's bountiful produce."

Mr Smith yesterday described the recognition as "pretty special".

As well as raising the restaurant's profile, it was a great boost for staff.

Matterhorn was the supreme winner in the awards. - Andrea Jones

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