Sharing is caring. The best places for shared plates

Whoever first coined the phrase “sharing is caring” was clearly a good person to head out to dinner with.

Sharing plates on a table at Ronas Akaroa restaurant, New Zealand.

Christchurch & Canterbury

Eat & Drink

Sharing food goes beyond just being a cheaper option or a handy way of avoiding the dreaded food envy (although these are big positives, too), sharing food is a way of further connecting with your fellow eaters and with the items on your plates, which often work even better together than on their own. We’ve shared the sharing love by putting together some of our favourite spots for shared plates.

Sharing plates on a counter at Inati restaurant Christchurch, New Zealand.

Inati

48 Hereford Street, Christchurch Central
Christchurch & Canterbury

Inati’s innovative offering of small and larger sharing plates includes wonders such as Boeuf-nuts – a salty-sweet doughnut filled with braised beef cheek sitting in a rich pool of beef liquor and Donkey Carrot – a beautiful slow cooked carrot served with pear, taleggio cheese and hazelnut praline. These two dishes sit alongside a raft of other delicious plates created by chef Simon Levy all designed for sharing, whether you’re in degustation-mode or just wanting to share a snack with a glass of wine. And speaking of wine, Inati’s offering is sourced only from vineyards and viticulturists known to the restaurant and sit perfectly alongside Inati’s memorable fare.

A table of shared plates at Civil and Naval bar and restaurant Lyttelton, Christchurch.

Civil and Naval

16 London Street, Lyttelton

Much-loved Lyttelton institution Civil and Naval knows a thing or two about simple, delicious food. Offering a very well thought-out sharing menu dotted with memorable plates such as polenta crusted calamari, miso butter coated edamame beans, hand cut chips and bottomless aioli (genius) and delectable deep fried cauliflower with maple and chipotle, it’s well worth visiting this cool spot for a drink and a few plates on any or every night of the week.

A table of shared plates on a table at Super Lyttelton restaurant, Christchurch, New Zealand.

SUPER

5 Norwich Quay, Lyttelton
Christchurch & Canterbury

Designed for sharing, the menu at Super hosts a range of Asian-fusion style dishes perfect for devouring with a group of friends. The Sang Choi Bao – Chinese lettuce cups filled with your choice of sticky beef or lemon grass mushrooms – as well as wontons, tofu in kombu broth, a range of toothsome bao and many more morsels are the ultimate crowd pleasers and work perfectly alongside an enticing drinks menu involving sake, Japanese plum wine, cocktails, beer and wine. Much like the food, Super’s fit out is cool, casual and stylish without trying too hard to be any of those things.

A table of sharing plates at Craft Embassy bar Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Craft Embassy

Level 1/126 Oxford Terrace, Christchurch Central

The view and the beer selection alone make The Craft Embassy an extremely appealing spot to visit but once you’ve set eyes and taste buds on their sharing menu, the deal will be well and truly sealed. Offering a range of delicious sharing options from fried chicken to crispy falafel to pork belly, The Craft Embassy knows how to do favourites and do them well. Pair them with a tasty brew and you know you’re on to a winner.

A table of sharing plates on a table at Rona's Akaroa restaurant, Christchurch.

Rona's

42 Rue Lavaud, Akaroa
Christchurch & Canterbury

The sharing menu at this Akaroa gem often evolves with the season and the availability of ingredients on the Peninsula but it is guaranteed to be delicious, time after time. Heavily influenced by the seven year Berlin cooking stint had by clever chefs Harriet and Finbar, the food at Rona’s has a focus on “humble ingredients, bragging with flavours”. The pair have brought impeccable dishes to Rona’s such as kohlrabi, pickled grapes, quince, pecorino and walnuts or their perfect grilled cheese available on weekend. Smoking, preserving, infusing and roasting are some of the favourite techniques used at Rona's and the results will not disappoint.