tītī

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Monday5:00 – 9:00 pm.

Tuesday5:00 – 9:00 pm.

Wednesday5:00 – 9:00 pm.

Thursday5:00 – 9:00 pm.

Friday11:30 am – 9:00 pm.

Saturday11:30 am – 9:00 pm.

SundayClosed.

24 Esplanade, Saint Clair, Dunedin

03 466 3610

tītī is perched above the sea on the St. Clair waterfront, a mere 15 minute drive from Dunedin’s CBD. Just like the tītī (muttonbird) that travels the world before returning to home to Aotearoa, this restaurant draws inspiration from all over while simultaneously celebrating what we have right here.

Mel and Hannes, front of house and head chef respectively, opened tītī in early 2020 after operating Glenfalloch Garden and Restaurant. The vast majority of the ingredients they use are sourced from the surrounding landscape, which is so beautifully displayed in tītī’s picturesque dining room.

Serving both lunch and dinner, tītī offers experiential dining in a way that is extremely high quality but also completely approachable. At lunchtime, you can take your pick from the à la carte options of tītī’s favourite dishes, or choose the ‘Feed Me’ option – three courses selected by the chef. Rotating to match what’s currently being harvested, dishes have included Agria potato gnocchi with celeriac, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts and parmesan and Fiordland venison ragout with hazelnut spätzle and heirloom carrots. As Mel put it, lunch at tītī is like ‘trust the chef for beginners.’

Dinner at tītī is designed to be shared. There’s an evening Feed Me option for a trust-the-chef surprise experience, or a more extensive à la carte menu with an array of small and large plates that are familiar and exotic all at once. The dishes are served staggered, almost like yum cha, simply because they take different amounts of time to be prepared.

There’s always a balance between comforting dishes and experimental plates. And make no mistake, this isn’t the kind of tasting menu that will leave you still hungry. The portions are robust in size, colour, flavour and texture. Highlights have included Cantervalley Duck with mango, coconut and lemongrass and a beetroot sorbet with chocolate, passionfruit and voatsiperifery for dessert.

Every dish at tītī is crafted with care and delivers when it comes to flavour and value. The approach itself is exciting but it also makes sense. By working with local providers; Gravity Fishing, Ettrick Gardens, High Country Salmon, Common Ground Espresso and others; Hannes not only sources the freshest ingredients but also ensures there's as little waste as possible. The kitchen team at tītī only order what they need and use every aspect of each ingredient – for example with whole fish, the frames are used for stocks. Every ingredient is fully honoured here.

The wine list, which Mel curates, changes every three to four months to mirror the best of what's currently on offer from New Zealand’s many award-winning wineries. Whether you’re a lifelong foodie or simply want to try something new, head to tītī for lunch, dinner or even just a drink and a nibble.

Words by Olivia Sisson & Photography by Nancy Zhou

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Location

24 Esplanade, Saint Clair, Dunedin

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