Bar Martin is the sort of neighbourhood place you’ll swing by thinking it’ll be quiet – and it’ll likely be bursting at the seams. This only adds to its charm, and while you wouldn’t describe the high-ceilinged space as “small”, it still manages to feel snug.
There are several seating options. People-watch from a street-side table out the front, or perch on one of the tall stools inside at the window or the large wooden bar that runs down the centre of the space. And out back, there’s a high-walled, sun-trapping courtyard.
As with all the best local haunts, owners Ruben Maurice and Hannah Sharp have created a venue that feels welcoming for all – dogs and young children included.
The wine list spans both New Zealand drops and international bottles from Australia, France and Italy. There will usually be a few organic options from the likes of Millton in Gisborne and Amisfield in Central Otago. Bar Martin also has an off-licence for take-home bottles.
Food-wise, the succinct menu is wholesome, with snacky dishes such as sourdough and butter, oysters, moreish vinegary dolmades, and burrata, plus some more substantial sharing dishes such as meatballs, truffle and mushroom parfait, and sardines with bread and seaweed butter.
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