Fine dining and sustainability mesh in this new Cuba Street joint.
New Cuba Street eatery Highwater is out to show that classy dining and sustainability can go hand in hand.
Based at the foot of Cuba Street, just a few doors up from the Rockshop, you'll certainly be grooving as you step through the prominent, heavy-set front door. The fit-out is simply stunning, reminiscent of the high-end restaurants found much further up the street. With its long floor plan, the space feels at once spacious and intimate, with the exposed concrete and brick walls adding that touch of contemporary class.
The layout is designed to cater to everyone, from couples to groups and solo diners wanting to sit at the bar and chat to the chef. This versatility extends to the menu itself, which features a range of mid-sized and large mains and also snacks for those who just want something to nibble on over their sustainably sourced wine.
And it's not just the food and drink in which sustainably is imbued. Every little detail has been covered, for instance the organic cotton aprons to the choice of energy provider (Meridian, if you're wondering — as their electricity is from 100 percent renewable sources).
We decided to sample a spread of snacks, mains and sides, and the pickled mussels ($14) were the first to arrive. These got us off to a fantastic start and turned out to be our favourite dish on the night. The plump mussels pack plenty of sweet, briney flavour and combine very well with the nduja, cucumber, aioli and mint toppings.
Next up was the white soy-cured kingfish ($24) with wasabi, soy cream, ginger and pickled nashi pear. A nice, light dish to complement some of the heavier items on the menu, the fish's delicate texture contrasts well with the crunch of the pear slices. It was balanced superbly by the goat curd dumplings ($22) that came next. More like large dollops of goat cheese rather than dumplings per se, these were nonetheless excellent, with an incredibly rich flavour that will sate the most diehard cheese lovers.
The sprouting broccoflower ($11) was a great way to conclude the meal. It's charred to perfection, resulting in a beautiful, soft bite, and the dashi brown butter, sage and almond whip elevate it to another level.
Located on the end of Cuba Street that's not renowned for classy dining, Highwater sticks out like a sore (but very luxe) thumb, its warm glow within sure to pique the interest of passersby. And if Highwater continues to pull the crowds in, don't be surprised if more higher-end spots pop up this side of Cuba.