This new opening specialises in hand-rolled pasta and dishes cooked on charcoal.
The dining room at the bottom of Mount Victoria's Marjoribanks Street has a lot of history. The spot is the former address of Ortega's younger sister Frenchie as well as Slim Davey's and the original Roxburgh Bistro. Two years after the former opened, it has now been replaced by another modern European-style bistro.
New owners Thom Millott and Natasha Piper describe Amok as "part restaurant, part wine bar, with a focus on local ingredients." Both Millott and Piper have extensive hospitality experience in the capital and across the ditch. Some of that Aussie flair can be seen in the trans-Tasman wine list.
The pair say the new opening doesn't particularly fit within any of Wellington's stereotypical Italian, Asian fusion or tapas bar genres. Instead, the restaurant serves up modern sharing style plates with casual service.
In an effort to try and cut down on waste, the food menu is scribbled on butcher's paper. The list changes daily, but it always starts with a selection of snacks, followed by two or three pastas and dishes cooked on charcoal.
Since opening in the last week of November the menu has featured oysters topped with pét-nat gelée, smoked mussels and crisps, steak tartare, kingfish crudo with kiwifruit and kosho chilli paste, and green tomatoes with stracciatella. The handmade pasta selection has ranged from your classic cacio e pepe with hand-rolled strozzapreti to tortellini in brodo broth, and gnocchi with clams in XO sauce.
To pair, the drinks list features a concise selection of pét-nat, local craft beer and several non-alcoholic drops. The dining room is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 5.30pm until late.