Address: 7/12 Jellicoe St, Wynyard Quarter
Phone: (09) 379 34 84
Online: kindred.nz

I have developed a theory. Call it Calder's Law. It states that there is an inverse relationship between the quality of a restaurant and the floweriness of the language the proprietors use to trumpet its virtues.

Restaurants typically take great care over their choice of meat supplier, for example, or their style of crockery (Kindred's plates are beautiful and I am now trying to restrain the Professor from buying a full set). But when it comes to writing a menu or that stuff on the website, any old crap will do.

I would not have been seen dead in a restaurant that described itself as a "modern creative dining space" (what does that even mean?) if it were not for professional duty to you (you're welcome). The only place its "driving forces [of] collaboration, community and connection" drive me is away. How can you be both "paired [sic] back and generous"? Do you find these words in a Nice Restaurant Words book?

Wynyard Quarter gets better each year, although, with stellar exceptions, it is not yet a hub of good eating. I've had as many disappointments there as at the Viaduct, and that's saying something.

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In the room Kindred now occupies, a bogus pan-Med place served a friend of mine a salad with a piece of grit that sheared off a molar. I flatter myself that I may have played a small part in its richly deserved demise.

The incumbent business is run by a member of the family behind Miss Clawdy, a few doors along, and it stands out from its rowdy neighbours by being restrained to a fault.

Ivory walls and salmon terracotta tiles make me think of an orthodontist's waiting room (the art work above our table went well with it, composed mostly of what looked like that viscous gum they use to make impressions).

I would not want to expatiate at length on the food for fear of praising it with faint damnation. Kindred is close to the new waterfront theatre and they have pre-theatre menu "inspired by the current show" (it's Billy Elliot, just now, so presumably they put coal dust in the gravy).

But the menu is so devoid of originality, you have to wonder why they bothered: steak frites, lamb with couscous, a burger (sorry, where was I? I think I must have dropped off).

I had the vegetarian main (now, there's a phrase I have never typed before) of quinoa enlivened with an excessively oily pesto of kale, which was perfectly fine, but it was a side dish, really (the option to add grilled chicken admitted as much), with no evident design concept.

Crispy pork belly was not; tuna poke (a Hawaiian ceviche equivalent) could have done with some jazzing up. We were particularly taken with roasted cauli (cumin, anchovy mayo) and a sugar-and-dairy free cheesecake (cashew and coconut milk), but the rest was dull and unmemorable.

If you're going to the theatre and want to eat out first, it will save you parking twice, I suppose.

Small plates $14-$18; large $22-$33; desserts $14-$16.
VERDICT: Appetising but unoriginal food in a bland environment.