New Zealand-born Chef Hayden McMillan has worked at some of Auckland’s top restaurants and, most recently, as Head Chef at The Roving Marrow in Melbourne’s Astor hotel.
Styling is on point at Etta: warm wood flooring runs throughout the venue, and the washed concrete walls contrast elegantly with the matt black fixtures and a small, leafy atrium.
Chef McMillan presents a concise menu of contemporary dishes that draw inspiration from multiple cuisines. Start with a slice of softly roasted buttercup squash, glazed with umami-loaded tamari, topped with toasted sunflower seeds and served with a sunflower seed puree – a stunning contrast of textures and flavours. For something larger, go for the Flinders Island lamb. Slow-cooked and then pressed, the meat is covered with a smoky glaze and ribbons of pickled radish, and comes with a stunning salsa verde. The Milawa chicken is broken down and dressed with a nutty beurre noisette. Roasted hazelnuts enhance the noisette, while a smooth onion puree provides an earthy contrast.
PSST! Request the table next to the busy kitchen and watch the team of chefs in action.