[gallery ids="5564,5562,5567,5561,5566,5563"] Words and photography by Lauren Matthews from The Kitchen Collective Shortland Street is made up of mostly law firms and banks, with only a few cafes dotted about to feed the inhabiting corporate sharks. So, I was pleasantly surprised at the new opening Pilkingtons – a garden-abyss, with plenty of natural light, impressive courtyard with its own raised lawn, a plethora of floral arrangements and an effortless indoor-outdoor flow. When myself and the brood of gal pals arrived Friday evening, we agreed we felt instantly transported to the trendy suburb of West Hollywood – immediately announcing this is our new non-local. Service is swift but friendly, in that un-overbearing manner that is of the utmost importance during the catch ups of your friend’s Monday to Friday play-by-play. Music is catchy, enough to get you pumped for your looming night out, but pitched at the perfect volume so you’re not left screaming across the table to make sure your girlfriends know how much of an asshole your boss is. The menu caters to those more interested in a libation over chowing down, with a selection of ‘small’ and ‘mid’ plates, designed perfectly to share in a group. They also do mains, which will ensure serious diners the ability to feast on a traditional three-course meal. Oysters are incredibly fresh and served with a Chardonnay vinegar. The manchego and serrano ham croquettes boast a faultless crispy outer, within, a silky smooth concoction of potato and gooey cheese pair perfectly with the saltiness from the dry-cured pork. The beef carpaccio is dressed with a truffle cream, zesty gremolata, rocket, artichokes and parmesan while the hand made tortellini is bursting with tender wild boar, the dish freshened up with broad beans, porcini mushrooms and peppery rocket pesto. They do breakfast, and their wine list is well curated, so much so, that I’m able to have a glass of Chenin Blanc (or two) to begin the evening, followed by a glass of Syrah (or three) to finish. Pilkingtons is one of those new comers I’m certain will be around for years to come – a timeless institute with a killer combo of great atmosphere, slick service, a fully stocked bar and good fare. So… Guess I’ll see you there Friday? Visit Pilkingtons online here for more information.