After boldly putting my Wellingtonian status on the line, I thought I better try and salvage what chance I have left of being let back into the city by pointing out that there is actually great food in Wellington. I stand by what I said: Auckland’s restaurant scene is better and booming right now in terms of style and quality, but… Wellington’s isn’t too shabby either. Wellington has always had fantastic cafes and once upon a time when I lived here, I actually liked going out for brunch. It excelled at cheap and cheerful eateries too with Malaysian cuisine leading the pack for the best wallet-friendly hearty dinners, and the craft beer buffs were always well looked after.
The coolest little capital in the world does have some culinary prowess and I was reminded of this once again on a recent trip home. We were back in Wellington for a few weeks over the summer and though we spent a lot of time catching up with friends and family, and taking advantage of the fact we had a temporary kitchen, we did manage to eat out a bit too. Would I be Connie Consumes if I didn’t?! I took many trips down memory lane with my favourite pick-your-own sushi and bagel lunches, leisurely weekend visits to old favourites such as Sweet Mother’s Kitchen (I still love their curly fries) and a few wines on the waterfront for old time’s sake.
Last Friday night we loaded ourselves, a bottle of whiskey, a bottle of wine, and my first ever attempt at a cheesecake, into a taxi headed for the bright lights of Karori- we were heading to a wee dinner party! I love dinner parties, big or small, but it was more appealing since it was still during the post-WOAP eating out ban. This had all the excitement of eating out but technically we were eating in- yus!
We were welcomed by pleasant aromas of a roast something… our only hint as to that something was a text message a couple of days earlier asking “…do you both eat pork?”. After our Ti Kouka feast it could have gone two ways- either completely over pork or even bigger fans. We are firmly in the latter category. Our host kindly presented us with martinis complete with olives or onions, what pros. I’m not sure if they were shaken or stirred but boy did they pack a punch. A sign of things to come…?
It’s been a week since Wellington on a Plate ended and a whole week since my last burger. It was fun while it lasted but I am glad it is over… have I got burger burn out? Burger fatigue? Blocked arteries? Not sure, maybe… actually, hopefully not. I still love a good burger, I just think we need some time apart… but I’ll call when I’m ready.
Wide roads, pavements illuminated only by the street lamps, and teenagers traveling in packs… yep, we were definitely in the burbs! If this were back in my teen days, I’d probably be heading to some house party with a four pack of smirnoff and a plan to knock back the drinks then hit the town. These days, we’re roaming the mean streets of Miramar in search of good food at TheLarder.
My last Larder visit was for last year’s WOAP burger- lambs brains in a bun; an acquired taste I think, but still well worth trying. This time we ordered a few tamer dishes- seafood, pasta, and steak. The food here looks good, everything is elegant and you can tell it’s been thoughtfully placed right there. But as we all know, looks are never enough… there comes a point when staring at your hot date becomes rude and plain boring. Luckily, the food here came through- beauty and brains- hurrah!
I used to live in an apartment on Cuba St, pretty much across the road from El Matador. For months we watched the weathered and much loved Munchen Burger transform into a slick, much hyped Argentinean grill, complete with deliberately rustic decor which is oh so chic right now. I always wonder how much people spend on those fit outs and whether there’s money hidden in the walls to jack up the cost?! Anyway, it clearly got people interested as it was, and still is, nearly always full…
Ended up on the dinner table at TiKouka’s Full Circle Feast. This was after they had feasted on spent grains from Garage Project Brewery, bi-products from making corn chips (wonder if they get dip?), and other tasty morsels. Then they were let loose to roll around in the mud, or whatever it is pigs do for fun?! I digress, the point is they end up making very tasty pork-anything!
After extensive research, I’ve concluded that three courses is probably the right amount of time needed for a proper girly gossip. The ‘Law Girls’ usually get together for breakfast at Leuven every couple of weeks but there’s not really enough time to get into the real juicy bits over the waffles or potato cakes. That’s when the longer dinner dates come in handy.