For worthy eating and drinking experiences around Wellington, NZ (and the greater region) – you can also catch Heather out and about hosting Zest Food Tours around the city…

Bangalore Polo Club, Courtenay Place

NOTE: The peanuts are no longer!

The dinner club ventured forth to Bangalore Polo Club (BPC to those in the know apparently) on Wednesday night and had a rollicking fine time.

BPC is as opulently decorated and almost OTT as imagined, with varying spaces for drinking, dining or quieter booth intimacy.  Of greatest initial excitement was the large bowl of unshelled peanuts on the bar for patrons to de-shell and consume, merrily dropping the remains to the floor (truly, it’s what they want you to do!). Apparently in the tradition of the Singapore Raffles Hotel (Mr Google hasn’t been forthcoming on where that tradition sprang from originally), with the shells oiling the floor as they get walked on before being swept out at the end of the night. Everything your mother taught you not to do, but deliciously naughty fun!

BPC originated in India around the Bangalore Badgers polo team, with a mix of English and Indian influence.  Ergo being greeted out the front by a couple of lovely wooden maharaja-style gentlemen.  In the rear dining area there are several large animal heads on the wall, a veritable flock of birdcages hanging from the ceiling with lights in each, and cleverly disguised large screen tv’s in big gold ornate picture frames looking like large mirrors (thankfully not on, a rest from the rugby was due!).

Food ranged from pizza to curries to laksa to full meals and most things in between.  So a wide selection, and at reasonable prices.  Between six of us we managed to try a good variety (of course my friends know dining with me involves sharing a mouthful!) and everyone enjoyed what they chose.  I had a very pleasant cauliflower risotto of caramelised cauliflower (the caramelising was fairly subtle though), tallagio cheese, roasted almonds and crispy sage.  Good overall balance, and not gluggy or fatty.

I had to photograph (on my cellphone in fairly dim light, but it will give you an idea) Kate’s slow roasted pork hock.  A verrrrry impressive hunk of meat occupying most of her plate.  Almost matching the visions we had last week of how pig’s head was going to look on a plate at The Larder!  And melt off the bone tasty too.

The only slightly out of step note was the music.  Whilst we enjoyed the 70’s and 80’s easy tunes (those of us old enough to know them), we had imagined music somehow matching the tradition of the place.  Having said that, not sure if Bollywood all night would have helped or hindered the overall experience.

So definitely give it a try when you’re after something fun.  And suggest you book as it was full to bursting on a Wednesday night.  Apparently check out the toilets too, which I didn’t end up remembering to do.  Next time…


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