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…

Ancestral yakitori

Finally I’ve managed to get my butt on the lovely warm concrete seats in the Ancestral courtyard (very cool, err warm) and try out their yakitori offerings.


Because I’d been drinking elsewhere beforehand I didn’t imbibe, but did count 37 wines by the glass, 8 sakes, a big range of whisk(e)ys, and several chinese teas for two (without even getting to their cocktail list). Phew!

We chose about six plates between the two of us, which turned out to be about right, including beef, lamb, chicken, mushrooms, eggplant/peppers and seaweed salad (highly recommended by a waitress to a friend previously).

Ancestral skewers

Not convinced the seaweed salad was anything to write home about, but the skewers were all tender, flavourful and well presented.

Part of the fun of eating this way is the theatre of someone cooking near you, and the fun of trying many things.

Ancestral certainly have a polished system, with friendly staff, and even though it was only midweek, the courtyard was full.

Ancestral chef

The only thing I disliked was the smokers at the very next table puffing away, which does taint the whole dining experience.

Although I’ve personally found the indoor restaurant at Ancestral overpriced and underwhelming (and heard the same again from someone else recently), the yakitori value and delivery is about right.

Also for males, I’m told they should go check out the bathrooms – pitch black and a little eerie – although not so much for the ladies who experience varying shades of white and cream.

31-33 Courtenay Place

Ancestral map

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3 thoughts on “Ancestral yakitori

  1. Always enjoy a good yakitori, although we don’t go enough. Usually those dollars get saved for a yum char outing instead. I am certainly intrigued by the idea of the men’s room, and want to check it out for myself now.

  2. I fully agree on the smokers. In fact the courtyard’s “outdoor” classification is a questionable interpretation of the MoH guidelines. Not that you’d ever see WCC shifting themselves to investigate.
    I’ve discussed this with the owner who was only interested in the money – shame he’s not also interested in the business he’s not getting from the majority of smokefree patrons who take their dining dollars elsewhere as a result.

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