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…

Archive for the category “Deli’s / Takeaways”

Raglan Roast Pizza

Raglan Roast in Holland Street snapped up chef Matteo Ughi when Osteria del Toro closed its doors, and as a result, now offer up tasty wood-fired pizzas.

Raglan pizza board.jpg

Matteo uses a northern Italian dough recipe that is proofed differently, and cooked at a much lower 350deg (usually 500deg), giving a very thin light base that stays fresh and crisp longer, working well for deliveries and takeaways too (crafty devils! – check them out on Delivereasy).

In between pizzas, he also bakes all the breads used by Raglan Roast in their counter food, or for you to take home.

The space is very Wellington – off the beaten track and suitably quirky in vibe and decor – and the service was prompt and friendly.

The house chilli and garlic oils drizzled over our smoked chicken, jalapeno, mozarella and pepper pizza gave a delightful edge. And yes, the mozzarella was suitably finger-licking stretchy and stringy.

Raglan pizza sm cix jalapeno pepper.jpg

You can also finish off with a sweet pizza – strawberry, blueberry or banana (I’m eyeing up the blueberry for next time) – or other sweet treat made in-house.

Daytimes til 5pm Monday/Tuesday, and 9.30pm Wednesday to Sunday.

12 Holland Street

Pickle & Pie – a NY-style deli in Wellie

Pickle & Pie has just opened at 2 Lombard Street (the Civic Square end of Lombard Lane), with chef Tim Tracey at the helm.

Pickle Pie decor

They have a lovely large sunny space, with outside tables, and eventually, a grassy park out front. So don’t be put off by all the current fencing to get there.

Tim has always wanted a NY-style deli, and so finally has his chance. Opening from 7am to 7pm, the counter food changes throughout the day to match the kind of hunger we have on, while the menu has set breakfast and lunch timings. And there’s a whole wall of pickled goodies you can take home while you’re at it.

Pickle Pie menu

Because I was there for a late breakfast, I decided to try out the sourdough crumpets with tamarillo, blackberry, vanilla mascarpone and fennel syrup. I enjoyed the sour notes coming through the nicely balanced sweet and sour fruit compote, rounded off with the creamy mascarpone. I don’t recall much in the way of fennel syrup, but the overall mouthfeel and flavour balance was good.

Pickle pie crumpets

Had it been afternoon, I’m sure I would have made a bee-line for the beautiful New York cheesecakes on the counter, or perhaps one of their house pretzel and peanut cookies. I know I’m certainly going back for a hot chocolate or mocha at some point to try out the Pickle & Pie marshmallows that come with them!

They also do take-home meals later in the day if you fancy a treat without cooking, so they’ve got your day totally covered at Pickle & Pie.

7am – 7pm Monday to Saturday

2 Lombard Street

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Delicious Doppio

Tucked behind the Sprig and Fern in the Tinakori Village, is a delightful bakery and patisserie by the name of Doppio.

Doppio outside.jpg

Zoltan Loranth is a self-trained pastry chef from Hungary, recently relocated to Wellington with his wife and Cafe Manager (different people!) from Nelson, after an original relocation from Hungary.

The decor is ‘little Europe’, with a large community table for sharing, a few ‘piazza’ tables out front, and smooth Billie Holiday-style tunes in the background.

My berry custard pastry was excellent, with the pastry still crispy (not easy with soft fillings), the berries sweet, and the custard smooth. And the sourdough loaf I took home for lunch excellent also.

Doppio is so going to become one of my regular walk routes (Hillside, Doppio, The Gardens cafe, I might never get out of Thorndon….!).

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I particularly liked that all products are hand-made with love and passion.

8am – 3pm Tuesday to Friday, 9am – 2pm Saturday and Sunday.

342A Tinakori Road.


Medifoods, Newtown

I recently stumbled into Medifoods at Newtown (the Mediterranean Food Warehouse) and was surprised to find it a rather appealing trattoria now, with the deli section tucked down the back. Apparently this happened a good six months or so ago.


The menu covered such delights as Carpaccio Bresaola D.O.P (cured top round of beef, rocket, lemon marinated tomato, Granny Smith Parmigiano Reggiano), Proscuitto Di Parma (with butter and sage asparagus, fried egg and grana padano shavings), and a range of brushette, pastas, risottos, mains and desserts.

With a decent selection of wines alongside. And a cabinetful of food or gelato for quick dashes or afters. Goodness!



Since it was kinda still lunchtime I decided to try their $10 weekly lunch special, which turned out to penne pasta with truffle cream and rocket. I found it to be al dente, generous in size and satisfying.

I also spied a pizza going out from the wood-fired oven and nearly drooled. I am so going back real soon (for the ricotta, rocket and toasted walnut gnocchi; and the asparagus, peas and smoked salmon risotto; and the pear and chocolate cake with raspberry and merlot sorbet; you get my drift….).

And that was before checking out the deli products. If only I had the car….

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Medifoods make all their pizzas, pastas, toppings, breads, etc in-house and pride themselves on fresh, authentic and seasonal.

They also have an interesting brunch menu with options like homemade carrot and banana bread with almond and vanilla mascarpone and preserved Spanish peaches; or poached eggs on sourdough with fried halloumi cheese, grilled tomato and mashed avocado.

I’m clearly going to have to walk this way often!

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The staff were all very friendly and helpful, and there’s pleasure every which way you look at Medifoods. It would be very easy to wile away a couple of hours if time permitted.

And if that isn’t enough, check this out….. A little a’la’Pickle Jar.


Trattoria – Monday to Saturday 8am to 10.30pm; Sunday 9am to 10.30pm.

Deli – Monday to Saturday 8am to 8pm; Sunday 9am to 8pm.

42 Constable Street, Newtown.





Shepherd & Al’s Best Ugly Bagels


Shepherd has opened in Leeds Street next to Pomodoro Pizza, brought to us by Shepherd Elliott (Ti KoukaLeeds Street Bakery) and Sean Golding (Golding’s free dive bar).


Sean and Shep wanted to maintain the laneway vibe and create a place that provided all styles – a wine, a bite, a meal, an interesting beer, a shared catchup with friends, or just dessert and coffee. A place to come together.

The space is actually the original canteen of the Hannahs Shoe Factory (and a large party-central student flat between times!), so the perfect setting. And has are a number of different areas and seating styles, including some at the kitchen counter so you can see exactly how its all done (no secrets here).

The food is light, tasty and extremely well executed, with the cheapest item at $4 (oyster), and the most expensive $28 (you will need a couple of courses though).They are also being playful by combining ingredients and mixing courses in ways you might not expect (a custard entree? pikelets with house made cheese, salted tamarillo and roasted hazelnuts? pulled pork with apple, fennel and red curry mustard?).

The drinks reflect recent travel, with some interesting big (alcohol, size and price) Californian craft beers on the list. Alongside a whole bunch of ‘sour and interesting’ and some Garage Project, Yeastie Boys (the Rex Attitude Peat-Smoked Strong Golden Ale was really memorable), 8 Wired, Panhead and ParrotDog, etc.

From 5.30pm Wednesday to Sunday, with some bookings taken (via phone for the moment, but watch out for a website and online booking system soon).

Al’s Best Ugly Bagels

Best Ugly is fast food at its best – Montreal bagels (lighter then their New York cousins), hand rolled, poached, wood-fired, and delivered to you with a range of traditional and kiwi toppings in open sandwich style. So no jaw-cracking chewing here (yay!). The likes of peanut butter and jam, rueben (below), Stewart Island salmon, marmite,  Zany Zeus cream cheese etc.

It’s a pretty slick process a’la’Starbucks where you order, then move along to the delivery counter and listen for your name, then see if you can wangle a stool at the wall or window. Be prepared to take-away as there isn’t much seating, but what there is, does turn over reasonably quickly.

Check out the daily bagel and drinks boards too, interesting stuff.

7 days, 7am to 3pm. Swan Lane behind Floraditas (also newly earthquake-strengthened and with some new eye-catching dishes alongside the time-honoured favourites). Full laneway updates here.







The Brooklyn Deli

I’ve been to the Brooklyn Deli twice now, and twice enjoyed the food and vibe. And I really like that they offer up something different to everywhere else, being Austrian.

BD pancake

The Kaiserschmarrn Emperors Pancake is sensational – shredded caramelised crepes souffle with plum compote. It was soft, sweet and crispy in all the right places, and totally pleasing in the belly (don’t be ashamed if you need to take some away in a doggy bag, apparently a common occurrence). Traditionally a dessert in Austria.

The avocado, feta and mint mash on house rye sourdough with poached eggs got the double thumbs up for flavours and textures, as did the Kas’nockn Austrian-style mac’n’cheese.

BD mac cheese

The mac’n’cheese is a softer dough either cut by hand or put through a collander to make the macaroni-like pieces, and topped with tangy cheese, so again super pleasing in the belly. I liked it much more than the standard wheat pasta version which can at times be chewy and denser in general.

The Viennese Breakfast was also pleasant, but a smidge disjointed by comparison to other dishes (typical European though).

BD Vienesse plate

Because of the interesting and different offerings, there’s plenty more I still want to try – the Speckknodel (bacon and sausage dumplings which also use up stale bread – efficient!) on Sauerkraut, the Austrian Beef Goulash, Bratwurst, and more – and that’s before getting to the counter goodies, which are house-baked and delicious.

The berry and mascarpone brioche galette was excellent and I rued that I’d only bought one to share for dessert. And I’m so going back soon for the apple strudel and vanilla custard. They will also make you a full length strudel with a little notice if you fancy one for a dinner party. Nice.

BD galette

Brooklyn Deli make a large range of breads for your take-home pleasure as well as showcasing a good selection of meats, cheeses, pastas, sauces, vinaigrettes and condiments (many European), as well as many local gourmet products like Six Barrel Soda and Fix and Fogg peanut butter. Their breads are often available at the Sunday City Market too.

The decor is warm and cosy with a rustic log wall and friendly welcoming staff, and it was easy and relaxing for catching up with friends.

BD strudel

I think a slide by before Xmas to pick up a gingerbread house and taste that strudel and custard is in order. Be rude not to wouldn’t it?

Tuesday to Sunday daytimes, Friday late night with a range of charcuterie boards, small plates and mains from the daytime menu.

199 Ohiro Road Bay (right next door to the Penthouse Cinema).



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I raise you a Chippery

TC headerThe Thorndon Chippery recently opened in the old Le Canard premises on Murphy Street, following the same successful formula as its Mt Vic sister – pick your fish, then its coat, then its side arms and sauce.

Which got me to wondering whether this is the way of the fish’n’chip future.

The lads behind the chipperies are a chef and a fisherman, with the desire to put the focus squarely back on the fish and chips, with more than one generic offering. When asked what they’d like their customers to say at the end of the chippery experience, the answer was ‘finally, decent fish’n’chips’. They also pride themselves on total freshness from their door to yours, and so along came the pretty brown anti-sog boxes.

TC boxesAs well as a list of the day’s fresh market fish, you will find a range of burgers and both fishy and vegetarian extras to satisfy all appetites. Consider whitebait fritters, crumbed scallops, calamari or fish bites, crumbed brie, pineapple or potato fritters, salads, etc.

On our visit we went away with panko-crumbed groper, herb-crusted blue warehou, fish balls, a vegan burger, homemade tartare sauce and a range of fries. They were all judged to be above average in quality and flavour, and despite not being a tartare fan, I found myself licking every last drop from the container (I kid you not) – a delicious balance of lemon, capers and gherkins in a pleasing viscous base.

And the hand-cut agrias. Oh. My. God. There is just no other comment. The chippery staff hand cut, slice and blanch these beauties daily from bags of honest-to-TC friesgoodness agrias into big doorstoppers for the final fry (the substantial ‘small’ serve above). They go through separate gluten-free fryers at each store to prevent crumb contamination, and result in mouthfuls of crispy-exteriored, fluffy-interiored heaven (confession – there may be some Irish blood lurking in these veins…).

In terms of wait times, you can order online and then stroll along to pick up (super easy and efficient), or nestle yourself into one of the tables at each location. But beware the seating is limited, so have Plan B handy (in the case of the Mt Vic Chippery, the Black Sparrow is conveniently located across the road for a quick one while you wait – a most cunning plan!).

TC fish boardNow there’s no denying its fun doing all that choosing, and the boxes are ever so pretty, but I did wonder about losing some of the fun of unwrapping a pyramid of food, liberally dousing with Mr Wattie’s finest and undertaking a big dig. They are also more expensive than your standard fish’n’chips, and you won’t get all the traditional extras (crabsticks, spring rolls, donuts, banana fritters). So the Chippery experience may not be for everyone.

But after all that? The quality is superior, the service better, and the choices substantial.  Game on.

Mt Vic Chippery – 5 Majoribanks Street

Thorndon Chippery – 10 Murphy Street

The Mt Vic Chippery

Mt Vic ChipperyFinally.

An evening without a 60 minute wait (25 tonight and I think that was between waves if the number of people jammed into the Chippery when we went back to collect was anything to go by; since it had seemed rude not to pop across to the Black Sparrow for an ale while waiting).

The fish was fresh and tasty (although not sure I’d go the herb crumb with parmesan coating again, which turned out to be mostly herbs stuck to the fish with melted parmesan and nary a crumb in sight), the presentation suitably classy (individual branded boxes) and the hand cut agria fries outstanding (large, fleshy, crispy exterior, soft interior, and the small portion so large I shared with new friends also enjoing the evening sun down at the waterfront).

Mt Vic Chippery agria

So although not the usual fish’n’chip cheap, I was very happy to pay for a high quality and highly satisfying treat.  And I liked that my groper was line caught.

Its quite a fun process to (1) select your fish, (2) select your fish’s coat, (3) select the accompanying fries, and (4) select any sauce.  There’s at least half a dozen selections under each of those categories, as well as many other additional offerings (burgers, fish bites, etc).

Yep, I think they just might take the title for best fish’n’chips in the city.

Mt Vic Chippery box5 Majoribanks Street, Mt Victoria.



Gipsy Kitchen, Strathmore

UPDATE: Also doing Friday evening tapas which are well regarded.

It’s a while since I’ve been to the Gipsy Kitchen, and a recent visit reminded me of why I should come by every time I drive out out of the garage (it’s okay, I drive infrequently so won’t become a Gipsy Kitchen stalker!).

Gypsy Kitchen scone

We’d been eating our way around the various suburban delis, so the visit coincided with afternoon tea/pre-movie snack time.

Being a sweet-toothed girl I immediately homed in on the rhubarb and caramel scone (really, really good) while my savoury-toothed friend (I just got visions of a sabre-toothed tiger writing that, obviously more sleep required!) homed in on the beef and blue cheese pie (also so good that the resolve to eat only half disappeared in a puff of smoke…).

Both were oven warmed so not microwave-soggy. Yay!

The scone was a pleasing mix of crisp and tenderness, and the pastry on the pie was rich, buttery and crisp, with deep pleasing flavours through the filling.

There were many other appealing deli foods (stuffed capsicums, tortilla wraps…), and the usual range of pastas, sauces and condiments on the shelves.

Gypsy Kitchen pie

The fridge had an interesting selection of juices, drinks and take-home meals, and the counter-top baking was very appealing also.

And most impressively, we received good honest advice about the keeping span of deli items (despite meaning they couldn’t sell me anything further on that day and I might or might not be able to come back in the next couple of days).

Thats food integrity right there.

Despite saying always open on their facebook page, I suspect the Gipsy Kitchen really mean they’re open 7 days during usual daytime hours.

I didn’t have coffee on this occasion, but my friend’s long black had good crema and a pleasant aroma, and other reviews comment likewise.

4 Glamis Avenue, Strathmore.

Gypsy Kitchen

Zany Zeus Shop, Moera

How delightful.  A Zany Zeus shop full of delicious haloumi’s, feta’s, yoghurt’s and a whole raft of new and interesting offerings.

Michael Mastis has opened a dedicated shop at Moera (Eastern Petone) where you can sample, learn, eat, drink and take home as much as you can carry.

Of interest to me were the smoked brinza (denser feta-style), smoked yoghurt (came home with me for dipping with vege sticks or crackers), and paneer (also came home with me for a saag paneer session soon).

As well as the cabinets of delicious cheeses and yoghurts, was a cabinet of sweet mediterranean temptations (and yes some of those made their way home with me too!).

Almond shortbread, baklava, turkish delight stuffed pasties, almond nut twists… Mmmmmmm.

Also to tempt the sweeter toothed among us are a range of Zany Zeus gelatos made on site. Included in today’s offerings – peanut butter and jelly, zany zeus greek yoghurt and lemon curd, monkey poo (never quite got to the bottom of what that one was!), and the option to create your own ‘mix and match’ ice cream sundae. What a great idea.

The staff are very happy to share knowledge and offer tastings, and you can the gelato production through the glass right there at the rear of the shop.

Although I love gelato, it was a cold wintery morning and I couldn’t quite bring myself to sample right then.  But I did take home an interesting (and delicious) date, orange and cream cheese scone, and will definitely be back of a warmer afternoon sometime soon to delve into those gelatos….  10am-5pm Wednesday to Sunday.

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