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 tag “cabinet food”

Felix Cafe

For a central cafe with character, a warm humming atmosphere, and a bit of sun peaking in, its hard to go past Felix on the corner of Cuba and Wakefield.

Having been more impressed with the snacks and coffee at Felix in recent times,
I decided on a lunch expedition to see if the meals also stood up to the improved standard. And indeed mine did.

I was able to sit at the large bench with the sun on my back and enjoy a peaceful read of this week’s Capital Times (peaceful an ironic word, I know, in the middle of a humming cafe, but when no-one needs something from you, that equates to peaceful in my world) while waiting for the food (which was prompt).

The menu had quite a range of options, including the fairly substantial (eg. open spicy premium lamb burger on focaccia with salad and Felix-made hummus with fries, hot smoked salmon with potato cakes, moroccan-spiced grilled steak or chicken strips with salad and haloumi), and a number of blackboard specials. Combined with the cabinet offerings, there’s definitely no shortage of choice here.

I chose the pulled pork slider of slow braised pork in apple and BBQ spices, served in a warmed roll with fries and salad (I jettisoned the fries at order time if you’re wondering where they’re hiding in the picture…).

And indeed the pork was tender and flavourful with hints of apple showing through, in a delightfully warm and soft bun (turkish I think).  Finger licking good (truly, I did!). The salad was also above the norm, with roasted tomatoes carrying a tangy edge, delicate strips of courgette contrasted by chunky beetroot and crunchy peppers against the lettuce backdrop.  Nicely done.

There was a constant flow of customers, both those dining in and those calling by for takeaway food or coffee (Friday lunchtime), and despite some peaks in demand,

the staff continued to smile and be pleasant to all, and remember the small touches like delivering water.

The coffee here is Flight, the decor is funky, the menu is more interesting than average, there’s a good magazine rack, and an outside dining area for brave souls.  Pretty much everything covered.

Next time I’m coming for brunch and sampling the sauteed spinach and mushrooms on pumpkin bread. Mmmmm……


Clarks Cafe @ The Library

For book lovers, Clarks Cafe at The Wellington Central Library is hard to beat for cake, coffee and a read.

I particularly enjoy early on a Saturday morning before they get too busy, with what must surely be one the best scones in the city still warm from the oven.


Clarks scone

Date, apple and buttermilk, with a crunchy coating of sugar on top.  Soft and sweet inside, crispy contrast outside.  Yuuuuuuum (for us carbophiles anyway!).

There are plenty of copies of the day’s newspaper around, and lots of tables or benches overlooking the books to choose from. Including a children’s area with appropriate play things.

The cabinet holds a wide range of usual daytime fare, the coffee is Peoples, and its a handy central place for a meeting.

You do have to wait around for your coffee at the counter (a la Starbucks), so this is not the place if you’re wanting full service.  But for a casual stop during the day, or that meeting in a relaxed atmosphere, you can’t go wrong really.

7 days a week.



Karaka Cafe at the Wharewaka

More friends coming through town and another brunch to be had.  What hardship!

Given their intention to park around the waterfront, Karaka cafe in the Wharewaka sprung to mind as a new place close by for them to try.  Although not outdoor weather particularly, the cafe feels welcoming (probably due to the lively colours and plants) and still provided pleasant water and city views.

A range of brunches were opted for including muesli with yoghurt and banana, avocado and tomato on grainy toast, eggs on toast, toast with peanut butter, and french toast with bacon, banana and butterscotch.  Other than the grainy toast selection, the toast provided was toasted traditional rewana bread.  Rewana bread using a potato started instead of the usual yeast starter.  Commented on as different and tasty.

One of the unique factors of this cafe is the use of maori titles and descriptions and inclusion of traditional foods or ingredients (rewana bread, horopito, hangi mash, etc).  A simple way for visitors to get an introduction to this part of NZ’s culture.

The coffee served was Mojo’s and met with everyone’s approval (twice I’ve been surprised by the coffee exceeding expectation here now, huh), and the pick of the breakfasts in my (humble!) opinion is the french toast (no carbohydrate bias here at all your honour…).  All those soft caramelly textures and tastes, with the contrast of bacon.  Mmmmmmm.

They also offer a good selection of counter foods, platters and wine (imagining a nice sunny afternoon), and have a range of beers including some from our local brewers.

The service again was slow and had to be chased along once or twice, so still not right in that regard, but otherwise very pleasant, something different, and I’m going back for dinner sometime soon to check that out too.


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