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 “CGR Merchant”

#wellyonaplate 2016 first stand-outs

Ten days in.

Best burgers:

  • Egmont Street Eatery’s Sichuan two-tooth – an excellent mix of flavours and textures, very appealing visually, and interesting crispy tentacle side.

ESE two tooth sichuan

  • Artisan’s Longbush ‘spam’ burger- delicious house spam, tender marshmallowy crumbed brain, and superb house apple and pineapple salsa. Excellent fries too, although we didn’t detect any of the advertised chilli butter on them.

Artisan longbush spam brains2

  • Louis Sergeant’s Le Canard du Roy – rich confit duck and crispy greens in the perfect brioche bun (many of the brioche buns are falling between a smidge and a lot short in my view this year) and superb duck fat fries.

LS Le Canard Du Roy

Best DINE dishes:

  • Larder’s Elk with celeriac, smoked onion puree and greens – tender, lovely textures and colours, executed exceptionally well.

Larder elk

  • Glasshouse’s Pork shoulder apple crumble with custard and blue cheese gelato – the best element of surprise to date (mains looking like desserts and vice versa), with excellent flavours and textures. Followed by the equally good peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Glasshouse pork custard

  • Egmont Street’s Sunset blue, baked feijoa and house gingerbread – simple but very effective flavours and textures.

ESE gingerbread blue baked feijoa

  • Gelissimo’s Five flavours of fun – the roast chicken dinner flight tasted just like roast chicken, carrots, peas, beetroot (unforuntately!) and hokey dessert. Watch out for a new nut flight this week.

Gelis roast dinner

Best cocktails:

  • St John’s Elitist martini v2 – superb champagne popsicle, lovely flavours in the drink, and a bit of theatre.

St Johns Elitist Martini4

  • CGR’s BGR – a clever take on the burger and beer competition. A warming mulled beer with a delicious head (can I say that in public?), and a sweet side elevated to outstanding by the addition of mature Moore Wilson Linkwater cheddar.


  • Burger Liquor’s Smooth sailer – a classy soda with excellent Zany Zeus cream and baby ice cream sammie.

Burger Liquor smooth sailor

And the header pic – one of The Library’s sweet slider surprises. Also definitely worth a visit.

Bring on the next seven days!

C G R Merchant and Co

UPDATE: The food is now more toasties, cheese boards, ice cream sandwiches and salted caramel chocolate cookies. Great infused gins and rums, and always interesting creative cocktails.

The replacement Hooch.  Now C G R (Coffee, Gin, Rum) Merchant and Co upstairs on Courtenay.

CGR Merchant hours

As you can imagine, coffee, gin and rum are the focus of this bar, with the cocktail list divided into gin and rum creations of the week (although they offer to turn their hand to any other kind of cocktail if those aren’t to your liking).

I had a gin fixer (spirits, no mixers) and he had a rum fizz (spirits with mixers).  Mine was a lovely orangey number (strong but pleasant sipping) and his had a vanilla tone with milder taste (and probably all the more dangerous for that!).

They infuse all their own gin and rum syrups, so there’s an interesting array of jars and ingredients apothecary-style behind the bar.

I won’t repeat what was said in the Word on the Street article, but thinking about the Rum Diaries isn’t too far wrong.  I definitely went away thinking English, Indian and colonists.

CGR bar

The coffees include a Vietnamese egg coffee (apparently rum, coffee and condensed milk), something I shall definitely try next time, and a variety of Kenyan, Ethopian and Nicaraguan cold coffee infusions.  I note they open 10am to midnight weekdays (from 5pm Saturdays), so you can get your weekday coffee fix should one of these brews become a must-have in your world.  Might be interesting to pop in during the daytime to see how much following they’ve actually got.

CGR decor

I also noticed from their facebook page that they have Gipsy Kitchen deli fare.  Delishimo!  (Especially the rhubarb and caramel scones if you can ever get your mitts on one of those).

The evening we were there we partook of their goat cheese, honey and pear brushetta (nicely done), and noted a pea puree and ricotta brushetta, aged cheddar / pickle or beef / aged cheddar grilled sammies, and house baked beans (an intriguing bar offering), so the food aspect is suitably covered.

The only criticism I had on our visit (6pmish on a weekday evening) was the music being too loud for conversing.  As always with new places, I’ll see how a second or third visit goes down.

But so far, this really looks like another interesting gem tucked away in Welly.

46 Courtenay Place.

Post Navigation