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 “Charley Noble”

#wellyonaplate best of the rest 2016

A few others that stood out in addition to the ones I published last week.

Being places you shouldn’t forget for general food and drink experiences:

  • Apache – all of their food is fresh, light and flavourful (this their Bang to Death chicken burger with kumara bim bim)

Apache bang bang cix2

  • Bangalore Polo Club – always a great place for a drink with dramatic decor and peanut floor polishing (this their Churchill Toast cocktail – very good flavours, and visually appealing)

Bangalore Churchills Toast

  • Capitol – again always fresh, tasty and often with a wee twist, especially brunches (this their Cavolo nero and ricotta ravioli with burnt butter and sage – best crispy sage I think I’ve ever had)

Capitol ravioli

  • Charley Noble – even if a bit noisy at times for dining, their bar is a delicious stop with excellent service (this their mocktail with ginger and vinegar – surprisingly very moorish. Vinegar just might be an ingredient we see more of)

CN mocktail.jpg

  • Portlander – don’t be fooled by the steak theme, the small plates and desserts out of kitchen are often very memorable (this their ox cheek donut with beetroot and jerk salsa, and their chilli basil panacotta with tomato vanilla syrup)

Portlander ox cheek donut

Portlander basil chili panacotta.jpg


  • Sterling – new kid on the Terrace from the Egmont Street Eatery folks, with the same high standards and a wood-fired oven (excellent pork belly, and wood-fired roast pear tart with coconut sorbet)

Sterling wood roast pear coconut

  • 1815 at Wellesley – sometimes sliding under the radar, but turning out interesting fare (this the crispy pig ears with mushrooms three ways)

Wellesley cripsy pigs ears.jpg

As I’ve said before, we’re pretty darned lucky in Wellington with the quality and profusion of eating and drinking opportunities.

Thanks Welly on a Plate for bringing more of them to the fore.


Burger Welly 2015 cook-off

Burger Welly logoI’m not sure I’d previously noticed a final cook-off to determine the Burger Welly winners each year after the public eating and voting is done. Apparently over 9,000 WOAP eaters voted this year, which gave the top 5 for each of the best burger and best burger/beer match competitions (the beer match using any of co-founder Garage Project’s beers, with some brewed just for the competition).

I was invited along to Le Cordon Bleu last night to see the cook-off in action, with the three judges being Chef Francis Motta of LCB, Davey McDonald from Ortega Fish Shack (on behalf of Garage Project) and Tara Nyström (who won the public competition to be the third judge).

Burger Welly judgingThe most important thing (other than who won) is that the finalists are all encouraged to continue producing their burgers for the next couple of weeks if possible, so keep an eye on all of the below venues for more opportunities.

The winners for 2015 were:

  • The Laundry for the matching competition with their Smoke Jerk Chicken Burger and Red Zeppelin beer (pink lemonade and red pilsner influences). The judges said both were excellent on their own, but enhanced each other together.
  • Egmont Street Eatery for the burger alone with their Cheese, Beets and Meat. The judges said they liked that it was a traditional burger, but done with a Kiwi smoky twist.

In no particular order, the finalists were….

Arborist Rooftop Bar and Eatery with their Ba Ba Baaa Ba Ba Bar Lamb burger. They started from the Garagista big hoppy beer and chose big meaty flavours to go with it, including pickled cucumber to cut through some of the richness. And those parmesan fries were damned fine.

BW Arborist

Charley Noble (last year’s champion burger) with their Ebisu fish burger. This one was about showcasing Japanese flavours alongside the smoky fish, inside a squid ink bun.

BW Charley Noble

Egmont Street Eatery with their Cheese, Beets and Meat beef burger. They’ve house blended three cheeses, smoked their own beetroot relish and pickled their own onions.


Grill Meats Beer with their Chook N Swine, Fire N Spice chicken and bacon burger with chilli fries. The secret ingredient being Mamia’s hot Ethiopian relish from a local Kilbirnie lass. Matched with GP’s White Mischief salted white peach soured beer (I can vouch for the beer, delicious – any leftover stock may be available at the brewery shop).


The Laundry with their Smoke Jerk Chicken burger and Red Zeppelin beer. Layered chicken fillets and smoked chicken remoulade with crunchy slaw out of a caravan kitchen. I believe there’s a little tamarillo flavour lurking around in there too.

BW Laundry

Five Boroughs’ Some Sort of (venison) Burger. The name inspired by a review in the past where one friend talked about how much her friend had liked ‘some sort of burger’ at 5B. Includes foraged wild blackberries against wild venison with truffled cheese and again, squid ink buns.

BW 5 Boroughs

Cafe Medici’s (last year’s burger beer match winner) Smokey and the Lambit burger. Using all local Wairarapa ingredients including pinot jelly and Claireville Bakery buns, the lamb burger was paired with crisp polenta fries which looked pretty darned fine.

BW Medici

Ti Kouka’s Apocalypse Now Longbush pork burger. Again big flavours designed to complement GP’s Death from Above beer, including ginger ale bacon, a dab of bbq bourbon glaze, Asian lime and coriander, Japanese chilli oil, pickles and a side of crackling.


A Noble addition

NOTE: Charley Noble now have a full separate gluten-free menu, just ask for it when dining.

So the new Whitehouse venture in town is launched – Charley Noble.

And a great addition to this corporate/Queens Wharf end of town it is.

Charley Noble menuA bar and restaurant focused around wood fired cooking (wood fired rotisserie 1/2 chicken, fire grilled vegetables, wood fired lamb shoulder anyone?) and fresh seafood (esp if you’re an oyster lover), delivering a quality experience at comparable prices to many other places around, and with a vibe a little like a cross between Matterhorn and Pravda to me.

Although they market CN as more ‘accessible’ it still retains that finer edge in quality and presentation (like the ice creams inspired by apple pie, with each presented on a bed of green apple, or crunchy crumble or fat golden raisins as relevant to the flavour – and so pretty!). All the dishes we tried were all very flavourful and well put together.

I particularly liked:

  • The cocktails being split into themed sections (woody and spicy, floral and fruity)
  • The delivery of cocktails in crystal glasses
  • Wine in half glasses and half bottles, and listed in the menu from dry to sweet in each category
  • Charley Noble pigtail saladChunks of venison in the arancini, not just flavours
  • The Charley Noble story on the front of the menu including an entertaining piece about ‘shooting charley noble’ (you’ll have to go yourself, I couldn’t possibly spoil that tale)
  • The rustic decor
  • A really interesting pigtail salad with fantastic texture, colour and taste (yep that’s it there)
  • Baskets of fruits and veggies hanging on the walls
  • The hams hanging by the kitchen
  • The ice cream dessert
  • Excellent staff and service

I was a bit bemused by:

  • No salt and pepper on the tables and none offered (not that I use either, but interesting that there appears to be a clear decision to stand by their flavourings as delivered).
  • The toilets being a bit of a hike down the corridor and around the corner from the restaurant (and potentially hard to keep up to the standard of the restaurant).
  • Having to chase my Israeli couscous (beneath that delish wood fired lamb shoulder) around a pudding bowl with a fork and knife, harder to scoop up than you’d imagine!

Charley Noble icrecreamsYou could easily come here just for a drink and nibble, small plates or full on dinner.

They are currently doing Monday to Saturday 11am til late, and plan to open for breakfast from 9am in the not too far off future.

Definitely worth a visit (or two).


Ground Floor, Huddart Parker Building, the corner of Customhouse Quay and Post Office Square (directly opposite The City and Sea Museum at Queens Wharf).


Charley Noble door












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