foodiegemsofwellie

For worthy eating and drinking experiences around Wellington, NZ (and the greater region) – you can also catch Heather over at KNOW Wellington's Word on the Street Blog or hosting Zest Food Tours around the city…

Archive for the tag “craft beer”

Counter Culture & Photonflux

There are a couple of groovy new eateries in Upper Victoria to go with the street widening and apartment building going on up there.

Counter Cult battleship

The first is a board game cafe, Counter Culture, with over 300 games available, and tasty food to boot. In the former Crafters premises, you will find many nooks and crannies to wile away as much time as you like playing old favourites or learning new games.

The second is a Sci Fi cafe, Photonflux, with memorabilia for Africa (if you’ll pardon the pun!), and tasty ‘fluxbun’ sandwiches the feature of the menu currently (South African fried dough filled with interesting ingredients – surprisingly, not unhealthy feeling at all!).

Both are definitely worth a visit, with Counter Culture also taking part in Wellington on a Plate.

Further details on both here.

Photon art

 

Advertisements

Husk on Ghuznee

Apologies for the hiatus folks, a family death, a property settlement and xmas interrupted the eating and drinking with gay abandon for a few weeks. But back in business now.

Husk Bar and Eatery has opened on Ghuznee Street opposite Glover Park, down a hallway marked by a barrel on the street.

This is the brainchild of the Choice Bros craft beer brewers (who do some interesting concoctions – including a bull semen beer for the Greenman pub a year or two ago!), and the Karamu Coffee folks. To bring you a micro-brewery (some parts yet to arrive and craft brewing to get under way soon after that), a coffee roastery (Karamu is currently in an industrial part of Seatoun), and quality eats (they’ve pinched two chefs with significant Wellington experience at places like Shed 5, Pravda, Shepherd and Ancestral).

The long-term vision is to have all their own beers on tap, both the coffee and beer matching the food, and some interesting amalgamations like barrel aged coffee. Ambitious.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So the venture has just begun, and will develop more over the next three months. But my first visit today left me pretty impressed with the effort that’s gone into it so far. From the main decor down to the cutlery containers on the tables, the quality of the food, and the service.

We sampled the Choice Bros ‘Strung out on Lasers’ raspberry and lime sour (a little sweet and sour and quite quaffable), the coffee (well-made with subtle flavours), and the Bach Brewing ‘Duskrider’ Red IPA (reasonably hoppy). I particularly liked that one could get a 150ml tasting size ($4-$5), and try several if so inclined, and that the whole venue is smoke-free.

And although it was 1pm, the breakfast menu was still offered as well as the lunch, so I enjoyed the fried Jamaican Ginger cake with vanilla mascarpone and poached rhubarb, and the chip fiend enjoyed the house crumpets with bourbon butter and Husk preserves.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You’ll see above that the presentation was very good, and the flavours and textures were well balanced and done with a light hand (no drowning of anything here). They also bake in-house, so easy to pop by for a coffee and scone.

Definitely a place to watch with interest.

7am to late, 7 days.

62 Ghuznee Street

 

 

 

 

 

The Garage Project Taproom

Just when we thought the Garage Project had it all covered, they’ve added a Taproom in Aro Valley. Small, cute, and quintessentially Aro, it’s definitely worth a visit.

The staff are very helpful and happy to talk you through all the different tipples (all GP of course), and even gave me a demo of how their new cask pull pourer works (check out the sprinkler head action below). It didn’t hurt that the sample I then had to drink was one of my favourites – a milk cereal stout made with cornflakes and additional milk proteins for that creamy finish.

The beers on tap are all helpfully displayed on the wall in sample bulbs so you can see what your tipple will look like, and the cans are displayed with their grains or hops above.

I tried a few, and being a warm sunny afternoon settled on the Bossa Nova five-fruits tropical brew, lightly fermented (so it must be a health food right?). The strongest fruit note to me was passionfruit, and it was easy drinking – a good session beer, if I could ever manage more than one!

Some of the more unusual beers currently are the Wiggly Stick (a trial of unique Australian hops), and the Cabbages and Kings oyster stout (120 oysters in each brew, with an oyster in the glass if you fancy), alongside favourites like Cherry Bomb, Angry Peaches, Aro Noir and Nerissimo.

The food is by Ti Kouka and the Leeds Street Bakery and the meats are from Ontrays at Petone, so all quality products.

We indulged in the Aro Noir braised beef brisket with BBQ sauce, smoked cheddar and pickled cabbage (tender and delicious in crispy bread wedges), while eyeing up the turducken with bacon and swiss cheese for next time.

The smoked potato chips weren’t available this time (something about the cooking process not meeting their standards just at the minute) so we indulged in the two cold cuts platter which included lamb prosciutto (unusual), chicken liver pate topped with Death From Above sweet jelly (moorish), and the Chicharron pork scratchings with bacon salt (yep both porky and bacony).

Hard not to enjoy a Sunday afternoon outing here.

Tuesday to Sunday (3pm weekdays, noon weekends) to 10pm.

91 Aro Street.

Taproom try some new

 

 

 

 

Goldings craft beer

Goldings is everything reported previously by Word on the Street.

The full name Goldings Free Dive is because they’re not affiliated to anyone in terms of product, and immediately put me in mind of New York and the local ‘dive’ bars over there my friend so loves.

Goldings decor

Hidden away down Leeds Street (between Dixon and Ghuznee through the Hannahs Apartment complex), Goldings is another successful launch into the Wellington craft beer scene.

There are lots of quirky decorations to keep one amused while watching the names being updated on the beer board as the taps change over (rubber duckies, coloured buckets for lights, an old cellphone taped up the wall by an exit sign…..), food is by Pizza Pomodoro (how can you go wrong with that?),and the service friendly and welcoming.

Goldings pizza

A variety of beers and wines were imbibed over a very pleasant catchup with both old and new friends. The Tuatara beers were probably reasonably well known, but the Liberty Citra was something different and interesting (considered a bit fruity for one bloke in the group, who shall remain nameless but has been seen in possession of a girly-looking cocktail a time or two in the past…), and we didn’t quite get to the Liberty Sauvignon Bomb.  Maybe next time.

Go check it out.

14 Leeds Street, Wellington

Rogue and Vagabond, more craft beer…

The bar on Garrett Street alongside Glover park (between Garrett and Ghuznee) has morphed again into the craft beer bar Rogue and Vagabond.

Rogue Vagabond decor

There’s a distinct rock’n’roll theme in the music, dress of the staff, and tap beer handles (records) here now. Along with some interesting art and a good selection of craft beers, both on tap and bottled.

All of which goes down quite nicely of an evening with the doors opened out to the park and a thin crust pizza on the way (pizza or toasties) to accompany a delicious beer (yay, they have real oatmeal stout!).

Rogue and Vagabond have live local music weekend evenings, and the most interestingly decorated toilet doors I’ve seen in a good long while (points if you can find the toilet entryway from the bar).

Rogue Vagabond pizza

The pizzas are interestingly named ‘Never mind the bollocks’, ‘A message to you Rudi’, etc, and good value at $15 – $20ish.

A really pleasant place to hang out and try another liquid creation from those who have the time and talent to create for the rest of us.

18 Garrett Street

Rogue Vagabond bar

 

Black Dog Brew Bar on Blair

For a new beer experience, stop by the (relatively) new Black Dog Brew bar on Blair Street.

Blackdog own beer

Lots of wooden cratery, big shiny brew tanks and a range of beers on tap and by the bottle (Black Dog and other).

There’s also a very definite flagon and take-home aspect to this brew bar too (introducing the growler filling station!), in case you haven’t got time to stop for a slurp on site.

We chose a leaner, a Pitch Black stout (Invercargill brewery) and a Clifford NZ draught for sampling.  The stout was light and flavourful, but a little exuberant (the first bottle probably still fizzing all over the bar), and the draught was considered perfectly tasty, and not over-hopped.

Blackdog wall

A snack menu of nuts, olives, breads and spreads, pate, toasted sandwiches, ploughmans platter, etc is on offer to accompany your imbibing, and we observed rather delicious looking flight tastings going on too.

The boys behind the bar were enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and welcoming without hard-sell.

Although owned by DB, the Black Dog Brew bar has a very definite character all its own.

Open from approximately 2pm most days, and not hard to find (in the former Temperance building).

See you there!

19 Blair Street

Bebemos South American

On an unexpectedly free evening, we decided to tootle along to Bebemos at Newtown.

BebemosI had heard of this new South American Bar in connection with Little Beer Quarter (an owner in common I believe), and a bit of googling suggested an interesting range of craft beers, a few Argentinian wines, and a mix of South American foods (primarily Brazilian).

He had a couple of different tap craft beers, and I chose the one apple and elderflower cider they turned out not to have currently, so reverted to a simple ginger beer (having had a three-course wine matched lunch earlier in the day already!).

The tapas to share as a starter turned out to be more generous than expected (and tasty), so we were clearly not going to make it all the way through the menu this time (doh – the dulce de leche ice cream sundae will have to await another occasion).

The tapas shared were pao de queijo Bebemos tapas(baked Brazilian cheese puffs served with acai relish) and crispy Brazilian rice bolinhos with parmesan & chili mayo.

To follow was the Gaucho burger (beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato and chimichurri) served with rosemary and garlic fries for him, and steak and cheese empanadas for her.

I particularly liked that the empanadas were hand made and irregular, with a delicious pastry both firm and melt-in-the-mouth tender (not chewy). Nice.

Bebemos wallThe decor is welcoming, with both indoor and courtyard dining.  Staff were friendly and welcoming, although there was a tiny feel of still being new and not having hit a rhythm yet.

I will definitely pop into Bebemos for a beer and tapa again if in the neighbourhood.

Corner of Riddiford and Hall Streets, Newtown (at the first intersection just past the public hospital).

Hashigo Zake, pie and a pint…

As you do when catching up with friends, an excursion to the downstairs delights of Hashigo Zake on lower Taranaki Street was in order.  A well established Wellington institution for those serious about (originally) whiskey and sake, and (over time) craft beers.

Hashigo Zake sign

The beer menu is extensive and took a good 15 minutes to browse through before deciding, with interesting artistic cards throughout the menu folder (check out the list here on their website).

I ended up choosing a Rogue chocolate stout (nearly the Rogue double chocolate stout, but that was even bigger with even greater alcohol content and I couldn’t see me getting home in a sensible condition on that one!), which poured with a thick creamy head as promised, and went rather well with the gyoza pork dumplings to start and Moroccan veggie pie to follow.  And came with its own branded glass. Very piratey and funky.

Their pies are seriously good, light of crust, deep of  delicious fillings (boston pork, beef rendang, rustic salmon, pork and chorizo, vege chilli or Moroccan veggie), and worth a revisit for them alone.

Hashigo Zake pie

Of course the company is important, and a fine time was had by all without the late night lag the next day.

Highly recommended (although be early to get a space or be prepared to loiter around at leaners until a space becomes available).

Open 7 days from noon.

25 Taranaki Street

Hashigo Zake map

 

 

Thorndon toddle (and toddy)

After not wandering around Thorndon for a while, two opportunities abounded over a couple of days.

Firstly, brunch at Leafee on Sunday on the recommendation of (and with) a friend.  Delicious!

Cinnamon pancakes with raspberries, pistachios, vanilla mascarpone, banana and maple syrup.  Mmmm.

The mushrooms and feta on grainy toast looked pretty damn fine as well.

Leafee is run by Japanese folks who convert fully to Japanese fare at night. They are very friendly and welcoming, and I’m told the evening experience is pretty good too, so will be back.  I’d suggest booking for the evening given Leafee is in a small villa, and note that you order at the counter during the day (so don’t sit there waiting!). 320 Tinakori Road.

The mid-week evening graze and tipple happened at the Sprig and Fern at 342 Tinakori Road (courtesy of traffic snarl around The Terrace).

Originating out of the Nelson Sprig and Fern, this craft beer bar is also in an old Thorndon villa and looked to be a popular spot for the locals.

The food is house platters and sandwiches or Siggy’s pies, both of which accompany beers nicely.

The decor is cosy, there’s an outside garden bar for the hardy (10C at the time), the staff are friendly, and there’s a 9 square word jumble on the wall for those attempting to ward off alzheimers (and for those with vision problems the letters are O, M, I, A, A, T, X, C, I). Please submit all guesses via the comments!

There’s a small upstairs room with tables, but its a bit austere and quiet up there, so wasn’t as appealing as the downstairs.

All in all very pleasant, and will call by again when in the area needing a beer.

 

 

 

 

 

The Hop Garden, Pirie Street

I consider the The Hop Garden to be one of our city’s gems.  They did a fab WOAP burger, I’ve taken dinner club there, and they really are just very good at what they do.

If you haven’t been there, you should go.  Soon.  Any time.  Brunch or lunch (Thursday to Sunday), afternoons or evenings (Tuesday to Sunday).

The food is very good, whether sharing plates or meals (and interesting), and the range of craft beers must surely please anyone from a learner to a connoisseur, with a good range of wines and other tipples for the non-beerers. And now the funky Six Barrell Sodas too.

And they didn’t disappoint this time either.  A late afternoon weekend visit hit the spot perfectly.  The ‘pork three ways’ burger of the day with a pint of Garage Project Hapi Days for him, and the rosemary and thyme potato skins with a Lighthouse stout for her (having had a lovely three course Logan Brown lunch earlier in the day to complement!).

13 Pirie Street, Mt Victoria

 

 

 

 

 

Post Navigation