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 “lunch”

Comes and Goes

If you haven’t come and gone to Comes and Goes at Petone, you definitely should (Comes and Goes was named in the hope people would come and go all day long – and they certainly seem to be!).

Comes Goes decor

Comes and Goes is another in the stable of light, clean and predominantly plant-based eating (there are some meats, and copious use of eggs, but with a Korean background, Chef/Owner Sean has leaned the plant way, not the BBQ way).

And such an interesting selection of dishes (a multi-purpose daytime menu), that I’m going to bullet some below rather than describe them, as I simply won’t do them justice:

  • Rosewater yoghurt panna cotta, honey glazed muesli, berry compote, fruits, honey crumble, chocolate soil, freeze dried raspberries
  • Bibimbap mixed grains, puffed quinoa, mushroom, bean sprout, carrot, pickled daikon, seaweed salt, 63degC cooked egg, gochujang chilli paste, with minced beef or tofu.
  • Al’s sesame seed Ugly Bagel with mashed avocado, ricotta, dried tomato, 63degC cooked egg, fennel seeds, lime zest and paprika oil (pictured below)
  • Soba the Japanese noodle salad of daikon, carrot, bean sprout, red cabbage, spring onion, coriander, pickled ginger, sesame seeds, lemon wedge, with free range chicken or tofu (pictured below)
  • Cassoulet the French baked beans with duck fat, white beans, bacon, carrot, onion, mixed herbs, rosemary, 63degC cooked egg, and served with sourdough or gluten-free bread
  • The nest of pumpkin seed crumbed soft boiled eggs atop a filo pastry nest, feta and mesclun salad, and topped with beetroot ketchup (this was the dish I really, really wanted, but alas they’d served the last one just before I ordered – I did see it go past though, spectacular!).

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The dishes we had were beautifully presented, well balanced in flavour and texture, and I just wanted to stay all day and eat my way through the menu. It was that good.

I quite liked the under-stated decor, and an open kitchen you could see via a giant hole in the wall, but which kept some kitchen secrets and clutter to themselves.

They have a cabinet of cakes and slices available if you fancy afters, and I noticed a steady stream of locals coming and going (ha!) for coffee, so assume it’s good.

Be warned though – you can’t book and will likely have to put your name down then go for a wander up the street, there’s that many people coming and going (double ha!).

Comes Goes kitchen

Tuesday to Sunday, daytimes.

259 Jackson Street, Petone.

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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Prefab, Jessie Street

Prefab is the latest venture of Jeff Kennedy and Bridget Dunn (ex Cafe L’Affare), and at its heart aims to provide a place for ‘community’ both in location and attitude.

Prefab room

As previously reported in the local media, there are few other well-experienced Wellington hospo people along on this venture – Rob Wilkinson (formerly Capitol), Jonathan England (formerly Two Rooms, Miramar) and various former L’Affare staff.

Prefab has a long open counter/kitchen, with coffee roasting at one side of the cafe (under the Acme brand) and a bakery at the other side (where you can buy your daily bread – check out the snake and heart breads below!).

Prefab breads

The feel of the cafe is a little school cafeteria, with a mix of individual and sharing tables, all supporting the ‘community’ feel.  Being a busy time (1pm), and a singleton, I was placed at the bar, which proved a good spot to watch all the industry going on.

The food is all menu/wait-served, and ranges from traditional breakfast (muesli and yoghurt) to the slightly different (Berlin brekkie of fresh bread, cheese, tomato, meats, jam and egg), and progresses through the day with a number of sandwich (hot and cold) options, and a range of salads and more substantial meals.

Prefab easter bun

On my quick stop today I only had room for a small sampling, so I enjoyed a house-made Easter bun (light, spicy and nicely glazed) with preserved orange marmalade (very well balanced and not the usual bitterness marmalades tend to have), and eyed up all the other menu items to consider on return.

I noticed my neighbour’s tomato and avocado on toast was just that – rustic and generous.

There’s a strong focus on fresh and simple here, and nothing is above $20.

So I shall definitely be back for a fuller experience to see if these initial positive impressions continue.  And I will have a coffee to see how the new roast is developing.

Prefab avocado tomato

The only slight criticism today was waiting a fair time seated at the bar before anyone came to take an order or bring water.  And then I was checked by three.  It was 1pm lunchtime with a fairly packed house (they do hold a lot of people), so I won’t hold that against them for now.

14 Jessie Street, WellingtonPrefab map

 

 

Olive Cafe and Restaurant, Cuba Street

NOTE: Olive are expanding their vegetarian and vegan dishes. And their food and service has improved markedly since below (ownership re-organisation).

After a failure to launch fully on a sunny Sunday ride (sadly an italian breakdown and truck ride home), a wander up Cuba Street for brunch/lunch became the next chosen activity.

Olive has had a change in ownership in recent times with the new management emerging from portions of the original.

With it has come a slight decor revamp of added art, leather dining benches, plants, and courtyard upgrade, making the cafe feel more welcoming and less austere.

I have partaken of both a weekday counter late lunch (slice of pizza) and Sunday menu brunch/lunch in recent times, and whilst pleasant on both occasions, there was nothing distinguishing about either.

The late lunch snack was more peaceful, whilst the Sunday brunch was on a busy WOW weekend, with the cafe running at full tilt.

Although the menu had 4 or 5 pancake options (one of which had my attention), I was informed that all the pancakes were unavailable as they’d all flown out the door. Hmmm.  Hard to whip up another batch of batter?

So the next choice was creamy mushrooms on grainy toast with fresh herbs and lemon sardines with poached eggs on bruschetta. Not a lot of herbs on the mushrooms, but flavourful and not too creamy.

The sardines presentation I thought quite funky, but him indoors thought it a bit cheeky to merely take the lid off a can of cold sardines and plonk them on a plate beside two poached eggs on toast (below).

The coffee was considered okay, but did take some long time to get to us after ordering.

And the service was fairly minimal, having to order at the counter and being given cutlery to take back to the table with us.

So overall pleasant enough, and quite possibly a good spot for a quiet coffee and cake stop of an afternoon, but probably not distinctive enough to be forefront in my mind when considering brunch locations in the Cuba area.

They appear, however, to be working hard to develop their evening dining, and pictures of the newly covered garden courtyard and dinner meals on their facebook page are appealing, so possibly worth a go there one evening to check out progress on that front.

170 Cuba Street

New Funicular cafe

The cafe formerly known as Fresco, upstairs on Lambton Quay on the southern side of Cable Car Lane, is now Funicular cafe (no website yet).

The space has been remodelled and is now sleeker and warmer feeling.  Maybe due to the buttercup coloured benches, myriads of lightbulbs dangling on long red cables, or the counter now being in the middle of the space so its not such a big open barn.  At the southern end of the cafe is a dining space with a large table (and funky mixed colour chairs) for big groups or a semi-private working lunch.

The offerings include both cabinet food and menu options.  There was a good range of muffins and scones freshly cooked including raspberry and white chocolate, pear and espresso, and an interesting-looking savoury muffin.  The cheese scone I had included some greenery (visually appealing), was crisp on the outside, and light and fluffy on the inside. Delightful.

The breakfast menu also included one or two interesting options like savoury french toast with ham and cheese, and bircher muesli with poached fruit and honey yoghurt.  And I think the pancakes with blueberry mascarpone might be tempting me back this Saturday to see how the cooked food stacks up.

The new owner has recently returned from overseas if I remember correctly from a recent brief mention in the Capital Times, and aims to provide a quality cafe experience.  The service was very good (professional and timely), as was the coffee (Supreme) and the trim Chai latte (a limited number of places do them well).

It’s a nice spot to be sitting at the windows overlooking Lambton Quay below. Funicular is definitely worth checking out if you’re in that general area.  Monday to Saturday daytimes, from 7.30 weekdays.

POSTSCRIPT: I had to do it, the pancakes with balsamic blueberries, maple mascarpone and maple syrup.  Very well done, delicious with the balsamic tang, good presentation and again good service….

Gladstone Vineyard, definitely worth the ride…

A weekend with no obligations, no children and no plans.  Yippeeeee!  Ergo opportunities to eat out.  So I will be selective in which ones I blog about to save your eyes from falling out.

Friday night ended up being Zibibbo in Taranaki Street.  I have posted before about their tapas, and still didn’t get to the desserts this time, but suffice it to say they are one of the best for classy food, very good service and a nice ambience.  A wood roasted portobello mushroom herb gnocchi with goat cheese sauce for me, and the special pork belly, blue cheese and mushroom mousse gnocchi for him (Zibibbo is Italian influenced after all!).  The group next to us had the ice cream cone sorbets for dessert and they looked truly impressive.  Zibibbo also do a range of wood fired pizzas in the early $20’s, so it doesn’t have to be an expensive night out there.

Saturday was looking the finest of the weekend, so a ride was required, and a (long-desired) jaunt to the Gladstone Vineyard via Martinborough (for coffee and access to the nice winding Longbush road ensued.

A meandering driveway to a picturesque garden beside the old homestead, with chunky garden tables and brollies, and even a kids play area on sand under the trees (and built from wood not modern glaring brightly painted steel or plastic). Which seemed to do the trick nicely for the kids present.

There was a large family group there for a celebration at one big long italian-lunch style table, so we could only choose a platter for lunch (presumably the kitchen was fully occupied dealing with the big group), which worked just fine.  The choices were a ploughmans platter (very substantial we discovered!), a seafood platter or simpler pate, breads and dips offerings.  The menu is not large and looks like it changes every couple of months, but did include things like courgette, mint and feta fritters, a pork belly salad, and a fish daily choice dish.

All wines on offer were their own (we had a wee sample of Sophie’s Choice, being a barrel fermented sauvignon blanc, yummo), and they are developing the vineyard towards biodynamic principles.  They had about 8 of their wines on offer by the glass – a riesling, sauvignon blanc, vigonier, pinot gris, Sophies choice (named for their golden retriever Sophie), pinot noir, auld alliance red and a dessert wine.  So pretty much a full range.

Again, we didn’t get to desserts, but the descriptions had me deciding to come back during a Wairarapa weekend (also on the planner sometime) for a full tasting session, and dessert and wine some afternoon under the trees.

They open Thursday to Sunday mid morning through to mid-late afternoon, and can be found in the pleasant countryside out behind Carterton.

 

 

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