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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 “Petone”

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.

Italian wine at Petone

Michele Marai started Cangrande Italian Wine importation and distribution around five years ago, and has recently set himself up for retail – both online and a wee flagship store in Petone named Il Doge (pronounced eel doe-jay, in honour of the Duke of Venice).

This has been in response to people continually asking to buy the Italian wines they’ve experienced at restaurants around the city and region.

Il Doge decor 2

The two points of different at Il Doge are the quality of the wines (his father back in Italy samples 300-400 per year and selects the top 40 for further sub-selection – that’s really taking one for the team huh!), and each being displayed with a label of its provenance, tasting profile, and most importantly, what food it goes with.

Turns out food and wine matching is a big deal for Michele (the Italian heritage), with many Italian wines drier and more rustic on their own than our Kiwi palates are used to, but wonderfully rounded with the right food. Aaaaha!

So on Fridays from 5.30 – 7pm Michele opens a wine of the week for sampling with tasty hors d’oeuvres (which I completely forgot to ask the source of, I was so entranced with the whole concept), to demonstrate just that.

We enjoyed the Isonzo del Friuli Northern Italian Chardonnay so much we subsequently took a bottle to dinner with us, and discovered it went well with Vietnamese food.

The biggest seller is the Valpolicella Ripasso from Valrona (the hinterland near Venice that Michele hails from), which ‘speaks to you about village life’ and is a gentler big red for those who aren’t into big reds. I loved Michele’s passion and eloquence when talking about his wines, totally infectious.

I ended up buying a bottle of the Amarone Campagnola (also from Verona), traditionally paired with horse meat (errr venison or rich stew), and with a slightly different production process – grapes dried indoors, macerated and oaked for three years – resulting in a chocolatey, jammy, dark minerally drop. Yet to be enjoyed, but the anticipation is great.

As well as an interesting selection of wines, you’ll find authentic Italian craft beers (the Vienna lager had a caramelly smoothness and was quite the moreish drop), balsamics, spirits and liquers – a bottle of the Amaretto very nearly jumped into my bag as well. Next time.

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So pop along on a Friday evening to taste and learn, grab a bottle for your next BYO dinner (or what the hell, just to enjoy at home!), and watch out for Italian food and wine matching events at a restaurant near you.

281 Jackson Street, Petone

The Seashore Cabaret, Petone

The Maranui folks have done it again. This time in the Rowing Club on the Petone waterfront.

Like Maranui, the downstairs remains the club while the upstairs is now a funky diner. You can feel the Maranui vibe throughout, from the art and signage, to the writing on the stairs, the jazzy ceiling, the menu design and the old collectables (including 4 pinball machines, and a delightful set of scales that start at 12 stone!).

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They also have a coffee roasting section where local roasters Good Fortune Coffee recently became the first roaster in the country to receive a living wage accreditation, and plan to extend the living wage accreditation to all cafe staff over time.

To highlight the amount of coffee sold to support fair wages for the growers, there’s a prominent counter showing the number of cups sold since they opened only a couple of months ago. Look at those those numbers – we clearly love our coffee!

Petone coffee1Petone coffee2

The food is diner and seashore classic, with a little Mexican thrown in. Items such as surf’n’turf, cheeseburger, fish tacos, vegetable quesadilla, a truckers breakfast or dinner, a range of hot dogs and more.

Between four of us enjoyed a hot smoked salmon pide with capers, mascarpone and chives; crunchy fish tacos with slaw and jalapeño sauce; the cheeseburger with handcut fries; the vege quesadilla; key lime pie; and a lazy berry sundae. Everything hit the mark nicely as we’d expect from this team, other than the prosciutto, gorgonzola, caramelised onion and mozzarella pide we’d started with, which was a bit heavy and greasy. All other dishes, however, had a lightness that left one well satisfied but not overloaded.

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Being persons of mature persuasions, the sundae artfully dripping over the side made us think of milkbars and the Fonz, and the use of frozen berries on top was noted as a clever texture and flavour move.

You’ll find separate breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend and kids menus, an interesting range of sodas and shakes, and a fair selection of wine, beer and other tipples.

The views over the harbour are pretty darned fine, the environment is warm and welcoming, and you won’t need to consult with the bank manager to enjoy an outing here.

Daytimes Monday-Thursday, day and night Friday to Sunday.

160 The Esplanade, Petone.

Butcher and Brewer, Petone

BB smoke headerI’d heard good things about Butcher and Brewer, so dug my passport out and went to meet friends at Petone.

B&B is the reincarnation of the old Empire tavern (same owners), and has a nice warm vibe, with decor that made me think of the many swizzy suburban pubs done up in recent years by the breweries or other local cooperatives (gastropub being the technical term these days).

Their point of difference is that they’re into meat, traceable to the grower or supplier, and braised, smoked or slow roasted themselves.

There’s a fair range of mainstream beers and wines, and a selection of BB meat plattercocktails, cocktails, shooters and non-alcs. I had a chuckle at the Bloody Butcher cocktail (equal parts of pepper and citron vodka with spiced tomato juice, worchester sauce and lime served with celery, spinach and crispy smoked bacon) and then settled for a Mac’s ginger beer (driving) which wouldn’t overpower the food.

Most of the meals were served on wooden boards (very appealing), and all had some degree of smokiness. Like many other places these days, a mac’n’cheese side is de rigeur. The half porker was BB haloumi pumpkinjudged moist and satisfying, the cheeky chicken (infused with basil and wrapped in bacon) also moist and flavourful, and both boys commented on the pleasant spinach (what?!). The chargrilled haloumi on spiced butternut puree with spinach and oil got the big thumbs up and the house smoked meatloaf sliders also hit the spot nicely. The side salads were well dressed (not overdressed) and included many crisp colours and textures.

BB meatloaf slidersWe didn’t make it to dessert, but I noted the mini donut medley, and cookies and cream ice cream layered in a mason jar with either chocolate or strawberry sauce for next time.

Although the restaurant area was full, we could easily hear each other and the background was just a nice ambient buzz, along with a bit of retro toe-tapping music and associated videos on the wall to reminisce to.

B&B have a children’s menu, and a number of nooks and crannies if you want a more private or large group session, and various weekday specials. Hard not to be pleased here really.

7 days from 10am (Fri/Sat/Sun) or 11am (rest week).

175 Jackson Street, Petone.
BB MenuBB decorBB cutlery

Zany Zeus Shop, Moera

How delightful.  A Zany Zeus shop full of delicious haloumi’s, feta’s, yoghurt’s and a whole raft of new and interesting offerings.

Michael Mastis has opened a dedicated shop at Moera (Eastern Petone) where you can sample, learn, eat, drink and take home as much as you can carry.

Of interest to me were the smoked brinza (denser feta-style), smoked yoghurt (came home with me for dipping with vege sticks or crackers), and paneer (also came home with me for a saag paneer session soon).

As well as the cabinets of delicious cheeses and yoghurts, was a cabinet of sweet mediterranean temptations (and yes some of those made their way home with me too!).

Almond shortbread, baklava, turkish delight stuffed pasties, almond nut twists… Mmmmmmm.

Also to tempt the sweeter toothed among us are a range of Zany Zeus gelatos made on site. Included in today’s offerings – peanut butter and jelly, zany zeus greek yoghurt and lemon curd, monkey poo (never quite got to the bottom of what that one was!), and the option to create your own ‘mix and match’ ice cream sundae. What a great idea.

The staff are very happy to share knowledge and offer tastings, and you can the gelato production through the glass right there at the rear of the shop.

Although I love gelato, it was a cold wintery morning and I couldn’t quite bring myself to sample right then.  But I did take home an interesting (and delicious) date, orange and cream cheese scone, and will definitely be back of a warmer afternoon sometime soon to delve into those gelatos….  10am-5pm Wednesday to Sunday.

Beannie Cafe, Petone

Having read of the recently opened Beannie (in late 2011, named for the mother/daughter owners Bev/Annie), and knowing they’re experienced hands at the Petone cafe scene, I managed to fit in a visit for cake as a starting point today.

In the premises of the former Cafe Tart (and next but one to the requisite Minx shoe detour….), the decor is warm and welcoming.  And the staff too.  Although the cafe temperature was a bit cool today with both the front and courtyard doors open and wind whistling through.

There is a very appealing range of cabinet and counter food, and both a brunch and lunch menu.  Given my timeframe, I opted for a piece of chunky apple pie with yoghurt.  Delicious.  And containing a delightful surprise touch of sweet passionfruit through the top of the apple just beneath the crust, adding a wonderful note to the buttery (tender) crust and chunky apple.

There is nothing like an anticipated taste experience being surpassed.

Of interest on the menu were the specialty french toast (stuffed with cream cheese, apricot jam and served with fresh fruit and maple syrup), and the pasta any way (you name it, they’ll make it – penne pasta cooked in creamy pesto/or tomato sauce – bacon, chicken, salmon, mushroom, tomato, spinach, olives, sundried tomato. Anything goes…).  All is made or baked onsite.

I was amused to find pure ‘Petone Water’ courtesy of a good old fashioned tap on the wall over a pink laundry powder bin (unless of course one preferred the greater sophistication of the bottled filtered water in the fridge!).  So, Petone Water duly sampled, and I can report I’m still going strong several hours later …

Beannie serve Havana coffee, and the one delivered to the table past me both looked and smelt good.

The outdoor courtyard appears a very pleasant place to enjoy a spot of sun and quality food, with plants and solid fences providing both shelter and a sense of privacy.

This place has to be one of Petone’s daytime best, and you should definitely go there next time you’re in Petone.  I will most definitely be back (more than once I wager), with the next visit focused already on that specialty french toast.

When you go, take a good look at the art on the walls, and the large graffitti-style ‘Beannie’ mural on the back wall of the courtyard.  All very well chosen and a definite part of the cafe’s charm.

Perhaps with a jaunt down the road after for a cuppa and cupcake at Sweetpea, but that’s a whole other story……

159 Jackson Street, Petone


Ontrays deli, Petone

From a welcoming offer of coffee, to friendly and helpful staff, Ontrays is a delightful place to wile away at least an hour while discovering all sorts of international goodies.

Fresh Brazilian cumquats, Iranian dates, Persian fairy floss, Australian green tomatoes, barberries, and white mulberries, English crackers coded and matched for different cheeses (basil crackers for swiss cheese, chilli crackers for mature cheese, celery crackers for blue cheese, fig crackers for sheep cheese), Greek figs, Vietnamese Pho sets, French lupini beans, Brazilian banana and sweet potato pastes, French tinned confit duck, and on it goes….

These folks would be very willing and happy to help you find or source any product you desired.

38 Fitzherbert Street, Petone.

Ontrays1

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