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 “pizza”

Raglan Roast Pizza

Raglan Roast in Holland Street snapped up chef Matteo Ughi when Osteria del Toro closed its doors, and as a result, now offer up tasty wood-fired pizzas.

Raglan pizza board.jpg

Matteo uses a northern Italian dough recipe that is proofed differently, and cooked at a much lower 350deg (usually 500deg), giving a very thin light base that stays fresh and crisp longer, working well for deliveries and takeaways too (crafty devils! – check them out on Delivereasy).

In between pizzas, he also bakes all the breads used by Raglan Roast in their counter food, or for you to take home.

The space is very Wellington – off the beaten track and suitably quirky in vibe and decor – and the service was prompt and friendly.

The house chilli and garlic oils drizzled over our smoked chicken, jalapeno, mozarella and pepper pizza gave a delightful edge. And yes, the mozzarella was suitably finger-licking stretchy and stringy.

Raglan pizza sm cix jalapeno pepper.jpg

You can also finish off with a sweet pizza – strawberry, blueberry or banana (I’m eyeing up the blueberry for next time) – or other sweet treat made in-house.

Daytimes til 5pm Monday/Tuesday, and 9.30pm Wednesday to Sunday.

12 Holland Street

Medifoods, Newtown

I recently stumbled into Medifoods at Newtown (the Mediterranean Food Warehouse) and was surprised to find it a rather appealing trattoria now, with the deli section tucked down the back. Apparently this happened a good six months or so ago.


The menu covered such delights as Carpaccio Bresaola D.O.P (cured top round of beef, rocket, lemon marinated tomato, Granny Smith Parmigiano Reggiano), Proscuitto Di Parma (with butter and sage asparagus, fried egg and grana padano shavings), and a range of brushette, pastas, risottos, mains and desserts.

With a decent selection of wines alongside. And a cabinetful of food or gelato for quick dashes or afters. Goodness!



Since it was kinda still lunchtime I decided to try their $10 weekly lunch special, which turned out to penne pasta with truffle cream and rocket. I found it to be al dente, generous in size and satisfying.

I also spied a pizza going out from the wood-fired oven and nearly drooled. I am so going back real soon (for the ricotta, rocket and toasted walnut gnocchi; and the asparagus, peas and smoked salmon risotto; and the pear and chocolate cake with raspberry and merlot sorbet; you get my drift….).

And that was before checking out the deli products. If only I had the car….

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Medifoods make all their pizzas, pastas, toppings, breads, etc in-house and pride themselves on fresh, authentic and seasonal.

They also have an interesting brunch menu with options like homemade carrot and banana bread with almond and vanilla mascarpone and preserved Spanish peaches; or poached eggs on sourdough with fried halloumi cheese, grilled tomato and mashed avocado.

I’m clearly going to have to walk this way often!

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The staff were all very friendly and helpful, and there’s pleasure every which way you look at Medifoods. It would be very easy to wile away a couple of hours if time permitted.

And if that isn’t enough, check this out….. A little a’la’Pickle Jar.


Trattoria – Monday to Saturday 8am to 10.30pm; Sunday 9am to 10.30pm.

Deli – Monday to Saturday 8am to 8pm; Sunday 9am to 8pm.

42 Constable Street, Newtown.





Pickle Jar pizza…

An evening with friends at Karori and a 2-metre pizza.  Yep, you heard it here, a 2m pizza.  At the Pickle Jar Neighbourhood Pub.

Pickle Jar pizza

They actually sell them in 1/2m and 1m lengths but offered us 2m for $90 given there were 10 of us.

And the most impressive thing (other than the pomegranate – not pink mind – shirt wearer)? One person carrying this long (weighty) board alone and skilfully sliding it down the centre of the table.

We chose four toppings – Margeurita (simple and traditional), Capricciosa (artichokes, salami, olives, Il Zucca (chicken, pumpkin, zucchini, pinenuts) and Amore (pepperoni, choirzo, ham, bacon, bbq sauce).

The pizza was thin crust and the toppings plentiful.

Verrrrrrry impressive.  And about the right amount for 10 (not bad at $9 each).

For another occasion we noted the gourmet pizza selections including venison, lamb shank and scotch fillet.  Also by the 1/2m.

The pomegranate shirt-wearer decided on a pint of beer brewed for the Pickle Jar, and it delightfully came in a pickle jar with a handle.

Again, a nice touch.

Pickle Jar pickles

There are also a range of pickle jars around the place, including all sorts of interesting fruits and vegetables above the bar (animal, vegetable, mineral?), candle holders hanging on the wall out front, and many of the light fittings throughout the bar.

For a sunny afternoon there was outside seating on a pleasant-looking deck, and the service was friendly and helpful.

Again for another occasion, a dessert of cheesecake in a jar was spied on the menu, so that sounds worth a look (purely for research purposes you understand).

This is definitely another place worthy of a visit, even though it might be slightly off your normal beaten path.

And any kids around (big and small) will love it.

They do also offer a range of mains and non-pizza meals, but I really think you’d have to come here for pizza.

Found at 5 Parkvale Road, Karori.

Do have a look at their website too.  Quite funky with more to come.

Pickle Jar Pint






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.






Little Beer Quarter

A craft beer, a pizza and a movie.  Perfect wet Saturday fare.

Little Beer Quarter in Edward Street is brought to us by the folks behind Beach Babylon on Oriental Parade, and is one of the new breed of craft beer bars that have sprung up around Wellington.  The environment is very welcoming, with dark cosy colours and lots of interesting touches. Like crates on the wall as shelves, groups of bottles strung up as lights over the bar, upside down plants hanging from the ceiling (which are real!), and a Darwinian quote on the wall about alcohol and brain cells from Cliff of Cheers.


The large blackboard at the end of the bar lists what’s ‘currently pouring’, alongside the large menu of craft beers, ciders, wine and spirits available.  Most of the beers on tap are of NZ origin, including the Garage Project’s latest offering (rated as worthy), with approximately half of the rest being of NZ origin. Nice.

The food here turned out to be pretty good too, above the usual beer bar standard. The fish goujons were decent pieces of fish within a thin crispy crumb, and presented in a bowl with salad greens for effect.  And the Beer Garden pizza (pumpkin, spinach, feta, pinenut, rocket pesto) was very good, complimenting the Apple Tree apple and elderflower cider nicely.

LBQ also provide an outside cigarello space and sell a range of cigars for those so inclined.  Also on offer are a range of ‘hoptails’ (beer based cocktails), ‘cocktails’ (more conventional), wines (mostly NZ other than the reds), whiskeys, cognacs and other spirits.

All in all, LBQ is a very pleasant pleasant place to wile away some weekend hours (sadly not open Sundays) and a rather convivial spot for Friday after work drinks. Next time I’m up for a stoutbite ‘hoptail’ – craft stout and cider.  Iron and apples, gotta be good for you……

Pizzeria Napoli

Having very much enjoyed the wood fired pizza and bruschetta on our first foray to Napoli a few weeks ago (new pizzeria at 30 Courtenay Place between Allen and Blair), we decided on a Friday evening return with a friend to see how they were faring.

The café has a delightful mural along one wall, welcoming staff, and does feel like you could be somewhere in the mediterranean.  Nice to be able to step in off the street and be transported so easily.

Two pizzas between three of us was sufficient (a capricciosa and a contadino), with a couple of pleasant montepulciano and chianti’s to round out the experience.  The pizzas here are thin crust with a light airy puffed edge and the toppings are not stinted on, whilst still kept light and fresh.  There are a range of fresh pastas and salads to complement, or for those who are not pizza fans (really, do they exist?).

On this occasion the pizza bases felt a little too soft and didn’t hold enough shape from plate to mouth.  Nor were the crusts quite as puffed, crispy or airy around the edges as last time.   I wonder if there was too much pressure on speed and getting people through? Or had maybe lost some heat out of the oven?

However, the flavours were good, the pizza’s non-greasy and the toppings suitably generous across all pieces.

I will give them the benefit of the doubt at this point given the first experience was very good.

Napoli is definitely worth a visit for a casual and convivial time, but do book as seating is limited.  Or plan for your pizza to be takeaway.

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