foodiegemsofwellie

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 “waterfront”

The Flamingo has landed

The Wellington Hospitality Group strikes again with its new venture Flamingo Joe’s in the bottom of the new waterfront PWC building.

FJ decor.jpg

These guys are pretty practiced at rolling in and starting as they mean to go on, so I can’t see any reason why this wont be a success for them either – bright colours, neon lights, buzzy ambience, a giant flamingo, views across the harbour and pleasant ‘metro pub food’.

Friday night was the soft open (in time for the footie at the Stadium methinks) and the place was rocking, the staff welcoming, and the harbour lights twinkling. And pleasingly, the staff knew what they were doing. No stuttering newbies, or first night botch-ups that I could see (I’m a little over places opening before they’re fully ready).

FJ duck tacos.jpg

There was a cut-down menu for the soft opening with a choice of opening bites, duck tacos and multiple flatbreads, with interesting flavours like prosciutto, feta, fig roquette and balsamic glaze, or bacon, prawn, garlic and cheese. Nice to have something a little different to the standard imitation pizza toppings.

We opted for the roasted duck tacos and buffalo chicken flatbread with spring onions, yoghurt and mizuna (Japanese mustard leafy green salad plant). The tacos were a little drippy to eat, but had nice rich flavours, and the flatbread was satisfyingly soft on the base with well balanced toppings.

FJ flatbread.jpg

In today’s era of over-choice, the drinks menu was happily all on one page. Local craft beers sat alongside international favourites, low-carb and zero alcohol options, and pretty much all wines were available in 150 ml, 250 ml or bottle size.

I’ll definitely be back to check out the full menu in due course.

1-10 Waterloo Quay.

FJ decor 2.jpg

Karaka Cafe at the Wharewaka

More friends coming through town and another brunch to be had.  What hardship!

Given their intention to park around the waterfront, Karaka cafe in the Wharewaka sprung to mind as a new place close by for them to try.  Although not outdoor weather particularly, the cafe feels welcoming (probably due to the lively colours and plants) and still provided pleasant water and city views.

A range of brunches were opted for including muesli with yoghurt and banana, avocado and tomato on grainy toast, eggs on toast, toast with peanut butter, and french toast with bacon, banana and butterscotch.  Other than the grainy toast selection, the toast provided was toasted traditional rewana bread.  Rewana bread using a potato started instead of the usual yeast starter.  Commented on as different and tasty.

One of the unique factors of this cafe is the use of maori titles and descriptions and inclusion of traditional foods or ingredients (rewana bread, horopito, hangi mash, etc).  A simple way for visitors to get an introduction to this part of NZ’s culture.

The coffee served was Mojo’s and met with everyone’s approval (twice I’ve been surprised by the coffee exceeding expectation here now, huh), and the pick of the breakfasts in my (humble!) opinion is the french toast (no carbohydrate bias here at all your honour…).  All those soft caramelly textures and tastes, with the contrast of bacon.  Mmmmmmm.

They also offer a good selection of counter foods, platters and wine (imagining a nice sunny afternoon), and have a range of beers including some from our local brewers.

The service again was slow and had to be chased along once or twice, so still not right in that regard, but otherwise very pleasant, something different, and I’m going back for dinner sometime soon to check that out too.

 

Foxtail tapas and cocktails

The last fine afternoon predicted for a while, a friend here from USA, and strolling the waterfront, ended in drinks and nibbles in the Foxtail Cocktail Lounge at Foxglove.  The old Greta Point pub transplanted in days gone by, and upgraded from the previous Loaded Hog iteration.

This place really is fairly classy.  Whether it be drinks, nibbles, sunning out on the deck, or brunch downstairs watching the water and world go by, those who bought it and have spent the big bucks know what they’re doing. Having said that, I haven’t plucked up the depth of wallet required for dinner there yet, but do have it on good recommendation that the desserts are pretty fine.  And the brunch I had once in times past (orange and cardamom french toast) was superb.

The tapas were prompt, and mostly importantly, interesting.  The goat cheese and mozzarella balls with apple and manuka honey come with their own individual test tube of deliciousness to squeeze into the ball before munching (many variations of the squeeze technique and number of holes created were encouraged to see if one could avoid the finger drizzle or ball explosion!), the Japanese crisps invoked memories of kettle fries, and the home made hand cut chunky chips with smoked tomato ‘Hellmans’ mayonnaise were suitably chunky with a tasty accompanying girly pink mayo (for the metro blokes in the group, one of whom has in recent times been seen ordering a pink girly cocktail…).

The bar lad obligingly created a personalised drink for my friend, and was very personable and helpful all round.  Lounging on couches in the corner checking out the action on the water, or the attempts of those trying to leave the bar again through the wardrobe (yes one side really does have coats in it and no secret exit), was all suitably entertaining.

On a sunny day the upstairs deck with the round cane hammock-like chairs (loungers?) is very appealing, with additional decks and tables on either side of the building available for those occasional (!) Wellington windy days.  Inside are many and varied spaces, especially upstairs, so you can enjoy a quiet intimate time or a larger louder group event.

Definitely a place to call for a drink and nibble while wandering the waterfront, and potentially one of those places that you just stay and stay with a constant changing vista outside to watch, and before you know it, it’s lunch time or dinner time or cocktail time.

And I can confirm all successfully made it through the correct side of the wardrobe on the way out…

Post Navigation