Tuesday, September 04, 2007

even more eating in Wellington

Another mad dash across the Tasman to attend to family affairs. In 4 days I managed to cram in 2 birthdays, a 2 part breakfast on the same morning, eat 3 other meals in Asian restaurants, a lunch at the wonderfully quirky Maranui SLS Café and cook 2 dinners.

One old favourite stood out - Kazu in Tory St, is a better than average mid-priced Japanese restaurant. By Australian standards, even before you get the benefit of the dollar difference, it is very good value for money. The sushi was tender, as was the calamari with miso and garlic. The tempura included pieces of fish and 2 discs of a vegetable and shrimp medley which got full marks. Our final dish of eel on rice appeared as a large fillet of teriyaki eel which was tasty and generous. If we’d had room for it, one of the specials – a vegetarian sharing plate (NZ$18 for 2) was very tempting.

sushi at Kazu

I have mixed feelings about Ernesto (Cuba Street). A member of the Havana/Fidel’s empire, I keep going back for more. I like the feel of the place, light and spacious with art and wood. This kind of look wouldn’t be out of place in Melbourne. There is table service, which varies from professional to haphazard. When it is good, it is very, very good – but in half a dozen excursions (for breakfast, lunch and dinner) in the past 9 months – I still can’t put my finger on what is missing. Mostly the food is great, though the cornbread with roasted tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach is a touch on the small side. The coffee is reliable, as it is in most Wellington establishments these days. Something just doesn’t add up – but not so badly that I don’t go back to check them out every now and then.

As for cooking, I hope to be back on the horse any day now.

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