Wind-swept Wellington spends an inordinate amount of time making excuses for its changeable weather. It needn’t. The capital city’s reputation for downpours and occasional howling winds shouldn’t deter you from exploring the inspired food and wine scene bursting the compact metropolis’ seams, as Donna Demaio discovered.
San Francisco’s cuisine has emboldened Simon Pepping (pictured), the owner of Egmont Street Eatery. He recently returned from an insightful trip to California with a grab bag of ideas to introduce at his tucked-away laneway restaurant. The chic eatery is known for a fine breakfast or you can indulge in the cheese, beets and meat burger that took home the top ‘Burger Welly’ prize at Wellington On A Plate (the annual two week food festival) last year. And even Mr Pepping can’t fully explain why the smoked potato hash, pork fennel sausage, slow egg and chili dish is so popular. He figures, “because it tastes great.” “One of our main objectives is to be different. You won’t find eggs Benedict on our breakfast menu. And our pigs’ ears are going down well at the moment,” he says. 15-21 Dixon St, Wellington. www.egmontstreet.co.nz European soul-food style cuisine 262 Wakefield St, Wellington www.fieldandgreen.co.nz Seasonal food and baked goods served in a smart, spacious café. 161 Cuba St, Wellington www.floriditas.co.nz The quest for a great pizza can be arduous, often leading to disappointment. With help from an extended stay in New York, Tom Kirton has returned with the finest dough-making skills. Coupled with quality ingredients and an upbeat attitude, Tommy Millions (at two take-away outlets in the heart of the city) is a fun place to grab a slice. Favorites include the “pepperoni” and the “porker”. 105 Courtney Place, Te Aro, Wellington and 142 Featherston Street,te Aro, Wellington. www.tommymillions.co.nz