Travel Bulletin - - NEW ZEALAND -

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

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