THE CUBA ST PROJECT,

BETH BRASH AND ALICE LLOYD, PENGUIN RAN­DOM HOUSE, HB, $55

Cuisine - - REVIEWS -

The Cuba Street Project delves into Welling­ton’s most lively strip and digs up plenty to love. The book’s in­tro­duc­tion traces the life­span of this cen­tral-city street, long known as a home to good food and drink: pubs, cafes (or milk bars, back in the day), restau­rants as well as green­gro­cers, fish­mon­gers and cof­fee roas­t­er­ies (the first of the lat­ter be­ing the beloved brand Fagg’s, whose clever founder Al­fred Fagg sprin­kled freshly roasted beans along the foot­path to en­tice passersby.)

So fol­low pro­files of the hospo busi­nesses that cur­rently line the street (with men­tion of which busi­nesses pre­vi­ously oc­cu­pied the space), and their peo­ple, with beau­ti­fully cap­tured por­traits and in­te­rior shots. A recipe or two sums up what each place does best. These range from the beau­ti­fully sim­ple – seven-in­gre­di­ent, 10-minute pork mince with green beans from Rams Crazy Dumplings – to the more elab­o­rate – Olive’s three-part recipe for white fish with seared scal­lops, saf­fron penne, bouil­l­abaisse sauce and as­para­gus. There’s a de­cent show­ing of burger recipes, this be­ing a city slightly ob­sessed with them. AKS

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