Best Places to Eat and Shop in Wellington

Art-sprinkled laneways, quirky boutiques and a crop of esteemed restaurants and bars – Wellington is a purveyor of all things bold and exciting. Fashion and interior stylist Brooke Testoni spent a weekend exploring the coastal capital, and rounds up her favourite haunts for Gourmet Traveller.

Testoni begins her Saturday at chef Al Brown’s Best Ugly Bagels.

“After spending time training in Québec province, [Brown] brought his love of the hand-rolled staple back with him (along with a nine-tonne bagel oven), exposing Wellington to a new guard of fuss-free fare. Crispy on the outside, on-point doughiness in the middle and much sweeter than its NYC counterpart, Brown’s Best Ugly bagels are simmered in honey water before baking and are salt-free,” Testoni writes.

The author then heads to Wellington’s “creative hub”, Precinct 35 (pictured) near the intersection of Cuba and Ghuznee streets, “where boutiques show off locally produced fashions and homewares”.

“Not to be missed: Milk Crate, which is situated within the shop space. It’s a city staple known for its impressive gluten-free offerings – good enough to get the attention of those still indulging in gluten.”

In the suburb of Mount Cook, Testoni visits the newly-opened Hiakai.

“What started in 2016 as a concept series devoted to the exploration of Māori cooking techniques, became a permanent fixture last November. Chef Monique Fiso took her time developing the restaurant’s boundary-pushing menu, researching indigenous plants and re-imagining traditional dishes for a new generation. Hiakai’s old-meets-new mashup heroes the country’s native ingredients – think mamaku and pikopiko – with unrivalled innovation.”

Also recommended in the article are: craft beer brewery Garage Project, Hillside Kitchen & Cellar and knife throwing at Boomrock in Ohariu Valley.

Original article by Brooke Testoni, Gourmet Traveller, January 22, 2019.

Photo by Ben Hansen.

Tags: Al Brown  Best Ugly Bagels  Bookrock  Garage Project  Gourmet Traveller (The)  Hillside Kitchen & Cellar  Monique Fiso  Precinct 35  Wellington  

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