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Library Bar and Chow in Wellington, New Zealand

2010 June 11

My last night in Wellington, and the end of the conference I attended. I had to be up at sparrow’s fart. Actually that’s a lie. Before sparrow’s fart at approximately 3:30am to get the 6am flight back to Sydney. Woe is me!

So myself, and two others,  a visitor from the UK and a Local, decamped for food. After visiting The Matterhorn, the hip restaurant and bar on my first night, The Local suggested we hit Chow for dinner for something different. We hurried over quick smart, as in comparison to the other days, it was COLD. But it was still quite early for dinner, so The Local took us into The Library, a gorgeous funky little bar adjoining Chow.

With real books lining the walls and cosy little nooks and crannies to snuggle into, The Library is apparently one of the coolest bars in Wellington. Also reminds me of Melbourne. In fact, Wellington in general reminded me of Melbourne. Fabulous coffee, amazing art and fashion, lot’s of brunettes!

The Library’s menu is divided up into easy to navigate sections: Sweet, savoury, champagne, beer, cognac/port/sherry, house favourites, luxury cocktails. Since I was leaving I thought I’d settle on the wittily named cocktail: Randy Savage. How porny does that sound??? According to the menu:

Rum, pineapple juice, fresh lime shaken together with gingerbread syrup

And it was delicious!

Time to move to dinner. The fabulous advantage to this place, is you can take any unfinished drinks with you. Very civilised.

Dinner ahoy. We were still very early; around 6pm, so the place was empty and we got seated down the back. But unfortunately it was directly under an air vent and was very cold, so we asked to move.

Bring on the food! Chow, like many other resturants of it’s type, allows you to order dishes to share or not. We shared to cover as much of the menu as possible:

Salmon parcels, an unusual little dumpling with generous amount of salmon inside. Kind of incongruous though in texture. Too soft…But tasted great.

I loved these Peking duck dumplings and could have eaten them all night with my glass of Lake Hayes 2008 Pinot Noir, $13

Another dish showcasing beautiful local seafood, Nelson Scallops wrapped in rice paper with ginger, soy and coriander.

On to the more meaty part of the meal where I found the dishes came together way better:

The chicken satay was fantastic: juicy free range chook, with a good spicy satay sauce that necessitated the cooling cucumber..

Some veggies to make us feel like it wasn’t all meat and seafood

These banana leaves were a satisfying, fiery and succulent morsel and probably my favourite dish of the night. Tarakihi fish with red curry, kaffir lime, honey, coriander, turmeric and coconut chilli dipping sauce

The beef ribs were licky, sticky and addictive. Even when I was far past my comfort level, I kept sucking and nibbling the shreds of beefy goodness off those bones.

For three people it ended up being around AU$40 per head, with food left over. Excellent value for beautiful fresh ingredients and very generous serving sizes.

It was time to say goodbye to Wellington and head to bed for my earlier than early flight.

All this ever so brief visit has done, is make me want to go back and explore more of Wellington and New Zealand….

The Library
1/53 Courtenay Place
New Zealand
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16 Responses leave one →
  1. June 12, 2010

    “Licky, sticky and addictive.” That, along with the $40 per head price tag, is enough to send me straight to webjet for a fare… except that it would be even colder now. Hmm, maybe later in the year.

    I love the kind of place that you can take your drinks. Reminds me of a bar in Atlanta, many years ago, that had a deal with the restaurant next door – you could order from their menu and they brought it to the bar for you. Should be more of it!
    .-= Injera´s last blog ..Simply Baking – three teabreads =-.

  2. June 12, 2010

    Randy Savage! Heh heh heh! Chow looks delish, and $40 a head for a full belly is very civilised indeed! I had heard great things about Welly, it looks fantastic. If you’re ever looking for travel buddies to go back and explore, let me know 😉
    .-= felixexplody´s last blog ..The Raw Prawn =-.

  3. June 12, 2010

    What a great variety of dishes – not to mention an attractive accompanying price tag 🙂
    .-= Lisa @ bakebikeblog´s last blog ..A week in the life of BBB – Day 5 =-.

  4. June 12, 2010

    Looks delicious & great value for that much variety! And gingerbread syrup in a cocktail? Sounds freaking excellent!
    .-= Forager´s last blog ..Breathtaking dining in La Paz, Bolivia =-.

  5. June 12, 2010

    Welly is defo like a mini Melbourne. Have lived in both. Has the best coffee I reckon. Great find!
    .-= George Kyle´s last blog ..Real Good Damson Collection =-.

  6. June 12, 2010

    Love the idea of the Library Bar. Wellington is awesome isn’t it? Those beef ribs look finger lickin’ good too.
    .-= Helen (grabyourfork)´s last blog ..Competition: Win a $50 dining voucher at Helm Bar, Darling Harbour =-.

  7. June 12, 2010

    Wellington is such a great city and has some amazing little foodie hangouts. Those dumplings you had look great, especially the duck ones and the scallops. Delicious!
    .-= john@heneedsfood´s last blog ..Asagao, CBD =-.

  8. June 13, 2010

    We really enjoyed our meals in Wellington. I really love the way they really do local produce well and naturally in NZ. It doens’t seem to be a movement, just the way that they’ve always done things.
    .-= Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella´s last blog ..A Magical Food and Fun Filled Day in Vienna, Austria =-.

  9. June 15, 2010

    Ooooo, I can’t wait to visit Wellington! The peking duck dumplings and banana leaf parcels look scrumptious!
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..WIN pasta making classes at Alio Restaurant! =-.

  10. Gina permalink
    June 16, 2010

    As an ex-Aucklander and now Sydneysider it is hard to admit, but yes… Wellington is now a great city! Took a while to get there but I think they are now streaks ahead of Auckland because they have kept their soul (ouch!). Reading your review reminds me that me and him indoors are long overdue for a trip to Wellington (where we have some great foodie friends)….mmmm….booking flight now!

  11. June 20, 2010

    Oooh, books, food drink = happiness!
    I’m off to the Land of the Long White Cloud on Thursday – might have to check this out, thanks!
    Amanda´s last post..Australian garlic vs imported garlic – what’s the difference?

  12. JOIEG permalink
    June 23, 2010

    Am soo pleased that you were given good dining advice when in my home town,when you are in unfamiliar territory it’s easy to get it wrong! I totally agree with your comments and hope you’ll be back for more.

  13. July 1, 2010

    Glad you had a good time in my old hometown. Chow is a reliable and tasty, and it’s just as well they do good cocktails as there can be a wait for a table on Saturday night.

    Those early morning flights are a killer!
    another outspoken female´s last post..sunshine and soup

  14. Amily permalink
    July 23, 2010

    Chow is a reliable and tasty, and it’s just as well they do good cocktails as there can be a wait for a table on Saturday night.

    Those early morning flights are a killer!

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