Library Bar and Chow in Wellington, New Zealand
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….
1/53 Courtenay Place
Show on map