Category: My empire

Another craft beer bar for Wellington

dive bar photo

Picture pinched from their Facebook site

Opening this Friday is another craft beer bar called Golding’s Free Dive, at 14 Leeds Street. That’s right by Pizza Pomodoro, for those of you playing along at home, and they’ll be making full use of their location.

Golding’s Free Dive conveniently shares the courtyard with Pomodoro Pizza, which is just as well as Pomodoro will deliver a pizza to your table to accompany your tasty craft beer or you can choose an item from the in-house menu.

We’re excited about this, and it sounds like it’s going to be a good casual bar with a great range of drinks, but this quote from the press release had the Wellingtonista email list abuzz (or as abuzz as it gets these days now we do most of our exclaiming on Twitter).

“What we really wanted to do is get away from the cookie-cutter bars which seem to be infesting the city these days where big breweries throw money at bar owners, in return for stocking their product and following their rules. There’s a certain type of crowd these bars attract, but they can drive away everyone else who just wants to sit and enjoy a drink.”

Now, perhaps we are trapped in our own wanky bubble, but are there actually many cookie cutter bars opening up these days? Everything seems to be trying to be independent and quirky. Even Bin44 which has the most bland interior ever this side of the Tap Haus (and could desperately use some magazines or newspapers for its lunchtime diners) has a big range of craft beers on tap and has played host to Garage Project tap takeovers and the like.

One ‘ista said “When does Peak Craft Beer happen?” and another replied “I have this theory that craft beer now is about where coffee was 3-5 years ago. We’ve even got the *hausen playing Mojo. So in a couple of years it should fragment into uber-hipster and generic-and-very-slightly-better-than-the-Establishment.”

Like I said, we are looking forward to going to Golding’s Free Dive (though shouldn’t “dive” be a term someone else calls you, not something you can call yourself?), but I wanna know what the next big trend will be. Your thoughts in the comments, thanks!

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Drunken conversations: Beth from Eat and Greet

Everyone who’s a drinker knows that the best conversations happen when you are plied with good food and good drinks, so I’ve decided I’m going to interview some choice Wellingtonians after we have been imbibing together.

First on the plate is Beth from Eat and Greet which launched last year and is doing a really great job of talking to the people behind the food of Wellington. We met at Hummingbird  (which I rave about, and she recently interviewed the chef Glen) and had some cocktails and some wine and an enormous piece of  meat, and then out came the voice recorder. After the jump and these Instagram pictures, you’ll find passion, drinking the blood of our enemies, mocking of Instagram, and the anti David Burton…

drink and food at hummingbird

Jo: Okay Beth, eat drink and eat and greet – I’ll write your name down properly later. Tell us what we just had for dinner.

Beth: So we just basically had an umami bomb in our mouths, starting off with a show with a mushroom syphon that syphoned off an insanely good mushroom tea, which we sipped while having beetroot tortellini, and then we shared a big giant bone of meat together, and basically made dirty jokes the entire time. There was a lot of meat innuendo, and bone innuendo, but it was hard not to.

Mushroom tea syphon. Crazy shit.

Joanna: My god, there were raisins in our entree according to the menu (Raisins are the WORST)! So our entree was meadow mushroom and goat cheese tortellini with golden raisins and pine nuts, and syphon mushroom tea, but that doesn’t say beetroot, and there was most definitely beetroot in our pasta. The mushroom tea tasted like you were drinking your opponent’s blood after a mighty battle, and it was amazing.

The main was HB Signature prime rib for two (800gm), corn on the cob, greek salad (comparatively not that great)
truffle parmesan potatoes, spiced onion rings, red wine jus

Beth: Spiced onion rings, I’m not a big onion ring fan, like take them or leave them, but those were ridiculous.

Joanna: They were great onion rings, I still think Monterey‘s are my favourite of all time. Right, Beth, Eat and Greet Blog: why did you start a food blog? Is it because of the dramatic shortage of them in the world?

Beth: Ha! There’s a lot of food blogs in the world, and I read maybe 60% of them, so the world does not need another food blog. But I was looking at the Concrete Playground blog awards last year, and I was looking at the food section, and I basically saw that the food blogs up in Auckland were like “hey, this is where it’s good to eat” like Eat Here Now – like hey, I’ve gone and checked out this place….

Joanna: cough Wellingtonista cough.

Beth: But then all the food blogs down in Wellington were like “Hey, I made a thing”….

Joanna: “And isn’t it twee and delightful?”

Beth: “And isn’t it twee and delightful and look at this…”

Joanna:  Instagram…

Beth: Instagram and flowers in the background. And I was just like, I want there to be a trusted source of where to eat in Wellington, but then I was like, well who am I to say what is good and what isn’t, and I wanted to give the power back to the people who are behind that plate of food. There’s thought and there’s reasoning behind it. And basically I just wanted it to be an anti David Burton. I didn’t want it to be me saying what is good and what is bad, and what is authentic, and “that’s not how I tasted it when I went to this obscure little restaurant in South East Asia”. I wanted to go to those people who have immigrated from somewhere, and they have these amazing stories, and actually – there’s so much more to food than just taste and what is on your plate, and that’s what I wanted to do.

Joanna: That is excellent. Now tell me a secret Wellington place, and I don’t want you to be all like “OMG, there’s this restaurant that’s down a little alley in Cuba Street and it’s called the Matterhorn and it’s really great”. Tell me an actual secret place in Wellington that’s great

Beth: A place that gets mentioned a lot is KC Cafe. And I don’t know if it’s actually secret, like you walk past it and it just looks like, you know, open until 4am on Courtenay Place and you probably go there when you’re drunk, but actually it’s really fucking good Chinese food that there’s not much of in Wellington. It’s cheap, and if you order from the bottom half of the menu, it’s fucking authentic. I mean, you’ve got your sweet and sour pork at the top, but like, go down the bottom and there’s tripe and weird shit, and it’s tasty.

Joanna: Awesome, how many questions is that? Four? Two? Okay, ,what is the question that you wish people asked you more about.

Beth: I love asking a few questions on my blog because I get such great answers, like “What’s something about yourself that other people may not know?” and another is “What’s a really vivid childhood memory you have around food?” and both of those questions invoke really good answers.

Joanna: Excellent! I’m not going to ask you either of those questions! Right, what’s the one thing you wish Wellington had?

Beth: A fucking rooftop bar! And a fucking ramen place! All of the things! You can put that in Capslocks!

Who should I talk to next for Drunken Conversations? Let me know! Is it you? We’ll put it on the company credit card (by which I mean we’ll go Dutch), and have a lovely time. 

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What not to wear to the sevens

Billy T James costumes - relevant to NZ, comfortable to wear, unique, very appropriate. Nice work! (Pic stolen from the Dom Post)

Billy T James costumes – relevant to NZ, comfortable to wear, unique, very appropriate. Nice work! (Pic stolen from the Dom Post)

It’s that time of year when people will call us buzzkills for not enjoying having our streets extra-clogged with vomit and having all of our female friends feel extra unsafe on the streets because of all the douchecanoes who think that because they’re wearing a costume they can harass with impunity.

But we’re not buzzkills, really! And to prove that, we’ve put our heads together and come up with some Wellington-inspired ideas for your Sevens costumes.

Just don’t do blackface, okay? And don’t harass people in the street. What are your costume ideas?

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