Category Archives: Bars

Hurricanes V Chiefs

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I went to see my first rugby match.

Not just my first in New Zealand. My first EVER. It was so awesome.

My friend Sam (see Sam’s Manor) booked the tickets, and after a bit of googling to figure out which team was which etc, I was ready to go.

This isn’t me, but… y’know.

I know the bare minimum about rugby. I know that there are different types, that there are five points to a try, and that Richie McCaw has fantastic thighs. I was worried I was going to be a little lost.

I wasn’t, though. It was surprisingly easy to follow.

You cheer when your team are pushing the right way, you boo when the opposing team scores. When a bad decision is made by the ref, you swear along with everyone else even though you wouldn’t know what a ‘bad decision’ was if it trod on your ankle.

My only trouble came with deciding which team to support. Obviously, my instinct was to go with the Hurricanes, me being Wellington based ‘n all. However, one of my work friends sitting next to me descends from Hamilton, and her screams of “YES”, “NO” and “GAY!” were infectious. I could not decide.

She made a bet with Sam that the losing fan would have to make an announcement over the intercom the next day at work, congratulating the winning team on their success. Needless to say, the Chiefs missed out, and Saturday in the department store was a little bit funnier because of it.

Triumph.

After the game, we went to see our friend Hayley at her birthday party. Hayley has just escaped from the department store because she’s found herself a real job. A job that is actually relevant to her degree. None of us are bitter.

The party was held upstairs in the function room of the General Practioner on Willis Street. We had a lot of fun, drank a lot of booze and ate a lot of cake.

Also, there was a stuffed deer in the bathroom. Made me poo my pants. Luckily, I was in the right place.

Hashigo Zake

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I love this bar. It’s awesome.

Hashigo Zake is a cult beer bar on Taranaki Street, Wellington, that has a ridiculous number of beers on offer. Look here… Phew! They rotate what they stock a lot, which is cool because it means there’s always something new to try. One time I had this boysenberry flavour brew, and another time I had one that was supposed to taste like pineapple lumps. I’ve never had a pineapple lump, so I’unno, but I know it tasted good.

Callum and I came here on our first date, and I liked it (and him, apparently) so much that we came back again the following evening. Since then we probably average a trip every couple of weeks, and I always have a great time whether we’re with friends or it’s just the two of us.

My favourite beverage served in Hashigo Zake isn’t actually a beer. It’s Umeshu, which is a sort of Japanese plum wine. It’s amazing. I think it tastes like Christmas. It does taste like Christmas. I can’t really describe how or why that is, so my best advice is to try it for yourself.

I’ve never actually eaten at Hashigo Zake, but I hear they do amazing pies. Mmm, pie.

Anyway, everyone in Wellington should go here. Just don’t sit on the squishy chairs round the corner from the bar. That’s my spot.

Check out their website here.

Lazy coffee Sunday at Baobab

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I frickin’ love Sunday.

Sunday means at least 2 days until I next have to go to work. Occasionally 3, if I’m a very lucky girl and haven’t been roped into working the Tuesday shift.

Sunday is the day when I can finally get round to doing my own very important business, without the distraction of having to earn a living.

Stuff like internetting. Browsing through pretty dresses that I can no way in hell afford. Laundry (grudgingly). Scribbling down to-do lists in my scruffy little notebook, then joyously ticking them off one by one.

COFFEE.

I never really bother with coffee during the week. It simply takes too long, and I am both busy and lazy.

On Sunday, however, one of my favourite things to do is to find a cosy little coffee shop, spread out my belongings, and then drink cappuccino until I am literally peeing straight caffeine.

This week I tried Baobab.

It has a kind of… elegant-boho feel to it. Neat little art pieces line the walls, and there’s an abundance of little cushions on which to rest your weary cheeks. The waiters are attractive, too, as long as you don’t mind dreadlocks. They were also nice and smiley.

I downed my cappuccino, then decided it was time for a munch. I sent Callum to fetch a menu while I snuck a photo of the interior.

Garlic mushrooms with spinach and feta on wholemeal toast, you say? Oh, yes please.

Callum had the veggie nachos, which I stole one or two (or three) of. They were also very nice.

Clientele wise, it was mixed. There were your standard Newtown hipsters, plus a small group of middle-aged women and a young family. Hipsters regardless, it wasn’t trying too hard to be cool, and it was just the right level of busy (i.e. not awkwardly empty, but not annoyingly full, either).

It was a nice, relaxed place to enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon. I have to say I didn’t love it, but I liked it very much. It’s probably not worth travelling out of town for, but if you live in Newtown then I’d definitely recommend heading down there for breakfast, as they have a really yummy selection.

Both our meals cost around $15, and coffee was $4.

Bread of Death

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Holy Mother. I have died and gone to heaven, and heaven is in Mexico.

I didn’t actually go to Mexico. That would have been foolish. My aim at the moment is to discover great places on my own doorstep, so travelling thousands of miles away would probably defeat its object. I am also very poor.

I’m actually talking about this nifty little Mexican bar/restaurant on the end of Kent Terrace. Callum and I went there after our trip to the theatre, which you can read about here. I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone by trying two new places in a night. It was also really cold outside, and it was the first place we came across that served food on our way back to the bus stop.

Interior of the bar

The name of the restaurant is Pan de Muerto. At the time, I used my brilliantly shocking foreign language skills to determine that this definitely translated to mean ‘bread of death’. After since perusing their website, I’ve come to learn that what it actually means is ‘bread of the dead’. Slightly less ridiculous, but I still like my version better.

The waiter sat us down at a nice table in the corner by the window, where I jumped straight into the cocktail menu. I’ve been hankering after a nice little cocktail for a while now, and there was a surprising amount to choose from.

I know I should have gone down the margarita road, it being a Mexican restaurant and all, but something inside of me (probably not my liver) screamed for the Blueberry Mule. I can’t remember exactly what was in it (I was too busy concentrating on pouring it down my throat) but I think it was a mixture of crushed blueberries, berri acai, and sweet, delicious gin. Get one.

Callum went for the manlier, more traditional Sol.

Next it was time for the food. Here is the menu, for those interested. Callum and I decided to share the Ofrenda Platter. Now, it’s important to say I’ve been dieting recently, so any combination of carbs, meat and cheese is going to look like sex on a plate to me. However, even Callum agreed that this stuff was pretty awesome. A big, juicy plate arrived brimming with Quesadillas, Albondigas (meatballs in sauce), Jalapenos Rellenos (Jalapenos wrapped in cheese and breadcrumbs), Rollitos de Camaron (shrimp rolls- my fave) with a hearty dollop of quacamole and chips to go with it. It was a truly emotional experience.

Knee-weakening sharing platter.

The only thing I didn’t understand is why there was three of everything. (We’d already inhaled a meatball each before I had the time to snap this photo.) Perhaps my boy and I are simply pigs, and the platter was actually meant for three people instead of two. I think it’s more likely to be a way of testing a couple’s sharing skills. I’m pretty sure Cal and I passed the test; I even cut the last meatball in half.

Right, so, we’ve established that the food was delicious. After we’d finished eating, we noticed a sign that had been sitting directly opposite us for the entire evening, but which we had both (until now) failed to notice.

Here it is…

Five dollars, you say?

The night very quickly turned from an enriching, cultural theatre experience, to, well, this.

Eventually we paid the bill and headed home. I played the Tequila song full-blast once, and then promptly fell asleep. What an absolute stunner of an evening.

For bookings, menus, and general info, Pan De Muerto’s website can be found here.

Happiness comes in a shot glass.