I’d been given a tip from my friend Calum, who works at the excellent Rogue & Vagabond, that I should give Salty Pidgin, in Brooklyn, a look. What he did not explain is that Brooklyn is at the top of a fucking massive hill. Nor was it immediately apparent that Google Maps’ proposed route for the journey took me on some sort of nature walk through Wellington’s central park.
The long and the short of it was that I crossed Salty Pidgin’s smart threshold sweating like…well, a salty pigeon, I guess.
I was seated at a good table in the corner of their main dining area after walking past the bar’s impressive array of taps. I sampled one of their pale ales with my dinner and it was excellent.
Once my equilibrium had been restored, I took in their menu and listened to the additional daily specials.
I settled upon three of their Pacific oysters to begin, then followed with a starter of curried chickpea panisse, then a main course of one of their Turkish pides. I opted for clam and chilli as my topping.
The oysters were of excellent quality and were served with a brightly fruity vinaigrette.
The panisse, a French chickpea cake, was very well-crafted with an excellent smear of black garlic yoghurt and real freshness from celery and green grape for joyfully well-rounded mouthfuls.
The main course delivered a traditional Turkish pide, their boat-shaped version of pizza. You often see this served as a dense and puffed item that’s probably closer to Georgia’s adjarian khachapuri, but this was light, crisp and completely delicious. The clams on top were splendid. It was the best pide I’ve had outside Turkey.
I rounded things out with memorably good espresso.
It struck me that Salty Pidgin was one of the most well-executed evenings in a restaurant I’d had in a while, which given the places I’ve been visiting lately is saying something. Everything just felt so thoughtful in its delivery. If I was ever looking to live in Wellington, it would be to this neighbourhood that I would look to move. With Rita at the bottom of the hill and Salty Pidgin at the top, you’d be very well exercised while having all your food and drink needs looked after gloriously.
Blythe scores Salty Pidgin
4.5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 16.5/20
I ate: oysters, curried chickpea panisse, clam and chilli pide
I drank: pale ale, water
I wore: sweaty shirt
Total bill: $68
Address: 5 Todman Street, Brooklyn, Wellington 6021