It was Friday, I’d had a pretty intense week of Wellington fun, and I had the prospect of an early flight looming the following morning. I therefore resolved to have a fairly low-impact day with lunch and dinner at two markets nearby to where I was staying.
Firstly, I breakfast/lunched at the Capital Market which is open seven days and has the feel of a Singapore food centre about it. It had a decent balance of options with an emphasis on pan-Asian.
I started with slow cooked beef and tendon noodle soup from the Noodle Man ($13.50). This featured tender pieces of beef in a darkly rich soup filled with plentiful noodles. It was really pretty good.
After a short intermission, I headed to Xichlo, a Vietnamese fusion place. There I tried a pork and ham banh mi burger. This was essentially a banh mi on a round bun. The filling was lightly fragrant and packed good depth of flavour in the meaty elements.
I added some cheese and bacon fries. The bacon was in a slightly sickly tomato sauce and when matched with the excessive mayo topping this was in the realms of poutine. It was decent but towards the dirty end of things. Together the bun and fries cost $15.40.
After a largely unproductive afternoon, I headed down Cuba Street to Wellington’s regular Friday night market.
This was a lively mix of food stalls, craft stalls, regular restaurants that lined the market area and capitalised on the increased flow of people, and some live music.
I ate at two stalls. Firstly, I had a selection of meaty dumplings from a stall called simply Dumplings. These were being hand-crafted on the stall but weren’t cooked to order meaning the portion I had was lukewarm with the casings a little tough. Still, for $10 this wasn’t a bad little snack.
The second item I sampled was a lamb roti wrap ($10) from Roti Bay Fast Food. The flatbreads were cooked to order on a large grill plate, then filled with crunchy slaw and a generous amount of meat stew, then topped with a range of sauces.
A strong effort had been made to wrap this in a way that minimised collateral splatter, but it still proved a fairly messy eat.
It was all pretty satisfying with the lamb warmly spiced and flavour-packed and the fresh bread of very good quality. I enjoyed it muchly.
So overall, I was glad to sample some of Welllington’s less formal delights after a couple of days with a fine-dining emphasis. The quality on offer didn’t always hit the heights but I found both the Capital Market and the Night Market rather charming and well worth checking out when you’re in town.