Grand Century Restaurant , 84 Tory Street offers authentic Chinese food. I recommend the Crispy Peking Duck (with Orange Sauce) and seasonal Vegetables. These two dishes with some Jasmin tea are more than sufficient for two. Other dishes have been reported as being ‘average’ so this is the selection we always stick to. I can’t recommend their wine either I’m afraid and it lacks ambience. However, they do a good ‘yum char’ (dim sum) – a selection of small dishes – you chose which ones to take as they take them around the tables. Yum Char is available at lunch times only.
My favourite restaurant in Wellington, however, has to be Floriditas, 181 Cuba Street: great pasta, steak and wine!
Also worthy of mention and one of the best restaurants is Ortega Fish Shack, 16 Majoribank Street. You guessed… they specialise in fish. You’ll need to book in advance.
The NZ ‘take’ on curry is different. Looking around the local supermarket it is immediately apparent that it does not enjoy the same status of ‘a national dish’ as it does in the UK. There is not the variety of ingredients, pastes and spices.
I recall my first experience of visiting a NZ Indian Restaurant a number of years ago. A group of trendy young girls came in and all ordered Vodka and lime with Nan bread. They ordered their main dishes and asked for everything ‘mild’. It appears that whatever the Indian dish is you can opt to have it mild, medium or hot!
And as with all things the curry experience has been adapted for NZ tastes. You are OK if you like sweet, creamy and tomato. I ordered a Madras curry recently and it came with added cream and cashew nut butter in the sauce. Butter Chicken and Korma are popular dishes. Some Indian chains are a little more like the UK: Little India is a little less sweet and creamy.
I have concluded that NZ does not do curry to my taste. Their offerings in Thai, Japanese and Chinese are much more to my liking. Thai food in particular is ubiquitous with NZ cuisine and often very good.
One word of warning; the dishes in ethnic restaurants are large and one dish per person is ample.
They say the weather can be weird over here and often describe it as ‘four seasons in one day’. (Though to me that sounds more like Ireland…??) But in Christchurch yesterday we were basking in 30 degrees and today it’s 13! Winds changed from hot northerlies to cold south westerlies overnight apparently. We thought we’d woken up in London a few days early!