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Category: New Zealand

Visit a Dumpling Queen in Wellington’s House of Dumplings

Wellington is famous for it’s culinary variety and delicious food. On every street you will discover a cute café with tasty pastry, fancy restaurants with sumptuous food or quirky bars with a wide craft beer scene. But I will tell you about a real insider of the culinary capital, located on Taranaki Street in Te Aro, where everything is made with love and passion. It’s a pioneer of Wellington’s steamed and filled pieces of dough since 2012, House of Dumplings, which is owned and founded by Vicky, the Queen of Dumplings. It’s an ideal place for takeaways or a quick appetizing top quality lunch.

Scrumptious Meal Pack, $16.50

Scrumptious Meal Pack, $16.50

For those who have never heard about dumplings, it’s a small mass of leavened dough cooked by boiling or steaming. The most common dumplings are filled with meat or vegetables, but in the House of Dumplings you will find curious and mouth watering combinations of dumpling flavours. The easiest way to discover your individual favorite one is to try them all. In Vicky’s place you can order not only steamed but also pan fried dumplings, the Western version of Asian kitchen. I couldn’t pick just one ideal flavour, so here are my three winners:

Fried VS steamed

Fried VS steamed

  1. Crystal Prawn Garlic Chives, steamed – prawns are always delightful and if you mix them with sesame oil, pepper and garlic chives then you will reach culinary heaven.
  2. Japanese Six-Mushroom Dumplings, fried – the composition of six different types of mushrooms wrapped in carrot dough are just too tempting.
  3. Sweet Almond Dumplings – filled with a savory nutty mixture and served in a cute bowl, it’s something that I’ve never had before. If you are foodie, don’t hesitate to try them!
Sweet Almond Dumplings, $6 for 2

Sweet Almond Dumplings, $6 for 2

Vicky’s House of Dumplings won an NZ Food Award in year 2016 for her carefully handmade yummy doughs. The crucial secret of the tasty dumplings is using only local ingredients, natural flavors, spices and herbs. Another are the irresistible sauces: Mum’s Sauce and for the extremists, Chilli Oil, based on recipes handed down from generations. You can even purchase this liquid divinity in a bottle for 15$ or both of them for 25$. It’s a good deal, the only danger is you can get addicted to it.

NZ Food Award 2016

If you prefer to enjoy your dumplings inside your own four walls, you can buy a prepared frozen box of your favorite flavours directly in the shop or in various supermarkets, soon even in Countdown. For the street food lovers there is an opportunity to savor the steamed doughs on Cuba Street Market, Wellington Night Market and Harbourside Market. So there is no way to escape Vicky’s creations!

Addictive Mum’s Sauce

Last but not least you can learn how to make tasty dumplings with your own hands. Interactive and passionate foodies can have a private class. In a group of 15-20 people the dumpling queen herself will share her secrets and teach how to create a perfect masterpiece. If you don’t like to socialize you have the option to follow Vicky on Youtube.

Double Enjoyment

Double Enjoyment

Conclusion: if you like healthy, natural and satisfying food made with good vibes then House of Dumplings will be your number one spot!

Cute Interior of House of Dumplings

House of Dumplings´cute interior

The variety of craft beer in Wellington’s Crafters & Co

Everything started in 2014 when two brothers decided to surprise Wellington with a cafe where modern creativity embraces vintage. Nowadays Crafters & Co is a Wellington hidden pearl located on the corner of the Vivian and Victoria streets behind the colorful graffiti walls. Here it’s all about great vibes and outstanding service. The artistic wooden ceiling, maritime highlights, good music and detailed decoration fill the room with a cozy atmosphere. Moreover it’s a place where you will be spoiled with a choice of craft beers cold like the heart of your ex. And when finally the weather is good in Wellington you can take a seat outside and enjoy your drink under the sunlight. In the near future you can even relax on the rooftop of the bar.

Free Wi-Fi, great!

Ladies, who are not interested in beers can taste refreshing and delicious ciders, from Eddie’s Cider Co micro brewery which is located just next door. The curious ones can even taste samples to personally find out which is more enjoyable. There is also a unique variety of wine and spirits, so no one will have an empty glass.

Roses are red, Violets are blue, In Crafter & Co you can have a beer or two

Crafters & Co is an ideal place to catch up with a friend for a great coffee and delightful food. You can find everything for a small or big hunger, from sweet cookies until juicy burgers, all for a decent price. We had the crispy chicken waffle with baby spinach salad and salt and pepper squid with delightful wasabi mayo and tomato, capsicum and kiwi fruit salad. Both dishes didn’t just look appetizing but tasted excellent. Especially the unexpected combination of a salad on the side of the fried squid left me positively surprised.

Crispy chicken waffle with baby spinach salad

Crispy chicken waffle with baby spinach salad

Another wonder of this bar is that they offer happy hours every day from 4 – 6 pm with 2$ off on tap beer and house wines. So if you want to enjoy your afterwork away from the chaotic city or you just want to have an awesome beer for a lower price then it’s time to visit homely Crafters and Co. You feel like a house party would be a great idea then you can get your favorite take away bottles for 2$ off any day till 10pm.

Salt and pepper squid with wasabi mayo and tomato, capsicum and kiwi fruit salad

I’m looking forward to visit Crafters & Co again to try the seductive beer brownies served with peppermint anglaise and vanilla ice cream. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? So probably we’ll see each other there on a Sunday Sesh, when the happy hour is not just an hour but the whole day!

The cozy interior of the bar

Wellington’s best view from Coene’s Bar & Eatery terrace

There is no other place like Coene’s Bar & Eatery in the whole of Wellington city. The simple reason is the scenic view where the metropolis meets the glistening waters of the bay. The magnificent restaurant has an ideal location along Oriental Parade, just a lovely winding stroll away from the city`s core. The building started it’s life as part of an American navel base during World War 2. Nowadays it’s an exciting mix of a sophisticated environment and relaxed atmosphere, where every guest is “Whalcome”.

Even though being in close proximity to the heart of the city, it lets you immerse into a tranquil holiday atmosphere. The perfect place to get away from the busy streets and enjoy delightful food and heartwarming service. Apropos the service: Coene`s  staff will make you feel like home. But let me tell you more about another highlight of this eatery: Delicious food.

The first savory creation on the plate was Coenes Cookout: Potato Rosti, Bacon, Tomato, Poached Eggs, Black Pudding, Roasted Mushroom w Smoked Tomato Relish & Toasted Sourdough. The composition was not only appetizing but also scrumptious. It’s a perfect meal for food lovers who like to try a bit of everything without overeating.

The other plate was served with roasted cauliflower salad with cranberries, almonds, herbs, chili, coconut and Tarakihi fish from the market. The salad which was full with refreshing flavors was perfectly complimented with the juicy panfried white fish. The portion had a good size as to leave some room for the sweet conclusion.

While we were waiting for our sweet sins to arrive from hell’s kitchen we decided to clink our glasses for the sun. To my positive surprise the lovely waitress informed me that they have French Rosé Chateau Routas, which is excellent. Marvelous is also that the prices are nor higher than anywhere else in Wellington city.

Pineapple & passionfruit cheesecake

Pineapple & passionfruit cheesecake

We didn’t have to wait to long for our desserts. One of them was sweet and sour pineapple & passionfruit cheesecake. It’s an interesting and mouthwatering interpretation of a classic cheesecake. Doubtlessly my favorite combination! The other one was a calorie bomb banoffee parfait with salted caramel, peanuts, choc brownie & ganache. An incredible dessert and a dream for every chocolate and caramel enthusiast! Both desserts will let you forget reality for a moment.

banoffee parfait with salted caramel, peanuts, choc brownie & ganache

Banoffee parfait with salted caramel, peanuts, choc brownie & ganache

…And when you open your eyes you will see the splendid view of the harbour. Don’t forget life can’t be always perfect but the moments at Coene’s place can be!

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