Vietnamese to Japanese in Wellington(ese)

Hop in your TARDIS, we’re heading back in time.

On Saturday we drove down to Wellington. It was awake at 4:30am, on the road by 7:30, arriving in Otaki at 3:30 and then on the road again to head to Wellington at 4:30. We were heading down for the opening night of Nancy Brunning’s Hikoi and then my aunt’s wedding the next day.

A brief word on Hikoi – it is stunning, a tear jerker of a script, a sensational cast, fantastic designs. It follows a Māori family trying to understand itself in the midst of the reo movement. Stuck between the old world and the new, between Māori and assimilation, between family. It is beautiful and I cannot wait for it to come to Auckland. In the meantime, it’s on at Circa, closing on Saturday! Info here.

Bookending both events was a need for food and as you’ve already seen once this week – Wellington does good food.

Left Bank Vietnamese

Saturday’s stop was Phong Vu, a Vietnamese joint tucked up in the back corner of the Left Bank in Wellington.

I was barely hungry after the excesses of the previous day (loads of catering at work) but Vietnamese was just the ticket. With tofu on the mind I ordered the Tofu Pad Thai and shared in a serving of Fried Spring Rolls.

Phong Vu is one of those simple little Asian joints that you know on entry will be good. They didn’t disappoint. No fuss, great food.

The spring rolls were incredible, fried and yet packed full of fresh coriander and mint. Aka my sort of dish. The Pad Thai was just as good. I cleaned my plate.


On Monday a different sort of meal was in order. With a full day of celebrations behind us  and an early morning to race Dad to the airport we were in need for some comfort.

I’d initially thought we’d go to Olive, but my stomach had ideas of its own and we soon found ourselves at TJ Katsu and Udon on Courtenay Place. It had become Mum and I’s favourite during the festival and was just the ticket for hangover body restoration.

Soft Shell Crab

Isabel went for her standard selection of  Salmon Sushi while the more weary of us opted for Teriyaki Chicken Udon, Soft Shell Crab and Okonomiyaki. Izzy scoffed at us for ordering so much (rich one kid!) but it was perfect.

UdonSlippery udon to soak up the liquor, crunchy crab, fried Okonomiyaki. We scoffed and found ourselves replete.

But the week of excessive eating was not over. No, not at all. Tomorrow? Little Kitchen Club.




About madicattt

Curator of The Things That Are Good. Sharing the things that stand out in the worlds of theatre, food, beauty and style.
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