Friday, 27 March 2015

Wellington Night Market (A Local's Guide to Wellington)

Off Cuba Mall, Left Bank Arcade hosts a Night Market every Friday. 
If you're ready to get your jive on, let's mosy on over to the Slightly Raised Platform of Live Music, where some ill advised person had strung up paper lanterns in the windiest city in New Zealand. Luckily it was a calm night. Here you can be entertained with brass band covers of popular songs and people clogging up walkways as they stop to listen. 

Moving along, the main draw to the Night Market is the multitude of food stalls. You can find Filipino (BBQ pork kebab featured here), Vietnamese, French, Colombian, Moroccan, Korean and Mexican to name a few. 

We picked stalls based on the portion sizes. If they were providing snack sized food for a few dollars, we'd try it. An interesting one was the papas rellenas, which was a sort of Colombian fried potato-wrapped egg and flying animal construct that wasn't the easiest to eat with the plastic spoon they gave us. I'm pretty sure the flying animal was chicken, but can't know for sure. There were some stalls that we wanted to eat from, but they served full sized meals and we just didn't have the stomach room. We will be back for the Moroccan kebabs and the hangi. 

From Sweet Couple, I sampled a wondrous feat of culinary science: deep-fried ice cream. How is it frozen and yet fried? Only thermal scientists can know. 

And what better way to celebrate advances in molecular gastronomy than covering it in chocolate chips and caramel sauce?

For his dessert, Yannick ate a Korean pancake with black sugar, cinnamon and nuts. Watching a glob of batter be flung onto a skillet is jarring when you're used to the thin mixture of a French crepe, but once it was cooked through and sugary goodness was bursting out from the inside, our worries fluttered away. We had moved on from 'comfortably full' to 'one too many quills in the ink pot' and all for less than $30 for the both of us. 

The shops that line Left Bank also benefit from the increased foot traffic and stay open late. As you nibble on a burrito, you can peruse the aisles of secondhand books. The tortilla gives way and a travel guide of Tuscany from the 1970's gets a sprinkling of beans and cheese. You hastily try to scrape off the offending foodstuff before retreating shifty-eyed into the crowd, allowing the masses to shield you from shopkeeper fury. 

Monday, 9 March 2015

Cuba Mall (A Local's Guide to Wellington)

Cuba Mall is the section of Cuba Street that is pedestrian only. Along with Cuba Street, it is one of the most talked about sights in Wellington.

The Umbrella
I don't know why there is a large umbrella on Cuba Mall. Perhaps it's ironic, as no one can use an umbrella in Wellington unless they want a broken umbrella. I can't count the number of times I've seen a crippled brolley sticking out of a bin because it just couldn't stand up to the winds. The tricky bit is that they change direction so fast - if the wind was as strong, but constant in direction, it might be possible to use an umbrella as you could brace it, but no luck.

The Bucket Fountain
Here is a picture of the Bucket Fountain splashing children who ventured too close. The truth of it is that you can't safely walk anywhere near it without risking a spray of water dousing you. Aaaaand I'm just going to pull this sentence straight from Wikipedia: "Much of the water does not reach the buckets below, but instead splashes onto pedestrians and onlookers. On windy days (common in Wellington) water is carried several metres from the fountain." I love the gross understatement that windy days are 'common' in Wellington. 

This is such a neat little gift store that I want to buy about half the stuff in here. The problem being that I don't really like decorations and I'd also be broke. The greeting cards in here are the cutest, and there is literally something for everyone (just get your eftpos card prepared as it can be a bit on the pricey side).

Japan City
Right next to Iko Iko is Japan City, which I also feel has something for everyone but in a pencils-with-anime-hamsters-on way. There are some useful things here, but mostly it's strange little items that you want but don't need (they have a whole aisle of squishy keychains that look like baked goods). It's bizarre, but affordable and perfect for someone who likes weird things. 

Viva Mexico
Cited as some of the best Mexican food in Wellington, Viva Mexico on Left Bank paints a bright picture on your palate and on your retinas. 
If you hope to enjoy quesadillas and bebidas for reasonable prices, go along and have a taste.

Stay tuned for a post on the Wellingon Night Market (coming soon to an electrical device near you).