Have you ever wanted to just eat your way around a suburb? No? Well, we here at Wellingtonista have, and we figured it would make sense to start with Hataitai. After all, who doesn’t love Hataitai? So here’s what you can get to eat:
The fish’n chips shop (Supremo Burger):
This Fish’n Chips shop appears to have Greek owners, which means good good things for the quality of the fish on sale. Mostly the chips are thick and crisp, although there’s been one or two times when they weren’t up to their usual marvelous standard. You can get your chips with lemon & pepper or chicken or garlic salt if you’re that way inclined. Wellingtonista likes them a little garlicy. They also do big burgers, some of which hover around the ‘gourmet’ description – like chicken and brie. We also dig on their big corn fritters and vegetable spring rolls.
- Hot tip: they sell containers of garlic mayo for those of us of Dutch origin, although they are $3 for a rather small tub.
- Worst feature: stupid drunks hitting on us while we wait for our food.
The burger chain (Burger Wisconsin):
It’s the generic gourmet burger joint, and anyone from Auckland could tell you that it’s vastly inferior to Burger Fuel, and people on the Internet will mutter about how it only moved in to Hataitai because of Supremo Burger, and they’re probably all right. Still, the burgers are tasty enough, and there’s a wide range of magazines to read while you wait – although the lighting is almost too dim to.
- Hot tip: If you say “I saw on the website that if you say that you saw it on the website you get free dip for your chips”, you get free dip – and the garlic mayo is super tasty.
- Worst feature: The prices. $4.50 for kumara fries? Really?
The Indian takeaways (Khana Kazana):
The best thing about Khana Kazana is that they offer medium sized portions for around $7.50 as well as the standard $12ish sized portions. This means you won’t (probably) die of a cream induced heart attack. You’re not going to have to deal with your taste buds being too overwhelmed either, or your “wow, that’s some fine, friendly service!” thoughts being too over-powering either. This is very bog standard Indian food, but hey, it’s local.
The pub (The Realm):
Ignore the shady looking bar on the street, and instead walk around the outside to the back, where the guts of the Realm is. Here it’s not so seedy, and they do food. They even make decent enough coffees to go with greasy hungover weekend brunches. Admittedly, the mains are now over-priced since the new owners did away with the two-for-ones, but at least the food’s not terrible, by any stretch of the imagination. They also have a variety of weekly specials, like $12 Sunday Roasts, and there’s Quiz Night on thursdays from 7.30pm. Wellingtonista has yet to go there on a weekend night, but apparently it’s quite popular, especially for sport watching. The staff are all very friendly and sometimes a little over-the-top, but the guy who hosts the quiz nights is annoyingly slow and can’t pronounce many of the words he needs to.
- Hot tip: Book a table with a Happy Tap in it for that special occasion when you want don’t want to have to stand up or hail a waitress to get your next beer. Also, make sure you book a table for the quiz night, cos the place packs out.
- Worst feature: The ventilation system is pretty bad, especially upstairs, so expect to come out of there smelling a little greasy.
The Thai takeaways (Nakhon Thai):
Is currently closed for renovations. Previous experience has found their curries to be too bland and their stir-fries to be too hot, but perhaps this will change. Watch this space.
- Best feature: you can dine in, and it’s BYO.
- Worst feature: it’s still closed, a month after it was supposed to re-open
The kebab shop (Lamaso):
Mmmmm. Wellingtonista loves Lamaso. They’re of the gourmet Westernised variety, meaning that you can get Tandori chicken, or kumara patties or chutney or bacon & avocado or just nuts in your kebab, if you’re that way inclined. All meat is cooked in individual lots, and the falafel and mujaver is deep-fried on demand. Ordering your meal as an iskendar is a great way to make sure that you get your five-plus servings of vegetables, and they’re from all across the vege colour scheme too.
- Hot tip: Order the dish that has three meat options plus vegetarian bits, and eating your way through the animal kingdom as well as the vege phylum. Or just read the Footrot Flats books while you wait – that’s fun as well.
- Worst feature: It’d be nice if they did chips as well, for those days when you don’t want to be too healthy, or potato kofta like Fatima’s, their Auckland equivilent, does.
The cafe (Cafe Bellagio):
It’s small, but the coffee’s fine, and there’s mostly room to spread out the weekend paper – and if there isn’t you can read a magazine intead and that’s what’s important. The blackboard menu has plenty of salady options, and isn’t too “YOU MUST EAT EGG NOW”, which is a nice change from many places, but the selection isn’t overwhelmingly exciting. The cabinet does have yummy sweet treats to go with your coffee, so all in all, it’s a nice suburban cafe. You won’t be blown away, but you’ll probably stroll back again next weekend if you live in the neighbourhood.
The bakery (Hataitai Hot Bread Shop):
Is apparently open 24 hours on the weekend. Their donuts are also very good. More thoughts about the bakery from readers would be actively encouraged.
The Chinese takeaway (Great Wall Takeaways):
While the fish’n chips isn’t as good as from the dedicated shop down the road, the Chinese food is yum. Well, at least the sweet’n sour pork and the chicken & cashews is. And yes, Wellingtonista ordered cliched food. But if that’s what’s popular, then a place should do it well, yes? Yes. The place has tables so you can eat in, or sit and read magazines while you wait, and the food comes in large polystyrene containers that keep food nuclear hot.
The pizza place (Hell):
You don’t have to go all the way to the underworld to go to Hell, which is always good to know. This particular circle of Hell is pretty quick, and while the boys who work there aren’t as hot as their Khandallah brothers (or even the boys at Wisconsin next door), at least the chicken tastes more like chicken and less like luncheon meat.
- Hot tip: try the dessert pizza with bananas, custard and chocolate – mmmmmmmm!
- Worst feature: Although they’re only a block away from my house, if I wanted them to deliver they’d still charge me $4 for it. Lazy bastards.