What’s happened to Offbeat Originals?

What’s happened to Offbeat Originals?

A sign has appeared on the door of the TAWA-nominated cafe advising the popular joint is "closed until further notice".

This news has thrown the Wellington beatnik and hipster community into a disarray. Where will we go for our toasties, tofu burgers and peanut butter and chocolate shakes? Where will we sit in the sun listening to bangin’ old punk?

A Facebook group called Save Offbeat Originals has been created, hinting that perhaps an evil corporation has something to do with it.

But at this stage, we still don’t know what’s behind Offbeat’s sudden closure. If you have any info, leave a comment.

Bars and Bites

This is in the vein of The Wellingtonista Bar Fly-les, but I thought I’d give it another name since it’s about food & coffee as well as drink.

  • Have I been unobservant, or has Offbeat Originals only just started offering lamb as an option in their famous burgers? And tapenade as an accompaniment?! [insert drooling noises here]
  • The Buena Vista Social Club seems to have been successful as a certain mayoral campaign. It has closed (rather inconveniently for certain fringe shows), though it is apparently due to reopen as a gay bar called S&M. No comment.
  • If you’ve been putting off enjoying Simply Paris’ excellent cassoulet, patisserie, Merguez frites baguettes or pain perdu by their bizarre choice of “Nespresso” in place of coffee, then rejoice! for they now have a proper espresso machine and Orb coffee. You’ll still have to put up with the twee décor and occasionally slow service, though the more than occasional hotness of their staff should make up for the latter.
  • Forgive me for shouting, but … TIKI TIKI TIKI! It’s not quite the proper Tiki Bar that the Wellingtonista have long been gagging for, but Matterhorn are having a Tiki Bar weekend this weekend, complete with vintage tiki mugs, dry ice, special cocktails and silly hats.

Auckland vs. Wellington

A different long weekend away provides another opportunity to reexamine the age-old battle. After our first chapter, Secret Agent Robyn came down from Auckland to check out our city. This is her report…

Getting there: The airport bus runs past my place every 20 minutes. I waited for 30 minutes, but there was no sign of the bus. I started to panic and called a taxi. $50 later I was at the airport, but too late for check-in. Oh no! But fate smiled upon me — due to ‘weather’ in Wellington, the plane was late, so they could check me in after all. In Wellington, the taxi to my hotel was cheap, but slow in a way that proves the bypass was a dumb idea. Wellington wins this one for delaying my flight.

Wellington vs. Auckland

A long weekend away provides the perfect opportunity to re-examine the age-old battle. In our first chapter, our agent goes to Auckland. In our next chapter, an enemy agent will come here…

Airport access: Getting to Wellington Airport, from Thorndon via a quick stop in Hataitai to pick up my suitcase took less than half an hour, and the only cost was some grovelling to my mother. Getting to the CBD of Auckland via a shuttle took an hour and cost $26 – that’s 15 minutes longer than the actual flight, and only $13 less than the ticket. Wellington 1, Auckland 0.

Airports: Wellington airport has only one terminal, which is blissfully fast food chain-free and it’s a sexy big space. You can get Fuel coffee, and Wishbone food (which caters to a wide range of dietary requirements) but it’s loud and bustly, and the stools they have at counters are shiny metal and you slip off them. Meanwhile, Auckland Airport may have Burger King and MacDonalds, but they also have a juice bar with those posh award-winning recoverable design style chairs. A tie.

If Only: Striving for perfection in the real world

In the corner office of our wonderful Ivory Tower (literally now, thanks Noizy for shelling out for that rebuild) we look down upon the seething populace of Wellington that we love so dear and think to ourselves: if only…if only they were as perfect as we are. At which point it’s time for our 11am massage and manicure.

This time gave us the chance to construct a short list of establishments around Wellington that could be better if only they changed some things.

The Port Café

What they have going for them: Fantastic daytime sun, great city views, really good fish & chips, and a BYO license.
What they need to change: The décor! Plain white walls and concrete floors alone do not add up to stylish minimalism: that requires elegant proportions and exquisite detailing, whereas this place just looks cheap and unfinished. The chairs were salvaged from the bargain bin at Warehouse Stationery, and the only attempts at actual design (model ships and some blue downlights) make it look tawdry and twee. Either get in a proper interior designer or drop the prices and be a plain old chippie.

more after the jump..

Tell us what you really think

Two challenges for today.

1. We’ve started work on planning the Second Annual Wellingtonista Awards for Excellence in the field of Achievement, and so we’d like your feedback on how the awards for you last year, what you liked, what you didn’t like, and what we should change.

2. We’re lazy, so come up with a plan to answer this for a friend who’s planning a trip to Wellington:

i want to go somewhere and drink cocktails. and i want tasty cafes for lunches and at least one reasonably nice restaurant, and maybe a nice but cheap one too.

Time to veg out

October 1 is World Vegetarian Day, so we’d like you to comment and tell us about your favourite vege-friendly places to eat in Wellington.

We’d also like to encourage you to check out the Wellington Vegetarian Food & Lifestyle Festival on Saturday Saturday September 29 at St Johns in the City, Cnr Willis and Dixon Streets.

Join us to celebrate World Vegetarian Day with an exciting range of stalls covering everything from vegetarian cookery demonstrations and tastings, lifestyle products, cruelty-free beauty products, to nutritional information. View documentaries played on a big screen being run throughout the day, and hear informative speakers talk about human health, the environmental effects of food production, new education initiatives in schools, animal health, and animal rights.

Or if that all sounds like too much hard work, here’s a really easy recipe for dhal.

Say it ain’t so – the Chocolate Fish to close

Waiter Crossing - The Chocolate Fish, Scorching Bay (Wellington, NZ)Using the wonders of modern technology and the interweb we here at Wellingonsita Towers have discovered that The Chocolate Fish over at Scorching Bay is set to close.


Don’t believe us – read this article from Stuff.co.nz:

Wellington’s landmark Chocolate Fish Cafe is to close at the end of the year, hit by rising rent and council compliance costs.

So what can we do – find out after the break

Porcine Holocaust

When it comes down to living the good life, you don’t have to spend up large.

One of my favourite things about having been a dishpig or assorted-kitchen odd-body for a number of years is that you soon learn that the most expensive foods are often the crappyest.

So, to help you all out, here’s a few pointers about surviving on a partial-gourmet diet in Wellington. Now, all of these photos were taken at gourmet and sometimes 4×4 central, Moore Wilsons.

Fact Number One. Pork is good for you. To prove it, here’s a great example right here. pork belly

A kilo of pork belly for a miserly $12. There’s a bit of fat on there, but nothing you can’t handle.

Of course, you don’t want to go overboard. Too much pork makes Che a rather fat boy. But everything in moderation, no?

So, I mention the pork belly because it’s a main ingredient in cassoulet, something I’ll be discussing in more length over on Object Dart. Sooner or later.

Probably later.

But, there’s heaps of stuff you can find at Moore Wilson you can’t find easily anywhere else. So here’s a few more

What’s for lunch?

Remember when we asked you for hot tips about where to eat on Lambton Quay? Well, the Wellingtonista Towers has opened up yet another branch office, this time temporarily on Mercer Street, so we want to know where to max out our expense accounts. We’d also like to know where the best coffee is, keeping in mind that our definition of best coffee generally includes the ability to purchase something yummy like a muffin or a scone to have with it. And, because we always Push Play and have managed to find a branch of our gym up this end of town, hurrah, we’d also like suggestions for takeaway lunches, because we’re really really going to miss Kapai.