Eat Well(ington)

Eating out and eating well in the capital of Aotearoa New Zealand. And sometimes, other places.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

brunch: Strawberry Fare, Kent Terrace

Hello, my name is Vincent. I'm your maitre d'.De rigueur to the dessert darlings, Strawberry Fare somehow manages to walk down the tightrope between being an urbane and sophisticated evening haunt of the theatre set, and being on the set of afternoon tea with Agatha Christie. I don’t know if buildings can have past lives, but, I just can’t stop feeling the maitre d’ could be best played by Vincent Price. There isn't a maitre d'. This is somehow not comforting.

The great thing about Strawberry Fare is they do brunch until 3, at least on Sundays. How adult. Not a huge menu (it’s a dessert restaurant, kakkhead) but all the stalwarts. We decided to have the same - corn fritters and a skinny latte. Simple. Fast(ish) - we were there at 2 and were starving.

With an upstairs kitchen the serving staff have an opportunity to work off any thighs built up on the evening menu. The food arrived - a stack of three good sized fritters, with half a lightly fried tomato, some rashers of bacon, and a tiny bowl of salsa. Would’ve been good if the salsa was warm - cold day outside. The tomato was sweet and delicious. The fritters were very politically correct and I added a snap more salt and pepper - just a little on the bland side. On the plus side, not leathery or overly stodgy. Corn fritters are one of those great really easy to whip up dishes that are hard to make really well, consistently. Strawberry Fare’s version definitely had ‘order again’ status. Lattes were hot (yay!) and served in bowls a little on the small side (urh!).

Big advice: Family friendly if your ruggers are house trained. Really hard to find a better place to take your mum and the grandkids for a civilised, adult outing. If your ruggers are apt to be vile, do us all a favour and stay home wearing your ugg boots.


Points off: Pallid (but not at all unpleasant) dining experience - what was with that Frank Sinatra music? Not really evocative of a cruisy Sunday afternoon. Maybe it’s hard to create ambience on a Wellington winter afternoon. It felt cold, even though it wasn’t. Lively up yourselves.

Points on: Beautiful presentation. Warm plates - fritters are sweaty little creatures and there’s few things less attractive than glutinous, sweaty fritters. Well, I suppose, apart from what eating them does to your otherwise svelte body. Nice web site.

Parking: Almost suburbia, usually not too difficult to find something in the Mount Vic foothills.

Two corn fritters, two latte bowls, $ 34.00

Strawberry Fare
25 Kent Terrace (just up Kent from the Embassy Theatre)
385 2551
strawberry fare web site (with their menu)


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