Eat Well(ington)

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

Monday, July 25, 2005

lunch: Hotel Bristol, Cuba Mall

I'm not much given to pub lunches. It's not that they're necessarily bad, just that it's tempting to slip into something more comfortable (like a lime and lager) and the next thing you know it's not 4 in the afternoon, it's 4 in the morning. And all kinds of shrill people want explanations.

So, early one cold afternoon the Bristol's blackboard sung its siren song and I went in like a lamb to the slaughter. Hey - it was cold out and my tuck box back at the office only had reconstituted food on offer. Yum-ee.

If you don't know the Bristol, it's one of those (con)fusion places offering a comfortably bricky-woodgrainy-openfire ambiences (like so many establishments in the Capital) coupled with laddish rugby sport themed changing sheds greatest hits gambling lounge...come dressed as you are, it's always wrong. I think what is really needed is a purple light. Behind the bar is a Methuselah sized Steinlager, and standard sized bottles of champagne. And being very Capital, the bar sports a industrial strength coffee machine. Of course.

The blackboard seduced me with the simple-but-difficult-to-do-well scrambled egg on toast with a hash brown. Scrambled egg. There's a continuum for scrambled egg - from cloud shaped, delicate triumphs through to yellow leather yellow leather.

What actually arrived was a goodly serving more towards the clouds than the leather, gently sitting on lightly toasted bread, with a (I think) deep fried hash brown, and a small bowl of tomato sauce. How uncomplicated. I've had good meals in the Bristol before. From what I could see of my few fellow diners they seem to do a good lunch as well.

Big advice - don't fall into the lunchtime liquor lounge. Or do fall in. Just pick your moments for both.


Points off: bit nippy for a winter day, overly thumpy bass for lunch time music.

Points on: good sized serving, quiet enough to have a quiet lunch discussion, sports on tv to avoid boredom waiting for food to arrive.

Parking - usual downtown horrors.

Scrambled eggs on toast with a hash brown - $3.50

Hotel Bristol
131-135 Cuba Street
385 1147