“ Address: 220 Cuba Street / Te Aro 6011 / Wellington / New Zealand / Tel: (04) 384 8461 „
Guidebooks sometimes throw up unexpected pleasures. Along with fine dining and cafes, there is sometimes a random place that is clearly a locals' recommendation, such is its faintly esoteric nature. Wellington Trawling Sea Market comes under such a heading. Ostensibly a fishmonger, it also doubles as a fish and chip outlet. Well we had to try this when we read about it in The Lonely Planet, being fans of random places to eat.
WELLINGTON TRAWLING SEA MARKET
Positioned at the far end of the trendy Cuba Street in the city centre, the shop (as this is the best way to describe it really) is a small blue one storey building sitting on it's own, quite distinguishable from it's sign out from with fishes pained on either side. As you enter, he fish and chip counter is directly in front of you, with the menu overhead and a drinks fridge to the right with various soft drinks such as Coca Cola. Seating is to the left of this against the window, where there are 3 or 4 tables. I saw many people order takeaway fish and chips, and it seemed to be very popular.
To the left of the takeaway counter, all the way round the side of the shop, was a large fish counter with many delightful specimens of fresh seafood to buy, such as crabs, prawns, mussels, hoki and cod.
One thing to note in New Zealand is that the dishes are prepared when ordered, so you can be sure that whatever you are eating has been cooked to order and hasn't been sitting there all day, which I think is brilliant, although you then have be prepared for a 10 minute or so wait while they cook it.
As we'd arrived quite late that lunchtime, some of the more popular varieties had already sold out, so I went for groper and chips, which was a large, pleasantly thick, meaty crumbed piece of white fish. The golden breadcrumb crumb was crispy and not at all greasy, enclosing all the succulence of the fish brilliantly. Ms Larsbaby went for tarahaki, which was also a white fish that was thinner, and with the same excellent crumb and succulence. For the sides, we had a good portion of chips, crispy and again without a trace of oil, and fresh coleslaw, which as good fresh coleslaw is was crispy and tasty. A couple of sachets of tartar sauce and sachets of salt and pepper completed this dishes.
I really like this kind of place, where it's not really an eatery but somewhere which nonetheless has excellent, simple food. Fish and chips is as popular in New Zealand as it is in the UK, and I wasn't disappointed by this example of the local take on it, a superior take on it to that at home in my opinion. If you want to try this dish in Wellington, I highly recommend coming here then going for dessert and coffee somewhere else on Cuba Street; you won't regret it.
Wellington Trawling Sea Market,
220 Cuba Street,
Tel : +64 4 384 8461
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org