Food & Dining
REVIEW: Little Peckish Cafe in Dukes Arcade follows a long history of popular eateries on that site.
After the Duke of Wellington Hotel was demolished in 1973, the site was briefly a car park, and since then there has been a revolving series of shops, always with a cafe slotted in there somewhere.
Mark and Margaret Peck took over the cafe in 2009, renaming it - appropriately - Little Peckish.
The cafe had a lot to live up to. Iona, Sardine and the various other cafes that occupied the site were all extremely popular.
It's in a curious position, slotted between the CBD and the entertainment area in and around Cuba St.
Being in an arcade, it is slightly off the beaten track, but it certainly seems busy enough, especially at lunchtimes.
Little Peckish is open every day except Sundays. On weekdays it operates from about 6am until late afternoon. On Saturdays it offers a brunch menu from 9am till 3pm.
Mr Peck said it was a challenge to maintain the flow of customers.
"A lot of government offices have closed and we've had to build up new customers," he said. "We're busy enough, but I suppose having a street front would be better."
Little Peckish offers an extensive and inviting array of counter food, the most popular by some distance being the Southland cheese rolls ($5 for three).
There are certainly no complaints about the breakfast and lunch menus. My favourite is the Thai chicken curry ($16). I'm unsure why it is called Thai, but I can vouch for how tasty and filling it is.
"That one is very popular," Mr Peck said. "We probably serve it to 15 or 20 regular customers every week."
There's a nice buzz to Little Peckish. The service is quick and friendly, and often most of the 70 seats - 65 indoors, five in the arcade - are full.
Sometimes the cafe, with its stone floor, can be a little noisy, but there has been a reconfiguration of the serving areas, and it seems less of a problem now.
- The Wellingtonian