Pickle's impressive debut

KERRY MCBRIDE
Last updated 10:59 16/11/2012
Pickle
New: Pickle has already generated considerable buzz.

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REVIEW: As soon as I heard that the new place in Sandwiches offered mac 'n' cheese sliders, I knew it wouldn't be long before I ended up at Pickle Eating House & Bar.

So on a Sunday evening, my friend Lisa and I settled down under the pickle jarred ceiling to test the extensive menu of big and little bites.

Despite being open only a couple of weeks, Pickle has already generated considerable buzz, and deservedly so.

It was one of the best dining experiences I have had in Wellington.

Restaurant manager Kane Salanoa took the time to explain the inspiration behind certain dishes, and share plans for weekly pickling sessions of fresh veges from the city markets.

He also managed to convince us to put the dark chocolate and duck liver pate lollipops ($2) on the agenda, and despite our initial reservations they were so good we ordered another each.

We made sure to get a good cross-section of dishes, including their salt and vinegar fries with onion dip ($5), spiced popcorn with strawberry, beans and parmesan ($7) and miso braised eggplant with tomato jam and tofu ($15).

Everything was beautifully presented and offered interesting flavour combinations.

Pickle details food requirements such as vegan and gluten-free options on its menu.

But the real highlights were the sliders and the desserts.

We tried the mushroom, lettuce, tomato and aioli sliders, as well as the much anticipated mac 'n' cheese sliders with bacon and Nana's relish (both $10), and were not disappointed.

The mini burgers were perfectly cooked with lovely fresh buns, and I would sure love to have the recipe for Nana's relish.

With so many options on the dessert menu, we opted to share the fennel caramel chocolate bar ($4), a blue cheese crumpet with honey and port fig ($10), and had a mini creme brulee each ($3.50).

When the creme brulees turned up in hollowed out egg shells and presented as if in a bird's nest, it really summed up what Pickle is achieving - thoughtful presentation, excellent service and food that leaves you satisfied and planning the next visit.

I've no doubt this place would impress anyone.

My only hope is that Pickle Eating House & Bar, on the corner of Marjoribanks St and Kent Tce, will extend its hours to accommodate the weekend brunch crowd. I would love to see what it could do with a plate of eggs. A shared three-course meal with drinks and sides was $97.

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- The Wellingtonian

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