Restaurant review: Salty Pidgin, Brooklyn, Wellington
A taste of… Salty Pidgin, 5 Todman St, Brooklyn, Wellington.
We'd heard… That this Brooklyn site, a former pub turned impressive eatery, served up some of the best food in Wellington
We ordered… A beautifully constructed miso-marinated fish ($17) in a shallow pool of dashi, - gently seared, flaky and opaque with a subtle glaze of miso. Playfully imaginative, it was garnished with crispy potato to replicate coral. The goats cheesecake ($15), as the name suggests, was presented like the dessert - emulating its texture with a parmesan crumble, lifting the mild, slightly tangy notes of the cheese. A generous portion of market fish ($33) came set on a bed of risotto, bursting with flavour from the crayfish reduction. The refreshing grapefruit and fennel salad provided a crisp palate cleanser, as I stole bites of my partner's soft pork loin ($34), accompanied with the softest, most palatable gnocchi I've ever had, flavoured with a hint of mustard (and made in-house by an Italian chef).
For dessert, we selected a chocolate orange cheesecake ($8) from the specials board - and wished it was a permanent fixture, with its soft cheese swirled with orange, candied peel and clusters of dark chocolate. The chocolate fondant ($8) had a hit of chilli raspberries right at the melty centre, complementing the cool labneh.
The service… Top notch - our coats were taken and water poured as soon as we sat down. Our waitress knew the menu inside out and was excellent at guiding us through the choices - as deceptively simple as the mains look, we had a very tough time choosing.
The vibe… Friendly upmarket neighbourhood bistro. Think slick without being sterile; welcoming warming wooden hues with accents of black furnishings and a touch of white - matched with the personable staff - make this an effortlessly stylish and accessible haunt.
If you go… Whatever you do, make a booking, The place was still buzzing late on a Sunday night, and having a full-house mid-week is becoming increasingly common as its (well deserved) reputation goes from strength to strength. Also, set aside some time to just enjoy it - these are dishes to be savoured.
Rating out of 5: 5