Cafe Chat: Sci-fi movie bar opens in Wellington CBD
PhotonFlux, the term given for the number of photons hitting the surface at any given time, is also the name of Wellington's first science-fiction movie bar - open now and serving up snacks, brews and photography.
The brainchild of professional photographer Anton Sounes and Nina Human, a creative administrator with a background in hospo, performance and finance, the venue aesthetic pays homage to the famous films of the eighties.
"Fluxbuns" ($10-12 each) are a playful interpretation of vetkoek, meat or jam filled fried dough bread from the couple's native South Africa, given a twist with the help of Irish chef Emmitt Becirovic.
Currently chocolate oxtail, in-house smoked kahawai, pork shoulder with fennel walnuts, and spicy pickled chilli on a broad bean patty are on the chalkboard. This four-item menu is designed to be simple and casual - think Blade Runner's Deckard chewing on noodles or Dallas ordering food from a flying vendor in The Fifth Element - being served in paper bags and intended to be eaten with your hands.
The drinks offerings take the best of the capital's scene with craft beers, wines and whisky. In addition, there's Mama's Brew Shop Kombucha and bottomless RichCoffee for designated drivers (whether you rock up in a Delorean or not).
"If you're into aliens, time travel or think robots are going to take over the world, you'd like a chat with us" laughs Human.
"We do not classify ourselves as just one or the other and like to think of the business as a tripod, equally split between eatery/drinkery/photography, each one complementing the other."
Artistic nods to the concept are everywhere - from painted murals to cameras encased in the colourful counter. Far be it for us to ruin the fun, avid fans of the genre should pop down for themselves to see how many references they can spot. Extra points for recognising the alien language above the food bar.
PhotonFlux, 176 Victoria St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011.
A quick half
10 breweries and five restaurants in 2½ hours? Challenge accepted. Pint Sized Beervana is for brew aficionados who can't wait for the official Wellington on a Plate event in August, and want to have a sneak peek tomorrow - with unlimited beer tastings. Some of the country's best suds at the event include Garage Project, ParrotDog, and Yeastie Boys. Taking place in the rugby Fan Zone at Te Wharewaka o Poneke, there will also be a couple of British brews on offer - Thornbridge and Brewdog. The ticket price of $75 also includes five food matches (via tokens), with Brooklyn favourite Salty Pidgin and much-loved Miramar haunt The Larder among the culinary line-up. 7pm. Beervana.co.nz
Meaty street party
Underground drinking den Hashigo Zake is venturing to the surface for the very first time this weekend, having been lured out by the Lions tour, and will be hosting Downtown Aley - Beer BBQ and Rugby. The event will feature an outside garden bar, with the Lions game projected on a screen in the alley (as well as on two screens indoors, for those who'd rather not brave Welly's winter weather). Waikanae's Salt and Wood Collective has brought some tasty 12-hour smoked shredded beef brisket ($15) and a winter salsa ($15) for vegetarians - tortilla chips topped with jalapenos, smoked beans, and cheese.
Bottles and boats
Moore Wilson's Porirua Wine, Beer and Spirits store has undergone a nautically themed fit-out, inspired the Moore family's own keen love of boating. The bottle store, a bulk warehouse and former farmers market, now showcases a gigantic image of the Pauatahanui Inlet as taken by award-winning local photographer Grant Sheehan. Custom-built sheds house wines of the world and the checkout area itself has been transformed into a boat - with payments made at the stern.
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