In Wellington, 10-minutes drive from the airport (and our house), and approximately 20-minutes from the city centre is Shelley Bay on Miramar Peninsula. Historically it served as a base for the Royal NZ Navy, then the RNZ Air Force, and in its later years–a base for the NZ Defense Force. The old barracks still remain, but these days they’re used by artists as workshop spaces, there’s also an independent art gallery and on the drive into Shelley Bay you’ll find a costume and prop hire venue-West Side Studios. In the past I never would have had Shelley Bay on my list of places to visit, that is, until a few years ago. One of our favorite places for weekend brunch and a must to take family and friends visiting from out of town is Chocolate Fish Cafe. A few years back when it first opened (after relocating from Scorching Bay), it was more of a make-shift set-up with a small menu of seafood sandwiches, cooked on a gas barbeque. Now that Chocolate Fish has become more of a permanent fixture in Shelly Bay, the menu has also expanded; not only do they serve their delectable sandwiches, but you can also order cooked breakfasts, an assortment of salads, smoothies, gourmet burgers, counter food–muffins, cakes and other sweets, and they also have kid-friendly options on the menu too.
The sandwiches are delicious and highly recommended with great choices of fillings on offer: paua, crayfish, and white bait fritters, fresh fish, scallops, and vegetarian options. Until recently, Mr Sly rented a workshop in the Bay. I’m sure his favourite part of being there every weekend was not only doing his sculpting, but the promise of one (maybe two) of these sandwiches–the fish (his favourite), is so delicate and beautifully cooked, nestled between lightly toasted slices of Ciabatta bread (or wholegrain on request), with the cafe’s special mayonnaise. Yum! They’re so good that even I find one is not enough. This weekend however, we both opted for salads as a late lunch–I went for a fresh salad topped with halloumi, and Mr Sly went for a salad with whitebait fritters (below).
Relaxing outdoors: the slightly remote location, waterside view and casual atmosphere make it an appealing place to chill out and get away from more hectic inner-city cafes. There’s a variety of seating options available– indoor and outdoor, and it’s also one of the most child-friendly cafe’s in Wellington. A good selection of trikes, bikes and a little slide out the front will keep your little ones entertained whilst you eat your lunch (there are also plenty of highchairs available), plus, I hear that on occasion you might find a visiting miniature pony taking children for a ride!
Photography: Howard SlyThanks for dropping by!
- All Blacks Risotto – Wild Mushrooms Wild Rice Risotto / Comte Apple Fritters (eatwithnamie.com)
- Whitebait Pizza Hokitika (southpacifictravellers.wordpress.com)