Monday was exceptionally horrible in Wellington - pouring rain (and hail), freezing winds... Maybe I've laboured this point too much but it was a cruel shock after such lovely weather last week! Anyway, we decided to warm our insides with a meal from Public, which is just down the road from us (so we could make a mad dash without turning into icicles!) and has recently obtained a new chef, who specialises in New Orleans-style dishes. Just the ticket - belly-warming comfort food!
Being a Monday night it was almost deserted - I think we were the only diners, though there were a couple of tables enjoying a drink or two. The service was fantastic - perhaps unsurprisingly given the quiet restaurant we were well attended, but in addition our waiter was friendly and ticked all the boxes for me. Definitely a thumbs up!
We shared a starter of boudin balls, which did a great job of priming our bellies - described as "Fried spiced meat and rice balls, served with aioli" they were very savoury and herby, the crust was super crispy and they were piping hot. They were fabulous with the aioli and when I asked if I could keep the aoili for my curly fries (I couldn't resist!) the waiter offered to top it up and bring it back with the fries. Awesome!
For my main, I chose the "Brick Chicken" - a stout glaze, and red beans and rice. The chicken skin was delicious - lightly spiced, just the right amount of flavour - and the chicken was moist and lovely. The beans were a tad salty but then, I expected that. The curly fries, were, well, curly fries. Yummy and crispy but really just fried spud - the mains were so generous they were really completely excessive, and I wouldn't bother with them as a side again but as a snack, definitely. Mr Cake had the "Bronzed Local Fish" (snapper), which was seasoned with Creole spices and sat on creamed corn, and came with urenika potatoes, which are pretty much black, which is a bit strange but they tasted fine! The fish itself was tender and the spice was yummy (I am a sucker for this type of spice, it's fair to say) and the creamed corn was a good accompaniement.
We left absolutely stuffed - I didn't finish my meal or the curly fries but it was super yummy, and next time I'll be able to hold back from the sides and focus my attention on the main affair. We were very impressed - the service was well above the standard you often get in bar/restaurants, and the food was generous and scrummy. And the perfect antidote to the bitter cold outside. Well done, Public!
Public is located on the corner of Courtenay Place and Tory Street, Wellington, ph 04 801 5115, www.public.net.nz