Monday, February 14, 2011

Parade Cafe, Wellington

A standard Saturday in the Cake household consists of a morning at the gym - we have a bit of a tag team as I go to BodyAttack and Mr Cake goes to BodyPump, which is straight after - so I sort of wave at him as I leave. And then there are the chores. Ahhhh, weekend. Sometimes you have to ignore the washing and vacuuming and ironing, though, so this weekend after our gym relay (you surely didn't think we'd give that up?) we headed down to the Parade Cafe on Oriental Parade for lunch.

Parade Cafe is apparently a bit of an institution, having been feeding hungry parade-walkers since 1994, but is now located in the tugboat on the Parade, which can only make it better - a boat cafe! Awesome... 

It was super busy, which is usually a good sign for the food though not neccessarily a good thing for hungry post-gym bellies. ;-)

Mr Cake ordered the Parade spicy chicken burger, while I chose the calamari salad, and we also got a starter/sharing plate (their classification) of potato cakes with feta and spinach. The potato cakes were really delicious, but the huge pile of salad made it more of a light meal than a starter or side - we didn't touch any of the salad, which seemed a bit wasteful, but we both had enough on our plates. I'd definitely have this as a meal though.

Mr Cake's chicken burger was okay - nice and flavoursome but a little on the dry side. I really liked the "wedges" (more like roasties or crispy potatoes than wedges I thought but super tasty all the same) that came with it.

My calamari salad had really nice flavours, but sadly the calamari seemed quite undercooked - perhaps a function of the busy-ness, but the calamari rings were limp and pale, not crisp at all. The salad was good and fresh and the sweet chilli sauce was super tasty, and I'd also try this again - though maybe only if the kitchen didn't look rushed off their feet. The staff were great and it is a pretty sweet location - but maybe Saturday lunchtime isn't the best time to visit.

The cakes in the cabinet all looked pretty alluring, too, and I was eyeing up a bit slice of carrot cake but the queue was pretty long so I passed this time... So now I have a proper reason to pay them another visit sometime. ;-)

Do you accommodate slight inadequacies when it's clear a cafe is busy, or do you think they need to be up to scratch all the time?

Parade Cafe is located at Freyberg Lagoon, Oriental Parade, Wellington, ph 04 939 8517,


  1. Good question... I guess I'm more forgiving of inadequacies in service than in food if a place is clearly busy. I can bear to wait for my food, if it's going to be good. At the same time, I wonder if I'm more forgiving of the wait staff because I can actually see them running around (whereas back of house are mostly hidden from view)?

    Undercooked calamari :( But I have fond memories of Parade's caramel slice (mmmmmm) from back in the old space, haven't been there in ages though!

  2. Hi Mrs Cake
    I was tagged in a Stylish blogger award, which required me to tag 15 other bloggers and award them the same award, then request they join in the post. I picked you, as one of my bloggers. Here's my post:

  3. Millie, I think I'm less tolerant of poor service - delays I'll take (though these are usually the kitchen anyway) but any other service issues rile me up! Funny - I guess we shouldn't dine anywhere busy together. ;-)

    Cafe Chick, thank you! That's so kind. :-)

  4. The food at the Tug Boat has always been dire,but I didn't realise that the Parade cafe had relocated there.I used to go to the PC when it was across the road and the food was reliably good,especially the baking - and they were ALWAYS busy.It's a shame that the standard has dropped.

  5. The baking looked better than your average cafe - I normally don't bother since I bake too much myself but would have bought something had the queue not been ridiculous.


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