Thursday, May 19, 2011


Earlier this week we popped down Estadio for a bit of a weeknight pick-me-up - it's somewhere we've been meaning to go for a while. Having been involved in the Latin dancing scene for quite a while when we were in Christchurch walking into a South American eatery (strangely, since neither of us have been to South America) feels a bit like coming home - that familiarity and association that comes with particular types of music. There was a group of musicians practicing at a large table near us, and they were very merry - it created a great ambience, so long as you weren't hoping to have quiet conversation over dinner. ;-)

There's a room at the back of the restaurant where salsa lessons are held - these were happening as we ate - and there's free dancing later on in the evenings too. I did take my dancing shoes but we were a bit early for the social dancing and I've been feeling a bit peaky this week so staying out late to have a dance or two probably wouldn't have been the best idea.

The staff were lovely and friendly and welcoming, and the waitress particularly pointed out the platter for two to us - we were ravenous after a gym class and so had trouble choosing (I always find it difficult to make food decisions when I'm starving, I have to think ahead or I won't think straight. Does anyone else have this problem?), so her guidance was much appreciated. Mr Cake was obviously feeling the hunger pangs too, as he didn't think it would be enough on its own (it's recommended for 2-3 people!), so we also ordered some chicken empanadillas.

Apologies for the terrible photos; I left the memory card from the camera in my laptop and didn't realise until I went to take photos, so these come to you courtesy of my iPhone.

There was certainly plenty of food, even for hungry gym bunnies - but the empanadillas were delicious so we were still glad to have had them. Empanadillas are bread cases filled with meat or veges, and the chicken filling was lovely but not overpowering, and we enjoyed trying all the sauces with them.

The platter was very generous - at $24 for two people it's pretty good value, and would easily have been enough for us on its own - we didn't finish everything. The cassava chips were good to satisfy my starch cravings, a little different from potato chips, but they looked the same - they made you think a little! They were great with the various sauces, too - my favourite was the guacamole, but they were all very yummy.

Pão de abobora is pumpkin bread, and it was dense and doughy and a little sweet from the pumpkin. The cheese-stuffed jalapenos were my favourite - though the cheese is gooey and a little unpredictable, so beware! ;-) The coating was crunchy and they were quite morish, though a bit on the salty side. And the taquitos - marinated beef in a crunchy little basket - they were rich and wintery, but with a satisfying crunch.

Ours was not what you might call a balanced meal - a bit heavy on the carbs, light on veg - but it was very much enjoyed and filled our grumbling bellies effectively. We enjoyed the food and the hospitality, and are keen to have a shot at the mains and desserts next time - maybe followed by a bit of salsa dancing!

Estadio is located at 17 Blair Street, Wellington, ph 04 801 7960,

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