Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Oriental Kingdom Cafe, Wellington

Oriental Kingdom Cafe is tucked away in Cuba Street’s Leftbank, making it slightly off the beaten track – the friend we were dining with asked me as we turned into Leftbank “are you sure we’re in the right place?” We are, though, and there is plenty of room, though there are quite a few other punters, too – clearly it’s a popular spot, since we’re having a latish mid-week dinner.

We’re greeted by the woman at the counter, who comes over and provides menus and tells us to order at the counter when we’re ready. It takes us a while to choose as there are lots of options – and there’s no rendang on the menu, which means I actually have to think about what to order!

I stay with beef and choose a black pepper hot plate. Mr Cake opts for the mee goreng. We also couldn’t resist trying the burger on the starter menu, as well as the satay and the compulsory roti. The food and drink is all great value – mine is one of the more expensive mains, at $13.50, but most are $9 or $10 for a very generous serving.

My dinner appeared very shortly after we ordered – perhaps five minutes – and the rest followed very shortly after, which was great as we were pretty ravenous. This is clearly a good spot to come if you want a quick bite! 

The burger was just that – a regular-sized burger with a nice piece of satay chicken breast and a bit of salad inside. I reckon this would be a great light lunch (though Mr Cake would probably need two!), and at $5 it’s also great value. The satay and roti were fine, good but not exceptional.

I thought Mr Cake’s mee goreng was delicious; he wouldn’t have minded a bit more flavour, but then he is a bit of a spice fiend. By far the star of the night was my black pepper dish – it might not look like much, but it came out sizzling hot, and the sauce was utterly delicious, peppery and dark and rich. Both our mains were really enough to feed two – huge portions.

We had a lovely dinner, and it was undeniably great value – I imagine perfect for a quick meal between work and whatever else you need to cram into your busy life, or just for an easy evening out without breaking the bank.

Oriental Kingdom Cafe is located at 116 Cuba Street, Leftbank, Wellington, ph 04 381 3730

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