Friday, February 22, 2013

Matterhorn, Wellington (NZ)

Matterhorn seems to be the coolest "too cool for school" bar come restaurant in windy old Wellington...which is funny considering that it's been kicking around since 1963.  It's older than both The Boy and I, and about 1000 more hip too! 

Matterhonrn has a recent makeover giving it a sleek, hip new interior that reminds me a lot of Melbourne's CODA.  A revamp of the menu helps to brings this old joint right into the 21st century. It would be interesting to see some photos of what this place was like back in the 60s. I can't quite imagine it.

We were quickly running out of time in Wellington and a quick pit stop seemed like the best way to squeeze in a visit to Matterhorn.  Proving that we are in too uncool for anything we arrive right on opening time (3pm) for a spot of afternoon tea (how very nana chic of us). Of course at 3pm they are not serving the full menu so we grab four out of the five of their bar snacks and sit back and enjoy our snacks.

I really enjoyed the white bean + lemon dip that came with shards of crispy pita bread and a spring onion relish (NZD$9.00). The dip was zesty thanks to a hint of lemon, quite creamy yet lighter in texture than the more popular hummous.  The pita bread chips were super crispy and certainly seemed like a more healthy alternative to chips. I found a really simple recipe for this dip + chips and whipped it up to take to a BBQ recently - I was a bit heavy handed on the garlic, but other than that it was good.  The nori salted potato crisps, house soured cream (NZD$7.00) on the other hand is something that I'd never be able to replicate at home. The crisps we so thin and wonderfully salty with hints of nori flavour  throughout. The were perfect just on their own so we left the sour cream to its own devices.

The bit sized morsels of crispy fried corn fed chicken (NZD$15.00) was served with a really interesting sour peanut sauce.  Interesting in a good way of course, still very peanuty yet slightly sour at the same time - like it had been mixed with vinegar.  The salt cod croquettes with lemon and saffron aioli were as soft and pillowy as mashed potatoes yet quite strong in flavour - probably not great for people who don't like their fish fishy, but we devoured them in minutes.

Mattheron can be found in the Cuba Street Mall - 106 Cuba Street, Wellington, New Zealand.


  1. I love a good dip and these look fantastic :D Croquettes always look so cute!

  2. LOL! I love the line "nana chic" so funny!!

    Even the bar snacks looked good here! I can't imagine what the menu would have been like.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Isn't is a cool place? My partner used to go there when he was a kid, for cakes in the venue's previous life back in the 70's. I had lunch there a couple of years ago and for drinks late last year. Great to see you made it there!

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  5. I can tell you what it used to be like. I went there on and off for about twenty years from the late 60s, especially when I worked just round the corner in the late 80s. It was quite cutesy and Swiss - the original owners were Swiss, hence the name. Lots of wood panelling, pretty fabrics, smallish spaces. You couldn't see all the way to the back when you came in; it was like a series of rooms, and an outdoor area at the back. It was the height of sophistication in Wellington in the 60s!

    I was really impressed with the revamp when I was there about four years ago. It was very cool and comfortable.


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