And then foodie fate stepped in. The Boy and I were out for a walk one night after another BIG dinner and stumbled on a Chow right up the road from our hotel. Who knew, not me! D’oh! We only had one night left in Wellington and I’m so blue(vein) that I only had one opportunity to indulge in their blue vein wontons.
I love the décor here, it feels like a dark and cozy den.
We kick things off with a serve of Asian Greens that are drizzled with sesame oil + oyster sauce (NZD$11.00) that we paired with udon noodles with sweet garlic soy (NZD$5.00). I love these two simple yet flavoursome dishes so much that I tried to replicate it a home for dinner recently. It was “kind of” the same, but not really. I didn’t get the sauce right on the vegies, and the sauce on the udon noodles just didn’t hit the mark. Sigh. If you have any tips please let me know!
Next up is the Pekin duck, sticky rice, shitake mushroom + lemongrass lettuce cups (NZD$15.00). The duck is minced, rather than the shredded duck I was imagining (I think I had visions of Peking Duck Pancakes dancing around in my head). Again NZ thrills me to the core as all their meat is free range. If it’s SO simple for nearly every café in NZ to offer us free range meat then why can’t we follow suite in Australia? Hmm?
The coconut prawn dumplings with galangal, bamboo + lemon grass (NZD$15.00) look more like Sui Mai but thankfully (for me) they taste more like a good old prawn dumpling. And what about Castro’s blue cheese and peanut wontons with berry coulis I hear you ask? I didn’t really understand the berry coulis, which was quite sweet, but the wontons were GREAT! The blue cheese was quite sharp and had a pungent flavour that gets right up in your nose – blue cheese lovers will know what I’m talking about. The soft cheese was the perfect marriage for the salty, crispy wonton wrapper. Quite literally, sublime!
Despite a few gristly bits we both really enjoyed the flavoursome and moreish rib of beef (NZD$17) that had been marinated in coconut cream, lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime + chilli. It was literally finger licking good! The Boy’s choice will always be (free range) chicken satay (NZD$15.00) that came with cucumber sticks and a lovely thick, spicy peanut sauce.
There’s always room for dessert when your sharing but we were divided on our opinion about the dark chocolate brownie (NZD$13.00) that was spiced with lemon grass + fresh ginger and served with vanilla ice cream. The Boy loved the way the tangy Asian herbs offset the rich chocolate....I’m still mulling it over. I probably should’ve have another serve just to get my head around it!
Chow can be found at 11A Woodward Street, Wellington CBD or at Level 1, 45 Tory Street, Wellington, New Zealand.