The Sydney Morning Herald has done an article on the city's eateries that survived for decades by serving up simple favourites to regular customers.
Its often not the new or innovative we look for in choosing a place to dine. Sometimes its the comfort of the familiar that we seek.
There are restaurants around Wellington and even some further afield that we frequent where we cannot go past what they do best.
Its food that welcomes you. You know it well. It evokes good memories and it is done with pride and passion by the chef who understands it is the dish that embodies their cooking style.
The same goes for wine, Lake Chalice Merlot, Spy Valley Sauvignon, Palliser Sav, Seresin Pinot Gris, are among the wines we love to drink over and over again no matter where we eat.
So here are some of our favourite restaurants and the dishes we are happy to have time and again.
Tulsi - the butter chicken - kiwi hot. Its dominates "best curry lists"
Zicos - Franco does the best calamari in town. His duck pie ( on request )is heaven.
Green Parrot - the Mixed Grill - includes liver and all dishes come with the thin white buttered bread with sprinkles (DIY) of black sauce. It echoes memories of big meals eaten after a days hard labour.
Boulcott St Bistro - the Lamb Shanks with mashed spuds and peas - nowhere does it better. Its so simple yet cooked to perfection. It tastes like there is a little old lady in the kitchen who makes nothing else - its so dam homey.
Arbitrageur - The Snapper Pie in Winter. Rich, luxurious, you swim the pureed potato in the sauce , thickening it to the just right consistency. The pastry flakes into confetti at the mere whisper of a breeze from the fork.
The Wellesley - The Steak - its now one of the best in town. Its a big, proud and tender - bite me cut. The surroundings take you back to early last centuryas it is arguably the city's grandest dining room.
Osteria Del Toro - the meatballs - soft and melty. They fall apart in your mouth. and this establishment introduced Wellington to Churros - petite donuts dipped in chocolate sauce.. Almost better than sex they are.
The French Onion Soup at Le Metropolitian in Cuba St. The onions are never ending ribbons of sweetness.
Mussels in Blue cheese cream at the Leuven, Plump shellfish bathed in a creme sauce with a layer of blue cheese that gives them a depth that no other sauce does.
And we will go to Dockside for the first of the Bluff Oyster Season March 2. They serve them simply. Raw on ice. They will charge us a fortune but they know that bringing together oysterphiles and fresh Bluff oysters is a recipe for success. We will wash them down with nothing but NZ bubbles, probably some Cloudy Bay Pelorus.
However, we would prefer that they serve them just like the picture above. On the flat abs of some delicious yummy man. Please... Do it and we will guarantee a table of powerful princesses
Those are some of our favourites - the restaurants, the food and wine we return for time and time again. They are the signature dishes, of wonderful chefs, that ooze passion and refuse to bow to fickle food fashions.