Delicious cafe hidden in Wellington’s CBD- The Canteen

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This is about my 5th visit to The Canteen in Bond St Wellington. It used to be a fabulous Asian fusion cafe and prior to that a French café, which didn’t last long however this one is definitely a “keeper”. The name, The Canteen, seems to throw people a little, as perhaps it stirs up awful memories of a school canteen or the cancer fundraising organisation? When I tell people about it, they get a little lost trying to visualise it in Bond Street? Bond Street is only yah small and it does seem a little bit off the beaten track when it comes to even thinking of venturing into that street for lunch during the week, let alone breakfast/brunch on the weekend. I want this to be my little secret but I have to share it with you. I also love supporting local businesses.

How do I describe this place? It’s quaint, a little kitch, a little French perhaps. It’s like eating in someone’s dining room; the service is very good and personal.  Their lunch menu is made up of ciabattas, flatbreads, salads, homemade pie, pasta and these change regularly.  They are very accommodating so if you’re trying to adapt something to make it gluten-free or if you follow Paleo/Primal, it’s very workable. They smile, think and acknowledge your request without a fuss.

The ambiance is complemented by the array of fabulous-looking, well displayed homemade baking on their counter; with a few gluten-free options. The coffees are really good and they always ensure you have a glass of water, which they top up regularly. If you want to be truly decadent, try the brioche with toffee bananas for breakfast/brunch; it’s heaven. The Turkish eggs are really good too. I can’t seem to now pull myself away from having the pulled pork slaw for lunch (adapted as a salad for me), as it gets me every time, however I did break away and order the chicken, pumpkin, feat and peanut rocket salad, and it did not disappoint.

The menu is affordable, portions are good although I have noticed they have reduced somewhat and this does slightly disappoint me when good places start to do this, in a bid to cut cost. It can start to turn the punters away. If you’re paying $16 for lunch and you have a good appetite, you want to be satisfied. It doesn’t need to be huge but portions need to be restored back to what they were a few months ago. Maybe they want you to have room for a slice or cake and coffee?.

They also make a range of delicious, healthy Mabel and Mack sauces that you can both try and buy in-house.

I did have a chat to the owner about the heating issue as most people seemed to keep their coats on whilst eating; not ideal. He was well aware of this issue and said he was working on trying to fix it.

It’s a place you can go with friends, your parents, your partner, your colleagues and also take a client for a casual bite. The great thing is you can book a table in advance. Love that!

This is currently my favourite place to eat at. I love trying new places and then I seem to move on and find another place that becomes my favourite, however I’m determined to eat my way through this menu and still continue to frequent it. Give it a go and tell me what you think?

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