Life is too short to eat or drink anything less than ordinary is the philosophy of the newly opened brewery – Whistling Sisters on Taranaki Street. A group of peeps have poured their creativity into doing everything here on site; from brewing their own beer, curing their charcuterie, kneading their dough and even roasting their own coffee. Their focus is on pickling and fermentation. Love that. Post our traditional big Sunday walk, we did a swing by. It was just on noon and the only seats available were at the bar or one table outside. Good sign. As it was a southerly we chose to dine in. We chatted to some friends who had the perfect table, under a sun roof. So I put a reserve on their table, with no pressure for them to leave.
They’ve spent a good amount of dosh on this building – the former Salvation Army building and it’s definitely spruced up Taranaki Street. You can come here all hours of the day for a beer, Kombucha, bite, snack, lunch or dinner. The menu is split into various sections to suit what takes your fancy.
I’d studied the menu online so knew what hubby was ordering in advance. I thought I nailed his pick of double smoked, thick cut bacon with fried eggs and potato rosti (GF) although he wasn’t convinced at the time. The menu wasn’t speaking to him. I was keen on the shakshuka but instead ordered the sweet potato pancake with bacon, marscapone and maple.
Hubby ordered an XPA which was so deliciously refreshing. I chose a ginger and wolfberry kombucha. It was ok but too sweet for me with almost 4 teaspoons of sugar in it.
We waved to our exiting friends and dived for their table – right in the centre of everything. There would have to be seating here for at least 100 and they have a private venue upstairs with the most gorgeous loos. There’s a mix of high stool, tables or booth setting and you’re surrounded by funky décor right down to their retro stereo placed high above the bar.
We got asked about 10 times for our order so they’re definitely having teething problems currently. One staff member looked so stressed while others just cruised but the case of no chief and too many Indians. There’s also confusion with whether you seat yourself or wait as there’s only one person managing this as well as final payment.
Our meals arrived after quite some time and hubby’s was the pick portion size. His rosti was not so undercooked but he was fine with it. My face fell at my tiny pancake. It looked like a wee crumpet. I knew immediately being an athlete it wasn’t going to touch the sides. Both were delicious however I had to order a cheese and sourkraut scone (more carbs I didn’t really want), as I was still hungry. I think my scone did 10,000 steps before making it to our table, however the flavours and smell were sensational; absolutely a labour of love.
There are so many other things on the menu I’d be keen to try from 3pm onwards. The small bites, charcuterie and dinner options sound amazing. As for roast pineapple, brioche and IPA icecream – count me in. Plus there are pages of beers and other groovy sounding drinks, and of course a coffee. I just think they need time to settle and work on their operations.
I’m always up for giving places a second chance so I will return. This place oozes potential, I just hope they get it right. The location and creativity is spot on.