A seat at the table: Capitol

A Tuesday evening in summer, just before Christmas, seemed like just the right time to go out for dinner as a sort of pre-Christmas treat. The sun came out (it had been raining most of the day), and everything looked as it should. We headed into town and to one of my favourite restaurants in Wellington, Capitol. The food is always good, the service just spot on (in fact, this year at the Felix Award, the Wellington hospitality awards event, Capitol won Outstanding Front of House Team), and the atmosphere one where the food is the most important thing.

I so enjoyed the fried squid and aioli last time we were there, I had to have it again. The squid is sliced to fine, that it just melts in the mouth, and the aioli complements it so well. In fact, they share how they make it on the recipe link on their website. Karl had the tomato and basil bruschetta with a glass of sauvignon blanc, while I had a glass of seasonal bubbles (ie a sparkling wine from Canterbury).

There is a comprehensive wine list, with lots available by the glass. To have with my main course, I had a local chardonnay, while Karl opted for a Malbec.

While Karl selected the grilled beef fillet with herb spatzle, confit garlic and Reggiano butter (yes it was a lovely cheesy, butter topping on the spatzle), I decide on one of the specials, namely half a crayfish tail (think rock lobster rather than Swedish crayfish!), flown in from the Chatham Islands. This was served with a tomato salsa and a potato salad. I have to say all the flavours went so well together, and it was quite a special treat. We shared a rocket (arugula) and Grana Padano salad on the side.

As so often happens, we had no room for dessert, so enjoyed a perfect little espresso to see us on our way home.

Footnote: I know the majority of my readers are in some sort of lockdown, and unable to go out to restaurants, but here in New Zealand we are lucky enough to be able to do so. So let’s enjoy it while we can and keep local businesses afloat, as who knows what 2021 will bring.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram@thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on thistlesandkiwis@gmail.com


  1. We’ve had a couple of very nice meals at Capitol when we’ve been in Wellington. I think it’s named after the cinema, which I think is still there.

    Liked by 1 person

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