21 February 2012
Photography by Anna Kidman
We visit the delicious new Asian eatery helmed by a brother and sister team.
Providing some much needed competition to the already established Asian dining scene in Wellington, is Dragonfly, a new venture by restaurateurs and brother and sister team Tania Siladi and Brent Wong. With an Asian-fusion designed menu, and a contemporary interior by Wellington’s interior designer and architect of the moment Allistar Cox – you can expect to find the same interior details that define other favoured Wellington institutions such as Matterhorn, Good Luck and the more recent Ancestral.
Set on Courtney Place, a few doors up from Reading Cinemas, in the old space that housed Uncle Chang’s, Dragonfly offers diners a range of options when dining. A dimly lit interior with spot lighting over the tables, offers an intimate environment (perfect for indiscretions or a first date), whilst the outside courtyard (still yet to have an retractable canopy erected) provides the perfect spot for enjoying a late afternoon drink or snack in the sun.
When we visited, we were pleasantly surprised to find that even the smallest details were considered. The menus take their cue from origami and can be unfolded to unveil a myriad of dishes, whilst the drink coasters promote valuable pieces of advice from philosophers such as Confucius.
The food is also exquisite. Tania, the daughter of an Asian-chef, has spent time living in Hong Kong, Tokyo and London before resettling back in Wellington. She knows how to oversee dishes created by chef Le Minh that pack more than their usual punch. Our late afternoon snack consisted of a green papaya salad with roasted peanuts, snake beans, cherry tomatoes, Vietnamese mint, young carrot, coriander and spicy fish sauce – as flavoursome as you would find on the streets in Vietnam ($18); and the lime gelee that accompanied that yellow fin tuna with cucumber, coriander, nahm jim and coconut was phenomenal (you really must try this $17). To satiate sweet cravings we settled on the dark chocolate mousse with chilli, cardomom and orange with vanilla mascarpone, pistachio tuile and lychee puff ($15). They also have an extensive cocktail menu designed to take you into the early hours nicely.
We suggest if Wellington is your hometown, that you find an excuse in the near future to visit this new establishment, or if you’re visiting from out of town, that you put it on your culinary agenda – you won’t be disappointed.
70 Courtney Place
(04) 803 3995www.dragon-fly.co.nz