Sunday, December 4, 2011
Sophie and I spent Friday afternoon picking up some Christmas shopping and enjoying the Wellington sun. After the hard slog of trudging shop to shop we finally sat down and relaxed with a cold glass of wine on Oriental bay. With our glasses drained, and contemplating another glass or moving on, we decided to try out Kaede which we had wandered past on the waterfront (22 Herd St). Arriving just as the restaurant was opening, we thought to wait awhile and take in the view on the dock, when we had seen the second boat being hoisted up to dry dock we headed inside. Lucky we didn't wait too much longer as we managed to snag the only unreserved table.
The décor is eclectic and staff could of been a bit friendlier. But we were there for the food, so unperturbed by the less than friendly welcome, we set about eyeing up the menu. There is a diverse selection of dishes, and a happy change from the standard Japanese restaurant menu I'm used to seeing.
We ordered a variety of dishes rather than going for a appetiser and main. Takowasabi(diced raw octopus with wasabi); Smelt(small fish air dried then grilled), you eat the whole fish head and tail; Air dried whole squid finished on the grill; Takoyaki(fried octopus balls), I am an addict of these and if they're on a menu I'll order them; Fried soft-shell crab; Edamame, yet another addiction that is ordered at any opportunity; and seaweed salad (an addiction of Sophie's).
I don't eat or cook a lot of seafood, so Sophie was a little shocked with some of my ordering choices, but everything should be tried at least once. The only thing I found challenging was the raw octopus, but I think it was served far too cold, and was enjoyed more near the end of the meal when it had lost the icy edge. I absolutely loved the squid, very tender and very tasty.
We both thoroughly enjoyed our meal there, despite less than perfect service, it did not detract from what was very tasty food which came out quickly and was cooked wonderfully. The 7 dishes, 1 large beer and a large jug of sake came to only slightly more than $70 which is an absolute bargain.