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By Heather• 9 Nov 2017
Iconic Wellington restaurant Pravda has recently changed things up. As sister to Jervois Steak House, they too have decided to reinvent their offering and wheel out no less than 13 different steak options to diners in the evening. Never fear, they still have their famous cheese scones in tow, daytime dependent.
Pravda Café & Grill is found at... 107 Customhouse Quay, Wellington.
You can expect… the same classy bistro during the day, with a few tweaks and adjustments to tailor their offering for evenings. There's a new red carpet down the centre of the upstairs dining room, a cow on the wall depicting the various cuts of meat available (picture not literal!), and smart new uniforms for the staff.
There are now 13 (give or take) different steaks, including Wagyu raised in New Zealand, Japan or Australia; Wakanui Blue rumps and fillets; and Charolais Angus T-bones among others. There's also Pravda's signature dish: 150-day grain-finished and 21-day dry aged Ocean Beef ribeye on the bone.
You'll find accompaniments such as Yorkshire puds with onion gravy, Café de Paris butter, beef dripping chips, Pravda onion rings, Jervois creamed spinach, and many more classic partners to beef.
We ingested…. a bunch of teasers at the launch, and then dinner.
The steaks were so tender they cut just like butter. I particularly enjoyed the theatre of the meat being sliced in front of us by the kitchen staff (apparently this is standard practice for the larger 'shared' cuts).
The Wagyu literally melted in the mouth. The seared kingfish was like soft marshmallow, the beef tartare was fresh and light, and the green spanner crab and ricotta risotto ‘primavera’ was the perfect accompaniment to offset all that protein!
We didn’t make it to dessert, but I've been assured by others that the slightly salted chocolate tart with milk mousse and dulce de leche, also hits the mark.
The drinks…. range from middle-of-the-road beers (Tuatara, Emersons, Peroni, Macs) to classic cocktails (Espresso Martini, Vanilla Mai Tai, Old Fashioned), superfood juices and smoothies (Black Beauty, Carrot Top), a good selection of non-alcs (Allganic juices, spicy ginger beer, mocktails), and culminate in a wine list with multitudes of choice to partner with those luscious steaks.
I like that you can get a half glass, full glass, or half bottle. The 2015 Sonoma Sebastiani, 2014 William Grace Pinot Noir, and the 2014 Man O’War Dreadnought, all caught my eye.
The service…. was exemplary as always.
What I’m eyeing up for next time… the game chips with Szechuan spice and kimchi aioli, another round of the seared kingfish, the Southland lamb rack, the brown butter mash, and the beef dripping chips.
What to keep an eye out for in future... a vertical Wagyu tasting by country of origin? A steak degustation so we learn more about the different cuts? We dropped all the right hints to Glen, so here’s hoping…