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By Heather• 9 Jan 2018
Wildifre is found at… 60 Tory Street, Wellington
You can expect… A meaty Brazilian Churrasco experience – a bit like yum cha with skewers of various proteins carved directly onto your plate at the table (in unlimited quantities, unless you put your stop sign up – more on that later).
If you’re vegetarian or after a smaller eat, they've got you covered, and with 48 hours notice they can also cater to paleo, gluten-free, and other dietary requirements.
After Osteria del Toro’s glitz and glamour, the décor struck me as very ‘Auckland viaduct’; understated blacks and whites with long rows of tables, lots of sparkling glassware, and contemporary art. I would have sworn there were white tablecloths but it's just all the black and white of the uniforms, napkins and tables. Perhaps similar to the mothership in Auckland.
We ingested… the Churrasco Completo, with tapas and tasters (don’t eat all the bread), Churrasco and side dishes (ooops, New Year’s portion control resolutions trashed), and finally dessert (the ooops boat now a tiny speck on the distant horizon). Eat your heart out for $69.95.
The meats are all halal, NZ-grown and cooked in the traditional Brazilian way over open flames, by Brazilian Churrasco experts who have come here to share the love.
The tapas and tasters included breads and spreads, coppa, salami, prosciutto, fish balls, octopus toasts, pork and sesame sticks (in cute little ice block shapes). The main churrasco included mussels, beef, salmon, calamari, pork belly, pork scotch, pork sausage, chicken, chicken hearts, polenta fries, and more.
I kid you not. So. Much. Food.
My favourites were the house-made dense pork sausages, the meaty yet tender pork belly, the smokey succulent chicken, the tender calamari, and the agria roasties.
Desserts are all made in-house and trolleyed around, with much blow torch excitement if you choose the crème brûlée. So, for form's sake (certain ships having long sailed!), we managed half a lemon cheesecake each, which rounded out the protein loading nicely.
The drinks… started with a Sagatiba cachaca (Brazilian ‘rum’ which makes a mean caipirinha), again presented and crafted from a trolley. And then the signature ‘Wild’ cocktail of manuka honey infusion, ginger liqueur, peach, strawberry, fresh lemon juice and vanilla syrup, which was strangely refreshing in a sweet and sour kind of way. And finally, an Argentinian Malbec.
They do a range of cocktails (including sharing sizes!), a bunch of mocktails, craft and draught beers, a bunch of spirits, and a good range of wines from New Zealand, South America, Australia, France, Italy and Spain.
The service… was friendly, welcoming and continuous. Because of the Churrasco process, you get to meet virtually everyone over the course of the evening, so in some ways it's like a large family gathering at your own table.
What tickled me most… was the stop/go indicator to signal (green) keep coming at me, or (red) give me a rest. Or maybe please just find me a bed!
What I’m eyeing up for next time… is the vegetarian menu to see how they deliver on that (also delivered as a continuous experience). And the burgers on the a la carte and lunch menus – can you believe they have a three-pig burger with spit-roasted pork, pulled bacon hock and pork sausage. Piggy indeed.
In conclusion… round up a group, book yourself a table and enjoy a full evening of food and fun. But please – fast for the day beforehand.
India meets Laura Walker, bar manager and cocktail-maker extraordinaire at Forresters Lane.