Feel at home: Kuikui Lane

Take a trip down Kuikui Lane to the classiest comfort zone in town


Te Aro


120 Victoria Street



Tucked away in a little laneway off Victoria Street is a bar with a warmth that doesn’t just come from its cosy size or low lighting.

There’s a feeling of familiarity wrapped up in the quirky, yet classy interior. Kuikui Lane is authentic, sophisticated, and somehow homely. It’s also Kiwi through and through.

Primarily a gin and cocktail bar, Kuikui Lane is competing for tastebuds in a city saturated with innovative drink offerings. It's their artful and subtle creativity that sets their menu and mixology apart.

The popular "Gin Ramble" cocktail features boysenberry liqueur and local Southward gin, while the unusual "Wellington Wash" uses NZ Honest Six rum and is deliberately curdled. There’s more Kiwi inventiveness here than you can shake a stick at, especially with all of the bar’s food and drink products being made in Aotearoa.

Feel at home

What really underpins this place is the emphasis on – taking care of people. Owners Riann Umaga-Marshall and Hamish Mexted both come from families who base their lives around looking after their and communities.

“Putting on and making sure everyone has a drink in hand is something that comes naturally to us,” says Riann. “From cocktails to a cup of tea with the aunties, kai and drink have been part of our upbringing – so Kuikui Lane is a tribute not only to our Kuia (nans and aunties) but to all of those who shaped the way we think about manaaki tangata”.

What is really key is the understanding that making everyone feel at home and valued when they come in the door is non-negotiable. We want our space to be memorable.

Riann Umaga-Marshall - Owner

Food and flavours

Alongside the cocktails, and a comprehensive Kiwi gin list, the food at Kuikui Lane is simple yet complementary to the ethos. Rīhi Tohatoha (sharing boards) offer cheese, meats, breads, and chutneys, or you can indulge in a bit of Kiwiana and order the Kuikui mince savouries served with a classic tomato-shaped bottle of Wattie’s sauce.

So if you have a penchant for creative, innovative flavours and enjoy a bit of sophistication, but still crave a good dose of homely comfort, it’s well worth taking a little trip down Kuikui Lane to experience a place that manages to do all this and more.

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