WellingtonEat & Drink
The busy and vibrant interior of Charley Noble, with customers sitting at tables and servers waiting tables, and kitchen staff in the background preparing food.

Charley Noble

This smart-casual steakhouse showcases wood-fired cooking, local ingredients and a multi-award-winning drinks list. Charley Noble’s Zesti wood-fired chargrill and rotisserie is the beating heart of the restaurant. As well as lending incredible flavour to the food, it fills the grand space with enticing savoury aromas.

The food at Charley Noble is a perfect balance of simplicity and quality. It owes its fine dining roots to chef Paul Hoather, who, alongside business partner Pengyu Du, established the restaurant in 2013.

“Possibly the best steak I have ever eaten in any restaurant.”

Martin Bosley, restaurateur and columnist

A large, European-inspired menu allows you to sample and savour small plates and starters. Inevitably, though, you will arrive at the woodfired mains. Beef is the star of the show, and all cuts are aged for a minimum of 21 days.

Restaurateur, columnist and New Zealand food culture pioneer Martin Bosley called the 500g dry-aged Angus rib eye “possibly the best steak I have ever eaten in any restaurant.” He also claimed to be “utterly powerless” in the face of the French peas, served with bacon, cream, white wine and parmesan.

Waiter serves a plate of food to customers seated at a table in Charley Noble.

Diners enter the restaurant via the palatial marble lobby of the historic Huddart Parker building. Built in 1928 in the swanky Chicago style, this is the last remaining shipping industry building on Wellington’s waterfront. Fittingly, Charley Noble is a haven for seafood lovers. Visitors can order freshly shucked oysters direct from its raw bar. The menu features local, line-caught market fish and some fantastic beer battered fish and chips. The drinks list is famously impressive.  If it’s not on the menu, the bartenders will whip up your favourite cocktail no trouble.

The name Charley Noble comes from the smokestack on the kitchen galleys of old sailing ships, which was expected to be cleaned until it shone. To clear out soot, a pistol was fired up the smokestack. The restaurant pays tribute to this history by utilising fire power, albeit in a different way, to give their food its wonderful taste.

But like the smokestack, this restaurant absolutely shines.