Interior of hot sauce, red and gold decorations on the roof and walls, with the bar on the right and tables around the room.

Hot Sauce

  • Location

    90 Cable Street, Te Aro, Wellington

  • Website

    Hot Sauce

With Wellington’s main hospitality strip a couple of blocks away, Hot Sauce has a lot of competition on its doorstep. In such a crowded market, you have to look good, taste good, and have great service — Hot Sauce delivers on all three.

Hot Sauce is in fine company — it has Wellington’s sparkling harbour out front and a hotel full of art above. In 2017, QT Wellington undertook an extreme makeover of its disused ground floor car park. The once drab space is now a plush, low-lit haven for Asian-fusion cuisine.

5 hands cheers their drinks over a table of food.

The person responsible for the food is Head Chef Koko Aung. He brings more than 20 years of culinary experience working in five-star hotels. His experience spans from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, Malaysia and Singapore. For the menu, Koko has taken inspiration from across Asia. Instead of an homage to authentic cuisine, he is breaking all the rules of fusion fare to concoct some exciting surprises. Lemongrass chicken skewers, crispy popcorn chicken with maple glaze, and fresh sashimi are some of the sharing plates on offer.

If you want to take a dive into uncharted umami territory, then ‘Trust the Chef’ is a must-do. The wildcard fixed-price feasting experience is big on flavour and value. The chef curates each menu to suit the table.

The exotic interior matches the flavours of the dishes on offer. A sheltered courtyard leads to the main entrance and keeps the brisk sea wind at bay. Beyond the front doors, the cocktail area contains mixed seating. Sit on generous-sized quilted leather lounge chairs, and park your drink on circular brass-topped tables. The colour scheme is made up of shades of dark burgundy and brown, offset by brushed concrete floors.

It’s plush and inviting — the perfect setting for a great meal.