Kuikui Lane

  • Location

    118 Victoria Street, Te Aro, Wellington

  • Website

    Kuikui Lane

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, it’s Kuikui’s artful and subtle creativity that sets its menu and mixology apart.

It’s also unique in its ingredient choices. All the bar’s food and drink products are from Aotearoa, showcasing the breadth and quality of locally made.

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

“Putting kai 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. 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”.

“Putting kai on and making sure everyone has a drink in hand is something that comes naturally to us.”

Riann Umang-Marshall, owner KuiKui Lane

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

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.