WellingtonEat & Drink
Exterior view of the Salty Pidgin in Brooklyn. An old wooden weather-board building shaped like a triangle.

Salty Pidgin

  • Location

    5 Todman Street, Brooklyn, Wellington

  • Website

    Salty Pidgin

Being in the centre of Brooklyn Village, Salty Pidgin is the perfect gathering spot for locals. The Penthouse Cinema around the corner provides a steady stream of people who stop in on their way to a film. Owners JP Henderson and Amy Gillies have developed a bistro menu that attracts serious foodies. The fine dining is complimented with no-fuss food like Turkish pide, a cross between pizza and calzone. With regularly changing flavours, pide is perfect for a quick meal and has become a mainstay on the menu. The menu’s crispy cauliflower also never loses its popularity.
Most other things on the menu change with the seasons but JP says there’s one definite influence. “Amy spent time working in Melbourne restaurants including some with North African-inspired food. It continues to influence her cooking now.”

The menu will often have North African flavours like harissa and sumac. The bar staff are used to sourcing quality supplies to suit customers. The wines to accompany fine dining are excellent. There are also cocktails and beers to suit pre-dinner meetups and post-movie discussions.   

With white walls and high ceilings, the restaurant is decorated sparingly, yet it still feels intimate. This is in part because of different floor levels breaking up the space, a nod to when the building was a group of shops in the early 1900s.  
JP and Amy opened Salty Pidgin in 2015. The name came about through chance. “Initially we just liked how the words looked and sounded together.”

JP and Amy realised later that the name naturally leaned to mutton birds — that salty southern delicacy. Mutton bird is on the menu occasionally “We have a great supplier who gets it from official channels down south, but it can be sporadic.” When it is on the menu it’s well worth checking out.

Inside the Salty Pidgin as a bartender serves patrons from behind the turquoise bar. Pendant lights hang from the ceiling.