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By Jonathan Brumley
March 19, 2018


A slice of Venice in the heart of Wellington.
By Jonathan Brumley
March 19, 2018

Fun, vivacious, and always packed, Ombra is your home away from home. Immerse yourself in the redolent aromas and cheerful atmosphere that Ombra is renowned for. Fresh and authentic, save yourself a fare to Italy as the culinary delights of Venice are brought directly to your table. Go on, invite yourself in, and feel like you've arrived for family dinner.

With a charming fit-out that capitalises on rustic wooden furnishings, the environment is casual yet intimate. Gaze above the open kitchen and you'll see a fringe of hanging kitchenware that'll make you feel like you're in nonna's kitchen.

Literally meaning "shadow", Ombra is Wellington's very own bacaro (Venetian backstreet restaurant). Using only the freshest ingredients such as wild foraged porcini in the creamy bongusto pappardelle ($21) or fresh caught fish of the day in the delicate and smooth crudo di pesce ($18), the dishes effectively capture the spirit of the Mediterranean.

The menu is focused and confident. Offering the best of what they know, you'll find sections dedicated to pasta, meatballs, fish and meat. What's best? Think tapas-style, the dishes are small sharing sizes which enables you to have a degustation experience.

To truly appreciate the gastronomical delights on offer, we recommend exploring seven or eight dishes between two. Imagine savouring a black rice, smoked mozarella and dark chocolate arancino ($7) followed by juicy venison meatballs served on a gutsy ricotta salata ($14). Feel like something a bit more substantial? The albacore tuna with passionfruit and fennel ($21) is your new best friend. The distinct taste of tuna is complemented fabulously with a tangy and palate pleasing passionfruit, olive oil and lime dressing. With sliced fennel rounding out the dish, this is a must have. Wash it all down with a carafe of Bosco Del Grillo Governo ($22) and finish off with an affogato and Frangelico ($8) and you've had one hell of a meal.

The dishes are simple yet impactful. The flavours are gorgeous and dance the line between sweet and savoury, often in surprising ways.

An interesting quirk about Ombra though, is that there is no coursing. When you order, everything will come to you as soon as its ready. Although this keeps the experience interesting, it could see that the flavours of the more subtle dishes (such as the crudo di pesce) are lost if arriving after a heftier dish.

Situated on the corner of Cuba and Vivian Streets, Venetian indulgence is in the thick of the pulsing Cuba Street scene. This makes Ombra an ideal spot to duck in and gear up before an evening of activities.
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