Take a stroll down Cuba Street and you will find a flag-waving Cuban themed cafe called Fidel's Cafe. Fitting that it is on a street called Cuba Street, the eatery has gained popular acclaim as one of the city's most popular destinations for a long day breakfast (available till 4:30pm).
Unlike some of its counterparts, Fidel's Cafe stays open into the evening (10pm to be precise) and keeps that cool, relaxed vibe throughout the day into the evening. No formal set up here, just great food and delicious smoothies and coffees. Keeping in the Cuban theme, Havana brand coffee is served with some flavoursome strong blends. These are the perfect addition to one of the restaurant's hearty brunch or lunch items for that matter.
Entering Fidel's on a Saturday at 11am, you are more than likely greeted with other similar parties that have had Friday night drinks that have gone on a little too late and bar hopped their way from the somewhat trendy bar called The Library to the dance your pants off on a rooftop style at Dirty Little Secret. Whichever the case they have started the morning right heading to Fidel's as it is the perfect hangover cure.
Upon entering the venue there is a small waiting area where you can take a seat and flick through some mags whilst the waiter ads you to his list. If you are in a pair it is much easier to get a table then in a group situation. Indoor and outdoor seating is available, however with the temperamental Wellington weather opting for the window seat deserved a gold star for me. I did notice that there is also an option for takeaway (by two girls who walked straight in) and headed to the rear of the cafe that has two rows of pre-prepared breakfasts for those on the go.
The menu is quite the mouth-watering venture with items like Spanish eggs, waffles, grilled Haloumi and breakfast burritos. Vegetarians will be pleased with more than one option gracing the venue for them (sorry vegans, not too many options for you, however I imagine in nother 12 months there will be). The vegetarian options are spread across all menus with the crowd favourite for brunch being the Breakfast Bruschetta served with a fresh mix of tomato, red onion and basil tossed through with olive oil and lemon juice, and served with avocado on grilled whole grain.
Being extremely hungry and having eyes larger than his stomach (which we were soon to find out), my partner opted for Fidel's Feast, comprised of free range bacon, poached eggs, Island Bay sausage, garlic mushrooms, slow roasted tomato, hash brown, ciabatta & hollandaise a cappuccino and a Bacon Buttie with free range bacon with smoky barbeque sauce, cheddar cheese and a fried egg.
I, on the other hand, went for the Grilled Haloumi option which is pan-fried haloumi cheese served on toasted 7 grain bread with house made chilli jam, rocket and avocado. Clearly, for me, a breakfast is not complete with eggs, so two poached eggs were ordered on the side for a cheeky $5 extra.
Poached eggs on pan-fried haloumi cheese served on toasted 7 grain bread with house made chilli jam, rocket and avocado @ Fidel's Cafe Wellington (Photo Instagram @neelsmcgee)
The wait was not long, with coffees coming out first in different sized mugs (see photo below, mug and what looks like a soup bowl with coffee). This was definitely one of the best coffees I have had in Wellington. The food was a little wait, understandably, given it was peak weekend brunch hour, but enjoying the coffee whilst waiting gave me some time to admire the interior.
Decked with revolutionary flags (with the standout being on the exterior in the outdoor alfresco area), Cuban street scenes, propaganda posters of the time, and, of course, Fidel Castro photographs and posters adorning the red earthy walls, you can't help but feel transported.
Once the breakfasts came out, it was game on. Perfectly poached eggs on grilled haloumi and homemade chili jam and fresh avocado. Perfect when eaten all together. The big breakfast my partner received was divine. I even stole a few of his garlic sauteed mushrooms (and I am not even the biggest fan of the fungi). This was definitely a stand out breakfast for the Cuba Street eatery. We left the venue satisfied with service and the quality of produce in the meals. We will definitely be going back. It's a must if you are in Wellington.
Coffee in two quirky glasses..... one is obviously a bowl lol @ Fidel's Cafe Wellington (photo by Praneel Lal)