We’re officially counting down the days till Christmas. Trees are up, shelves are stacked with tinsel and we’re already delving into that advent calendar. One thing we’re not stoked for though is the stress that often comes with Christmas day cooking. Sure, we love a home-cooked Christmas meal but we also love the absolutely blissful idea of giving everyone a year off—no organising ingredients, catering for dietary needs and best of all—no dishes. After all, Christmas is for relaxing in the sun, so why not let someone else take care of the strain.
Here are the most appetising Christmas day eats in town, so you can sit back, relax, and scrap the tradition of stressful cooking.
St Johns Bar and Restaurant
It’s Christmas, Welly style. Located right on the waterfront, you’ll be enjoying Christmas lunch in the heart of Wellington if you choose St Johns Bar. This much-loved local is serving buffet-style lunch with all the trimmings. Tuck into a great selection of hot and cold food including plenty of salads and seafood as well as all the carved meats and vegetables your heart desires. If you’ve got room left, help yourself to classic Kiwi desserts like kiwi fruit-topped pav, or cream-filled brandy snaps. For some post-lunch festivities, you’re walking distance from the beach—hit the water at Oriental Bay for a dip or rest your full bellies and sunbathe the afternoon away.
If you fancy throwing caution into the wind and departing from your usual Kiwi Christmas fare, then Spring Kitchen has you covered. They’ve designed an exotic seven-course Christmas degustation full of modern Asian delights, including the intriguing pav bhaji gratin, raspberry fish, and Singaporean turkey. Guests will also receive a glass of prosecco on arrival, because what is Christmas without some bubbly to get everyone in the festive mood. Make it a season to remember with a unique spread that’ll not only tickle your tastebuds but also save you family squabbles over the last piece of ham.
Fancy something a little more opulent than cold cuts and a salad bar this Christmas? For a little more luxury, put on your Christmas best and dine at Logan Brown—one of Wellington’s most elegant and refined establishments. After all, they’re here to cook you a Christmas day feast. What a wonderful gift. Their exquisite menu boasts incredibly high-quality dishes with a New Zealand flavour including gin-cured Ora King salmon, pohutukawa honey smoked duck and their famous paua ravioli. Christmas at Logan Brown is sure to impress the food lovers in your life, especially as eating out means no leftover stuffing and turkey sandwiches for days after Christmas.
Get into the festivities and buffet the day away at West Plaza this Christmas. They’ve got all our Christmas buffet faves on offer including a salad bar with classics such as potato, Caesar and roast vegetable salad, as well as the carvery, cold cuts and seafood platters and of course, the hot buffet. West Plaza is great for groups and unlike Christmas at home, they’re actually going to have enough chairs and a room big enough to house everyone. No being relegated to sitting on a camp chair or the floor here.
It’s acceptable to overindulge on Christmas day and that’s exactly what you'll be doing at Portlander. With a tempting and tasty traditional feast, Portlander is offering an impressive four-course Christmas menu; think platters of carved ham, turkey and moreish sides, followed by hearty serves of roast pork belly and slow-roasted sirloin, and decadent trifle and truffles to end. This scrumptious line-up is sure to please all palates, so you can keep the troops happy and well-fed. With their vast spirit selection, Portlander is the perfect place to do the Christmas-day thing and have one too many afternoon brandies.
If meat from the barbie is your usual Christmas table centrepiece, then Wildfire Churrascaria will add the sizzle to your Christmas season. Their festive menu with a Brazilian twist is loaded with goodies, from tapas treats like Spanish cured ham and salt cod croquettes, to barbecued steak, salmon, saussies, and lamb. To help balance your meat intake, wholesome sides, including asparagus, polenta fries and superfood salads will also be dished up. And the best part? The food will be continuously delivered to you, so you can fill your belly without leaving the table. Pants with room to breathe are strongly encouraged.
Hippopotamus at QT
Another restaurant sure to host a fantastic meal this Christmas is Hippopotamus at QT. They’re offering two sittings over Christmas day and with a festive feast that makes us feel like we could be eating alongside the royals, your minds and taste buds are sure to be blown. Enjoy the sumptuous surrounds as you indulge in six delectable courses, with optional wine matches. Impress your refined friends and family and treat them to some magnificent food this Christmas—knowing QT, we know this one will be incredible.
Image credit: Kaitlin Maree