Ortega Fish Shack Dinner – Wellington

Ortega Fish ShackAround 30 Chaine members and friends gathered for a convivial dinner at Wellington’s famous Ortega Fish  Shack and Bar on Wednesday June 22. Dress was semi-formal and regalia was worn, but the atmosphere was friendly and informal, with a loud buzz of conversation soon filling the upstairs private room. Ortega maitre d’ Davey McDonald, well known for his food and wine matching skills, put together some really interesting matches for the three-course, multi-choice dinner, including Kahurangi Chardonnay with the creamed prawns with tagliatelle (deliciously garlicky!) and Murdoch James Pinot Noir with the mushrooms and goats cheese.

This being a fish restaurant, most members opted for the fish served with a generous disc of herb butter, but another popular choice was the steak frites with maitre d’hotel butter, which has been on Ortega’s menu forever, ever since its previous incarnation as Café Bastille. After the meal the Chaine took the opportunity to wish Olivier Lacoua, manager of Wellington’s CQ Hotel, best luck for his participation in the Marathon de Sables next year, involving a 254 kilometre race across the Sahara. Amidst much hilarity,  Olivier was a presented with a small gift from the Chaine – two over-sized jars of Vaseline, which he assured everybody was for a perfectly innocent use – to prevent chafing during the race.