And this week’s dining in Upper Hutt, Wellington

Shaila Cafe
Shaila Cafe

Upper Hutt, Wellington – jewel of the north, or maybe not.  But what it lacks in entertainment and culture, it makes up for in Indian restaurants.  There were about half a dozen that I saw, some doing Chinese or Malay style cuisine as well.

A short few days away from home for work to this … (I really can’t find any redeeming features – sorry Wellington)… place.

Monday night, I had to get groceries for the next few days, so walked to the main shops.  On my way back I stopped at  Shaila Cafe.  $16.50 for a Khadai Paneer (home made cottage cheese cooked with capsicum, onions, tomatoes and Indian spices) and a roti (whole meal flour bread baked in the clay tandoor).

As usual I asked for mild – always a wise move when trying a new Indian restaurant.

Khadai Paneer from Shaila Cafe
Khadai Paneer from Shaila Cafe

Not the best Khadai Paneer I have ever had – it was quite oily.  And the surprise chilli in the dish had me dashing for water and crying into my meal.  I was thrilled I had ordered mild!  However it was tasty, I can’t say it wasn’t.

Tuesday night, I went to the imaginatively named Curry-Land which was just two buildings along from my motel, call me lazy but I had been on my feet all day.

Monday and Tuesday nights you get a free naan with each dish from this restaurant.  $15 for Palak Paneer (Cottage Cheese blended with spinach and aromatic spices) and the free naan.

This looked like puréed pond slime and was very mild.  I did like the large bits of paneer in this one though – very generous and the naan could have fed a family – but as it was just me, I ate the whole thing.  (feel free to insert piggy noises here)

Palak Paneer from Curry-Land
Palak Paneer from Curry-Land

Wednesday night, after visiting Te Papa which I will cover in an upcoming post, I stopped at Yatra – no bread this time, just a curry, I got a Reshmi Paneer (Fried cottage cheese cooked with a tomato, onion and capsicum sauce) for $15.50.  Again mild.  This was a very sweet dish and the whole pieces of tomato and capsicum were a nice touch.

Yatra's Reshmi Paneer
Yatra’s Reshmi Paneer

None of these meals were anything special.  Out of all of them, I preferred the dish from Shalia Cafe the most – even though it was super spicy and oily.  Service in all was quick and each meal did one dinner and one leftovers for lunch.

While none of these meals were vegan (with the paneer), Indian is always a good choice for vegan diners as many meals are without any animal products.

However, not a scratch on Little India in Dunedin which so far as been the best Indian I have found to date in my travels.

If you are a local, which is your favourite Indian restaurant in Wellington?





  1. I’m pleased you called it pond slime because that sums it up pretty well. Had Indian here last night too…Butter Chicken. My husband stirs me saying that Indians Restaurants only make Butter Chicken but we don’t get it often and I do love it…and it’s safe! xx Rowena

    • Butter chicken and Mango chicken are a firm favourite with my Mum and nephews. I fluctuate between dhal of some description and more recently the paneer dishes. I’m always checking menus for something different to the usual offerings. 🙂

      • I’m not too adventurous with hot types of food. BY the way, have you been to the white chair memorial in Christchurch? I’ve mentioned it in my latest post.

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