Whenever we're in Wellington, we love to visit Ortega. In this week's article, we caught up with co-owner Davey McDonald so we could share with you a little more about the bustling 'Fish Shack and Bar'!
When did the doors to Ortega first open?
We opened in 2009 on November the 5th. We were even lucky enough to get a wee fireworks display thanks to it being Guy Fawkes Night
Can you tell me a little bit about the dining style at the restaurant?
We have heaps of fun here at Ortega. We have a lovely team both out the front and in the kitchen, with loads of awesome people who come in to see us as customers. We love looking after people and showing them a good time here in our relaxed atmosphere. We have a short & fresh focused menu with a big range of drinks to choose from.
What sort of foods can guests expect to enjoy? How will these change seasonally?
We print out our menu here every day at Ortega based on what’s gorgeously fresh & available each day. We have a big emphasis on fresh fish and seafood but also love playing around with our menu to keep it fun & interesting. We have a couple of classic dishes which have always been on our menu like our Beef Fillet with Café de Paris butter & fries. We like to use other meaty bits and pieces and vegetarian dishes too. We always use what’s around and in season.
Can you tell me a little about where you source your produce from?
Generally, our produce is sourced very locally and from people who we know and love. Whatever is the best quality, sustainable & freshest is what we are looking for, and then we can build our menus around that. We have a very wide range of suppliers. We like using people who give their products lots of care and respect and can tell us all about the story and history behind it.
What makes Ortega unique in its style and service?
We like to keep it simple, fun & want our customers, staff & suppliers to think of it as their own place
What is key to your success? Why do customers keep coming back?
We’re always tinkering to make sure we keep things interesting, fun, delicious & exciting but try to remain like an old reliable friend to everyone too.
If you had to describe Ortega in three words, what would these be?
Love, home, family
No.1 Rose features on your wine list, can you share a few suggestions from your menu that pair with it beautifully?
No.1 Rose has always been on our wine list here at Ortega, we absolutely love it. It’s an amazing way to begin before a meal that’s for sure or to have with our starters like oysters, olives & bread, teeny weeny fish sammies or marinated mussels. We have a lovely fish main course on at the moment which is just awesome with the No.1 Rose, Pan-roasted fish of the day served with roasted Jerusalem artichokes, yams, gem lettuce & vadouvan broth