Cadillac Dinner – The Owner responds ahead of tonights TV3’s “The Kitchen Job”

Well I suppose all that should be said will be revealed in tonights show, but no doubt the the first word should go to the owner who posted these comments on this blog late yesterday

Hi everyone.Thank you to all who have supported us here at the Diner and thank you very much for the kind feed back.Sorry for not replying to all of the feed back sooner.I would like to apologise for some of the rude comments I have said to the ones who have left not so good but honest feedback.As the director of Cadillac Diner I will not be taking the comments so personally as this is very unprofessional I admit.To all who have had a bad experience here at the Diner I would like to invite you back to give it another go.I have since resigned from my primary employment of 17years with the company I was employed with to work full time unpaid at the Cadillac Diner to take full control in all areas to make sure that our welcomed value customers are 100% satisfied in every way.I have sinced made many many changes and I am personally overseeing everything that involves service and meals.Thank you again for your bad comments as it has helped me to figue out where I was going wrong and relising that this was totally unacceptable.My Sincere apologies.To those who have supported us and have left great kind feed back I wish to thank you very much in helping me see that there is a small candle glowing at the end of the tunnel for the Cadillac Diner.We are trying very hard on no cash flow to keep up with the big boys on the block and its very hard and demanding.I guess I was taking my frustration out on customers that were leaving bad comments.I have changed the place now with outstanding outcomes with much more good yet to come now that I have immersed my self here now.I would like to wish everyone a very merry christmas to you all and loved ones and I hope your festive season is safe and enjoyable to you all.The Cadillac Diner will continue to grow with only your support.Please support us as we want to give back in some way oneday to the community when we are able too.Bye for now,Regards Karl

Cadillac Dinner Lower Hutt on TV3’s “The Kitchen Job”

Well it is with great interest I will watch The Kitchen Job on TV3 7.30pm Tuesday as it trys to help out Cadillac Dinner in High Street. We wrote a review back in April and were 50/50 on it, and I suppose the true test is if you go back, we have not.

Given all of that it has the most active and trolled comments on this blog with disparaging remarks to the owner and staff alike. 42 comments to be precise. No love lost, and the owners first step into the food industry.

No point me explaining it, take a look back at Cadillac Dinner from April this year and read the comments

Upper Hutt: Short Straw Cafe Whitemans Valley (Review)

I recently visited a little known cafe – local favourite of mine – The Short Straw Cafe.

It is a delight to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city cafes and find somewhere that has some outside area – with grass and a country view.

The Short Straw has all of this in bucket loads and more.  You have to travel over to Whitemans Valley and to 50 Johnsons Rd (well sign posted from top of Blue Mountains Rd Silverstream, map here) but worth the drive.

This cafe was built of straw bales and then plastered (hence the name) – Eco Friendly and so are the staff.  Always willing to go the extra mile to ensure you get what you want.

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The food selection is great and very generous.  The berry cake is to “die for” and they serve some of the best coffee around the area.  They have a menu for Adults and Kids –  licensed as well.

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You really do feel that you get country hospitality when you dine here.

The kids (and parents) love this place as it has lots of areas for the kids to play outside (sandpit – slides – swings and lots of grass).  A quick look over the fence and you can chat with the local animals.

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Inside also has an area for kids with lots of toys.  I know I have mentioned kids a lot in this article and with good reason – This cafe will do kids birthday parties with small tables and an area set aside just for the littlies.

You just need to ring them to discuss what you want and they will oblige – much better than a McD party and then they can play outside and wear off all that sugar.

A wonderful place to go now that the weather is improving…..Even the adults can come here and enjoy themselves – without the kids.

The Short Straw Cafe

50 Johnsons Road

Whitemans Valley Upper Hutt

04 5287884

A review courtesy of one of our readers Thanks Nola

see here previous review here

Petone: The Empire, Jackson Street

Formerly the Empire Hotel, now ‘The Empire’, the new gastro-pub on Jackson Street (opposite Murphy’s Bar) is ‘O for awesome’. 

Paul Rowan, of Mange Tout fame, has opened this new establishment in time for Christmas.  The place looks amazing and the garden bar  is a real feature. In fact for summer days this will be the place. The short video gives a quick insight, but you must visit it yourself. Interested in the backstory over the demise of the old Empire Hotel check here and here. Its a credit to Paul in the quick turnaround and changing a blot on Jackson Street to what will be an entertainment asset.

We had lunch there today (opening day) – the burger was good and the chicken and cider pie was very tasty.  If you like the food at Lonestar and Speights Ale House, then you’ll like The Empire.  The food is somewhere in between the two places, with meal prices under $20 for the burger or pie – and a bit more for the stonegrill.  They’ve got Macs range of beers and Stella on tap, with others in the fridge.  I had the Oyster Bay sav which is always good.  We also spotted a couple getting the platter, so we’ll be back again over Summer – maybe next time we’ll sit in the garden bar if the weather behaves!! 

The private function room out the back is an ideal venue for a Xmas party, or office function.  And if gaming is your cup of tea, the pokies return to The Empire in late January. 

The Empire, 175 Jackson Street, Petone.  Call 589 5502.

Lower Hutt: Mediterranean Food Warehouse opens

We went to One Red Dog in Wellington on Saturday night, so we didn’t have pizza in mind when we visited the new Mediterranean Food Warehouse in the Hutt on Sunday afternoon.  We were just happy to have a look around the shop and have a coffee.  We’ve been fans of Gino and  Joe Cuccurullo’s Mediterranean Food Warehouse in Newtown for a while, often making the pilgrimage out there to buy a  big tin of olive oil and have a calzone. 

The layout of the new Hutt store is great – there’s heaps of space – and it’s very family friendly.  As well as the shop, there’s the caffe area with a pizzeria and gelato stand.  Our flat whites were spot on – and the lemon tart was divine.  So we left happy, thinking that when the weather improves, we must remember to pop in for gelato.  (I think we’ll be back for calzone before then!)

That’s the great thing about the Mediterranean Food Warehouse – there are so many reasons to visit.  For coffee, for shopping, for a pizza and a beer or for gelato.  All I can say is, I’m one very happy Hutt Valley Chick now that we have our own Med Food Warehouse in the Hutt.  Congratulations to Michele and Joe Elenio – we wish them all the best with their new business.  We’ll be definite regulars!  See the video below for a taste of the Med!

Mediterranean Food Warehouse, 337 High Street, Lower Hutt (opposite McDonalds).  Phone: 566 8232.

Lower Hutt: Cadillac Diner opens this Saturday

Hop through to our review of this establishment here

Are you a fan for the atmosphere and way of life evoked in Happy Days, American Graffiti, even the 1950s ‘Milk Bar’ scene in New Zealand? Big American cars, good times with family and mates, dine-in and take-out burgers that really satisfy the taste buds?

Come along to the Grand Opening this Saturday, you’ll find the diner in mid-High Street near the Laings Road corner.

There will be:

– Two live bands
– Cadillac/Hot Red Cars
– Wellington Rock’n Roll Dancing

Where: Cadillac Diner
112 High Street
Lower Hutt

Time: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Date: Saturday, September 26, 2009


Well it will be good to see another of the outlets profiled in Entertainment Whats New finally opening. This themed outlet will no doubt add to the increasing entertainment options in Lower Hutt. I wish them every success, and they will need your support.

On a side note, somewhere in my memory I think the original teenage delinquent problem was identified as happening in Hutt Valley Milk Bars, Mazengarb inquiry resulted if I remember right, life does go full circle in the Hutt.

Appreciate first comments from those early diners.

Also don’t forget Mediterrean Food Warehouse opening in early Oct, no need to go to Newtown now, and I love their pizzas, unique, opposite McDonalds

Lower Hutt: Whats new in the Entertainment scene

I really get encouraged by people willing to give things a try in the hospitality scene, and at present there is a lot going on in Lower Hutt. While most businesses are looking to retrench or have gone into survival mode, I have to tip my hat to these four in trying something new in the Lower Hutt entertainment scene.

Loaded Hog High Street Lower Hutt

Loaded Hog High Street Lower Hutt

Loaded Hog

Recently taken over by James Thwaites who comes from a background in the hospitality business in Wellington. Major plans are on the cards with a current project to develop a 50 seat dining area upstairs. Also longer term is a 500 capacity band and nightclub venue next door, together with the intention to lauch a One Red Dog upmarket pizza restaurant above the night club. This restaurant will have an outside balcony looking out over High Street. That al fresco concept might also be a feature carried over into the upstairs part of the Loaded Hog. Paul Rowan, of ex Mange Tout is group executive chef. Paul has already changed the existing restaurants menu and the aim is to bring the Stonegrill concept to the new upstairs restaurant upon completion.

Las Margaritas Daly Street Lower Hutt

Las Margaritas Daly Street Lower Hutt

Las Margaritas 

Open about a week in the former Workshop Cafe in Daly Street.

The result of a dream of 14 years by owner Andres Pimentel, is a restaurant that is a combination of Mexican casual and upmarket cusine. Chef Roberto Amaro from Puebla Mexico will be in the kitchen while Andres sister Marina is the maitre’d.

They hope to share their culture through the food and ambience they have created.

Several other outlets are in the planning and while not yet confirmed here are the other two.

Possible Upmarket Burger Restaurant Cadillac

Possible Upmarket Burger Restaurant Cadillac



Further down southern High Street is a conversion of a former curry joint into Cadillac an upmarket burger outlet. Work is still being completed on fitout.

Possible Mediterranean Food Warehouse

Possible Mediterranean Food Warehouse

Mediterranean Food Warehouse
(check out the review on The Med Warehouse here)
Opposite McDonalds in High Street,  this is a further outlet for the Mediterranean Food Warehouse group (Newtown Wellington).
Construction has taken longer than predicted through resource consent delays. Offering hard to source food supplies from the Mediterranean along with a cafe with an upmarket pizza outlet.
It is encouraging that these developments are progresing in the Hutt and offer a greater hospitality experience.
I wish them all the best, and if you know of any other new dining outlets opening soon please let us know at or dm