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Reviews (42)

First Review by ampallang

Food amazing, service variable - Edit

I've been to Aunty Mena's quite a few times since it is just down the road from me. The food is great and good value, and it's a great vibe, but sometimes my meals have been entirely forgotten, causing service to be unnecessarily slow. But still love this place

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There's more than Laksa! - Edit

I must admit that i stuck the the laksa the first 3 visits I had as it was extremely tasty..
It seems very popular, but I can also now vouch for the curry noodles, and definitely the roti dish with potato/tofu curry.
So 2 more recommendations if you're worried about trying something new thinking it won't beat the laksa!

Pros: full of flavour, plenty of options, meat eaters love this place too

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Simple, respectable Asian fare - Edit

I was in Wellington in December last year and ate here three times, so can give a good 'averaged' rating.

There's no pretence as to appearances - just the basics. The food is similar, prepared in the small open kitchen to the front left of the restaurant (if you're looking out onto Cuba St).

As such, its focus is on providing inexpensive, freshly prepared food, which it does a good job of. I didn't find it that inspiring, but it was decent, low priced food. Oh, and it's the only vegan place in town, which is in its favour.

The first time i visited i had Nasi Goreng, which was ok, but nothing to write home about - it had a slightly off centre taste.

I switched to Nasi Campur next time, which was a step up. At Aunty Mena's this was basically curried vegetables and i think tofu slices served with steamed rice and some cashews. Sounds simple, but i enjoyed it and it was filling.

The place can be busy at times, other times quieter. One time they were hard up for space and i was asked to share a table with some other people. If you're into people watching, this is a good place to do it when it's busy, providing you have an appropriate position.

Updated from previous review on Tuesday January 19, 2016

Pros: vegan, reasonably priced, can people watch when busy

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Good value - Edit

Really good value for money and huge variety of vegan dishes on the menu.
The staff are really nice here and it is one of my favourite places to go out for dinner.

Pros: Value, Large range

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Spicy Malaysian vegan menu - Edit

We went there for dinner early on a Monday night and just managed to secure the last table. by the time we left there were customers waiting and others resorting to takeaways. I had the Tom yum with dumplings - very spicy be warned, but suited my taste for Asian flavours. Husband had the laksa. Both highly recommended. We started with a shared satay - good crunchy peanut sauce. A huge menu, plenty of choices. The dessert was a highlight - sago with rich coconut cream and a thick topping of hula Malacca - treacle like concoction made with palm sugar.

Pros: Large choice of Malaysian themes food, Nearly all vegan , Quick efficient service

Cons: None really, but can get full

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Worst experience ever! - Edit

My travel mate & I went there after a four hours ferry crossing from the Southern island to the Northern one. No need to mention we were starving!
Firstly, we were refused a seat in the crowded restaurant because only a four seats table was available. A couple of ladies were seated there right after we came in!
When asked about the dishes, the staff was unable to explain what's in it. Gluten BBQ will remain a mystery for us. I had Nasi Goreng and my friend had a "chicken" curry. Both were tasteless with overcooked greens in the curry. Even steamed rice was of poor quality.
With tons of other veg options available in the street and surroundings, we better had to avoid this one!

Pros: 100% veg

Cons: Service, Cooking, Food

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Vegan and delicious - Edit

I stop by whenever I'm in town, mainly for the wontons, but the "chicken" laksa is amazing, as are a lot of the dishes. A dining experience I'm always happy to travel for.

Pros: Vegan, Low priced, Delicious

Cons: Does not accept credit card, Not a classy establishment

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Vegan fast food - Edit

Located in the vibrant Cuba Street in downtown Wellington this restaurant provides a huge range of vegans meals, many of whom are based on Malaysian kitchen.
Also the menu is really big, many dishes are similar to each other, just with small varieties. Moreover, practically everything is fried or deep-fried, maybe except the soups. The cooking therefore is quite simple most of the times, a bunch of noodles or rice, some prepared vegetables out of containers, thereto some deep-fried tofu or mock meat, all of that dipped with some sauce, which mainly contributes to the taste, ready.
On balance a rather inexpensive fast food restaurant which provides somewhat healthy food without claiming any higher culinary art. Nothing wrong to get a rather quick bite there from time to time but keep in mind that it most certainly will be covered in cheap oil and do not expect any exquisite treat.
Nonetheless, the food was fair and the staff was friendly.
One more thing: If you are sensitive to hot food, better ask beforehand, because that's indicated insufficiently on the menu.

Pros: it's vegan!, friendly, inexpensive

Cons: simple kitchen, all fried or deep-fried, not very pleasing venue

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A treasure in the centre of Wellington - Edit

Delicious, steaming hot bowl of wonton laksa soup with carrot, cabbage, cauliflower, etc., for NZ$12.50. Fast and pleasant service. Deliciously flavoured homemade vegan food. The second time I visited, it was a not-busy Saturday mid-afternoon, and I saw the couple hand-making wontons. They let me take their picture. Such a treasured eatery. I would be a regular, if I lived here.

Pros: fast, polite, pleasant service, homemade food, tasty, filling meals

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delicious food but hectic atmosphere - Edit

I just moved to Wellington and since I finally have some more money to go out and eat I decided to try this one vegan place over here
First of all I must say that pretty much everything on the menu is tofu based and can not be served without it which is very sad. I went with the fried dumplings instead and they were really good and not all too expensive (8.50)
Apart from that the waitress was always running. It was not that extremely busy and she wasn't on her own but she just ran all the time which made the whole experience very hectic and made me feel quite uncomfortable
All in all the staff was very nice though and the food was good ☺️

Pros: good food, reasonable priced

Cons: almost everything is tofu based, no changes to the menu

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An oasis in a vegan desert - Edit

Aunty Mena's is billed as a "vegetarian and vegan" restaurant, but apparently all the food is vegan. It's a large menu, which is good because we had to make several visits while in Wellington, owing to the dearth of vegan food in the area. Aunty Mena was really friendly, and let us know about her son's veg restaurant for the next time we're in Brisbane. The staff in general are nice. The food is pretty good, on par with most Asian vegan restaurants of its kind (with mock meats). I think Wellington, being such a large city and with a bit of an alt edge, should have more veg*n restaurants, but if Aunty Mena's is going to be pretty much the only one in town, it's not a tragedy.

Pros: Good food, Very nice staff, Central location

Cons: A little pricey

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friendly and easy - Edit

simple to find, right in cuba street with all the other eateries. our food was quickly served, not oily or salty, and priced right. we had satay, curry steam buns, nasi goreng and a coconut type soup, maybe a tom yum of sorts.

one man and woman running the show, and business picked up quickly right at the noon hour. hip healthy patrons, everyone seemed to be delighted with what they were eating. several to-go customers came and got food as well.

one woman went to ask "what are the vegan menu items?" and was told "we are all vegan now," by the woman serving and cooking. right on!! will definitely return, if i definitely return to wellington...

Pros: priced right, fast service, not noisy, no music and quiet talk.

Cons: busy street with no parking

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Awesome spot to get full to the brim - Edit

It is open till 9pm & until the last customer (me this time) finishes and you are spoiled for choice. I had: fried dumplings (8 with veg meat mince & dipping sauce), delicious Tom Yum ("small" portion which turned out to be 3 times bigger than tiny bowls I got at some other non-veg places) hot & spicy, but not to burn off your palet - just right, then Singaporean fried noodles with BBQ gluten I believe (I love gluten BTW, but if you don't I am sure you'll find something because the menu is huge), which I liberarily sprinkled with soy sauce from a help-yourself bottle, Chinese tea (no skimping here - a big pot) & a "sago" for desert, kind of like sweet rice (I was told it was something like tapioca) with lychee fruits all around - quite interesting. All this, while watching an interesting crowd of seemingly non-conformist Wellingtoneans (in this Land of Meat & Dairy one has to be a bit) which seemed to go quite well with the simple decor of the place. Paid about NZ $40 for all the above, but it was worth it for me. It's on Cuba Street, which is pedestrians-only shopping etc hot spot of Wellington.

Pros: Lots of choices. All seems vegan.

Cons: I'd chill free water a bit, OK for some.

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Great Choice - Edit

I really loved the food here, and the service was friendly too. I ate here on a rainy day so I was particularly thrilled to find warm, filling vegan food in Wellington. They don't accept credit cards so make sure to bring cash or a debit card.

Pros: Excellent Food, Friendly Service

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Amazing Menu - Edit

Their menu was amazing, I spent 15 mins deciding what I wanted because everything looked good!
The staff was friendly, the food and drinks were very tasty, I'd definitely go back.

Pros: Cheap, Tasty, Lots Of Options

Cons: Not Very Cosy

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Not completely wowed - Edit

Aunty Mena's was a good change from our usual vegan spots but after reading the fantastic reviews and walking past it hundreds of times we finally decided to give it a go when our local was closed for holiday. I'm not entirely sold and not certain what all the fuss was about the food was ok but not fantastic and the service was confusing (we were seated but waited to be served for a long time before deciding to go to the till ourselves) we had the sweet and sour "Not meat" and kung pow chicken (or something along those lines) with two entrees. i have worked in the food industry and cannot understand how their service system works. an entree is a pre dinner snack but we seemed to get them whenever they were done cooking so basically we got one entree then 5-10 minutes later the next then dinner straight after. it was just lucky we were sharing.
overall we did enjoy our meals but it could have been better

Pros: everything on menu was vegan

Cons: weird service, average food

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Humble veggie haven in sordid surroundings - Edit

As we walked down the gauntlet of bars and sleazy sex joints of Cuba Street for the first time we were not filled with confidence about dining in the area. On reaching Aunty Mena's it looked basic and not very inspiring. Likewise, much of the food served looked humble and unsophisticated. But this is one place where the proof is in the eating.

We started off with soy nuggets and spring rolls, which were probably purchased frozen and only cooked on-site, but were yummy nonetheless. Then we had coconut rice, which came with some cashews and wafer things similar to papadums but not as salty. It also came with some veggie tofu curry that was mild flavoured but addictively delicious. I did not like the look of the not chicken dish, as the sauce looked really dark and salty. But to my surprise it was deliciously caramelly and slightly sweet / savoury.

There were only two desserts on the menu so we got one of each and shared. The soy ice cream was very nice. The sago was unflavoured in itself, but drenched in creamy coconut cream and a scrumptious burnt sugar tasting caramel sauce. Heaven!

Don't be deterred by the look of the restaurant or food, it is well worth trying.

Pros: Delicious food, Dessert sauce is amazing, Humble ambience

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Duped - Edit

Unfortunately I was overcharged by $15 but I didn't realise until I got home. this is not great for me as I am unemployed and trying to get by on a shoestring with only the odd treat to keep me going. Watch what they charge you. Apart from that the food had lots of sugar (who puts sugar in savoury Roti?). The curry was really bland and the mock meat was sweet too. Not a very healthy meal and (for me) not cheap either.

Pros: Vegan friendly, Wide selection of food

Cons: Long time to be served, Overcharged by $15, Food too sweet

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Great food, kind staffs - Edit

I was ravenous when I visited here. I devoured whatever was in front of me, they were all great and delicious. I went back for the second time on the next night before my next depart to a different town. Yum!

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a regular for me - Edit

I go here often. The place doesn't look flash, but the service is friendly and the food is great. Curry noodle and roti chanai are my favourites. Portions are good sizes.
Great for going out with a group of friends, just not top choice if you're looking for a fancy place.

Pros: great food, good service, easy location

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Definitely worth going! - Edit

Amazing food with lots of mock meat.
Friendly staff: helpful and happy to arrange special requests (I asked them to add some BBQ pork in my noodles).
Quick service, huge portions and fair prices.
Good location.
Highly recommended!

Pros: amazing food, friendly staff, good location and prices

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Typical takeaways - Edit

I found the food to be good at a good price. I had the spring roll. oily goodness. loved the roti. it was a little sweet and good. seemed like typical takealways and was good for that don't expect 4 star dining or you will be disappointed.

Pros: Roti

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Nice food, good price - Edit

I had a great vegan Char Kway Teoh and vegan roti here. Ok, the decor is not very exciting, but if that bothers you get takeaway and go sit on the waterfront. The food is great. I don't find it bland at all. The value for money is also good, we can generally share a dish between two people. A major bonus is that they have vegan Roti and ice cream! All the food and desserts are vegan.

Pros: Vegan Roti!, Large selection, Fresh

Cons: Cafe decor

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Great selection - Edit

I love how vegan friendly this place is. They have so much to choose from which I love, but I've never been really wowed by the food. I'd like a bit for flavor. I'm not much for things that are deep fried as well so I don't go too often. I think the prices are a little bit steeper then they need to be. Some times I really get a craving for this place though.

Pros: Selection

Cons: Ambiance , not too healthy

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Laksa and Nasi Campur - Edit

This place rocks. We've been coming here for years and love the food, the people and the casual atmosphere. Don't come here for a romantic evening for two - do come here for a vegan friendly space, friendly people and fantastic food. There's more vegan options than almost any other place I've been to. Admittedly, one of us normally gets a laksa - especially on freezing winter nights - and the other the nasi campur, so we haven't experimented a whole lot but these two dishes are delicious... The roti chanai and gado-gado is good too - just dont expect your normal gado-gado sauce - this one is bright orange and based on carrot. The place is brightly lit and unpretentious - perfect for eating alone, as a couple, or with a group of friends. The team running the place seem like extended family - they know what they are doing and you almost feel like you are eating in their house - like a lot of restaurants in Asia. I dont think I've ever seen anyone drinking alcohol in there but there is lots of nice Chinese tea. The service is fast so it is a great place to stop in for a quick bite rather than a longer lingering meal. Check it out...

Pros: food, service, people

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Vegan asian cornucopia - Edit

It took me a while to warm up to Aunty Mena's - I love ambient cafes and this, unfortunately, is not one of those. However, if you can get past the shabby interior, the MSG, the deep frying and all the mock meats, Mena's can be a lot of fun. Where else in Wellington can you order a feast of lamb curry and roast duck and harm no animals in the process? :)

Pros: So many choices!, Crazy fake meats

Cons: Shabby, Not-so-healthy

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Average but only Pure Veg. in Wellington - Edit

Ive eaten there several times over the years. Its average and to me the prices seem high for what it is. But, it is the only pure veg place in wellington. Many of the dishes have really been altered for western taste so they can be a bit bland. Lots of oil and mock veggie meats.

I prefer the Veg place out in Lower Hutt better prices and the food's a little bit more traditional.

Pros: Pure veg, Central location

Cons: No atmosphere, pricey for quality of food

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My favourite restaurant in Wellington - Edit

The food here is outstanding, and they have a good range of offerings. All the things I have tried here I like.
Updated from previous review on Sunday March 20, 2011
Updated from previous review on Sunday March 20, 2011

Pros: good range, large servings, downtown location

Cons: lunch counter decor

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Cheap, good food - Edit

Finally got to try this place the other day. I had the chow mee (chow mein) which includes a decent amount of vegetables and some excellent mock chicken. The mock meats from this place can't be beaten - I ate with an omnivore who said if I hadn't told him it was mock, he'd have thought it was actal chicken.
Menu has a lot of stuff on it so there is heaps to choose from.
It's not a 5 star restaurant so don't expect it to be flash - personally I like the homeliness of the place but if you're picky then you may not like it. Hygiene is great and they had an "excellent" rating from the city council.
Staff very friendly and food arrives fast.
Will regularly be visiting!

Pros: cheap, friendly staff, big meals

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Disappointed - Edit

Came here after reading rave review. Came with group of 4 people, but we all were quite disappointed. Main reason for disappointment is the very bland nature of the food, we all had different dishes, they were all bland. Even the ones from the "Malaysian" section. The entrees were all deep fried. More variety in terms of types of cooking would be good. However service was fast and portions generous. Staff are friendly. I personally won't be coming back or recommending it to someone because of the blandness of the food.

Pros: Fresh, Quick service, Generous servings

Cons: Bland, Uninspiring environment, Level of cleaning so and so

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One of My Favourite Places to eat in Wellington - Edit

Aunty Mena's is a regular hangout for me these days. A while back (years) I had tried it and been less than impressed. But my family convinced me to go back. They have excellent fresh food which is delicious. I especially love their laksas and curries. Stay away from the Gado Gado and mock chicken legs though. However especially try their dumpling laksa and their vegan roti!! The dumpling laksa is delicious. The prices are a little higher than some of the other very cheap Malaysian restaurants in the area but the food quality is higher and it's well worth it.
The decor is not fantastic but who cares.
Also it can be either empty or very crowded. It seems to vary greatly.

Also their deep fried food such as their deep-fried hash browns and their vege balls are wickedly good.

Pros: Yummy Food, Fresh Food, Quality Food

Cons: Poor Gado Gado, Mock Chicken Legs

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Vegan roti, curry and noodles - great! - Edit

OK, the decor is pretty uninspiring and run-down but the food was great.
We tried a curry with roti - they make their own vegan roti which you should definately try! Mock chicken satay sticks, noodles with veg and mock meat, and a soup. All the food was cooked fresh (by a rather tired looking man) and they asked how spicy we wanted everything.
The portions are really big - only order a large portion if you are really hungry as you definately get what you ask for!
It wasn't at all busy when we went so we really noticed how run-down the place looked. A couple of the staff were sitting just behind us preparing veg and watching TV, which made us feel like we'd arrived when they were hoping to get some time to themselves - not very welcoming. I think they could improve the environment with relatively little effort - would be fantastic if it was as good as their food.

Pros: vegan roti!, big portions, reasonable price

Cons: Decor

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Just average - Edit

I guess I was expecting more after reading the rave reviews on here. I ordered the Gado Gado and didn't like it that much. The menu said it came with a peanut sauce, but the sauce was really mashed sweet potatoes with some crushed peanuts mixed in. An odd combination of ingredients, and it was way too sweet. It seemed expensive for what it was. Not willing to give it another try.

Pros: Location, Fresh ingredients

Cons: Not that tasty, Relatively expensive

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Thanks Mena! - Edit

Having been a loyal customer of Mena's going on 3 yrs now I have to say I have always been well impressed with the food and the service. The laksa is divine and sates a raging hunger. The soya and potato roti chanai is perfect on a cold night. There's a meal here for everyone for every occasion. Also if you like your food spicy, let them know and they can make it accordingly.

Pros: wide menu, cheap, relaxed atmosphere

Cons: sometimes v.busy

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Interesting place - Edit

It was very busy when i went there. I didnt' realise you paid before you ate. But I had a great meal. I had Godu godu... though it was most of a sweet type of sauce with peanuts in it. Lovely Roti bread, probably the best i've had in a while. Nice drinks but staff were very busy.

Pros: Great roti, good prices

Cons: busy staff, small resturant

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