CLOSED: Mara Restaurant

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 2 reviews )



178 Riddiford St, Newtown (at Constable), Wellington, New Zealand, 6021

An all-vegan restaurant based on ethical food practices and sustainable business principles. Non profit training and peer support for youth in hospitality. Thoughtful and creative menu featuring dishes such as truffle kumara mash with mushroom wellington or conchigilioni with grilled mozzarella. Also does takeaway burgers and pizzas. Has a good selection of desserts; try the made-in-houses ice cream. Located in the hip city of Newtown, about 4 miles from Wellington. Confirmed closed, Nov 2017. Closed Sun, Mon.

Categories: Vegan, Pizza, International, Western, Take-out

2 Reviews

First Review by Yolanda

I wanted to love it... - Edit

We came for a special occasion meal and had been saving the trip ad I was really looking forward to trying an ethical, low waste, all vegan restaurant.

Unfortunately the oven had "exploded" prior to our arrival so wellington and pizzas, which we wanted to eat, were off. We went for pasta with salsa and "chargrilled homemade mozerella". They make a fuss about the mozerella, which was not charred (probably due to the oven situ) and was basically just a vegan cream cheese like you could make at home in a high-speed blender. It was pleasant enough, no need to make a song and dance about it (I wouldn't even call it mozerella) and they were stingy with the amount on each plate. The pasta was shop bought I suspect, the red sauce was nice. It was luke warm however. For dessert we had chocolate 3 ways, which turned out to be a brownie with ice cream and pour over sauce. Tasted great! Why not just call it brownie and ice cream with chocolate sauce? We drank a beetroot juice which tasted nice but left all who drank it with very sore, raspy throats. Not sure what was in it to make it so dehydrating. The next day those who had the juice spoke about how raw our throats felt.

Service was extremely slow with one wait staff who also assisted in the kitchen, leaving front of house for long periods without drinks etc. and it took forever to order. The kitchen is not blocked off from the rest of the restaurant, meaning very loud blender noises every few minutes, we couldn't hear each other talk! Later in the evening they managed to rope in an extra member of staff, who also assisted waiting on and in the kitchen, still the dessert must have taken 30 minutes to arrive. Apologies all round, the staff were very nice.

Payment was also a bit of a debacle as they had a plethora of handwritten orders floating about (too many for the amount of punters in that evening) but ours was found eventually and all correct.

They also have no liquor license which disappointed some of our party. I think the restaurant maybe opened before it was ready? It holds a lot of promise but would maybe do better as a daytime cafe to offer a more casual dining experience? Newtown is not busy with late opening restaurants.

Pros: All vegan, Low waste

Cons: Disappointing, Slow service , Very noisy

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Thoughtful creative menu - Edit

Mara is an all vegan restaurant in hip and busy Newtown which is very close to downtown Wellington city. (4kms from train station.) Very easy to get there from the central city as there are lots of buses and on street parking.

I love their menu which obviously someone who understands food has designed. Lots of choices and good sound ingredient/flavour/texture combinations. It is exciting they make their own cheese and it is a beautiful one. Great to see dishes that you don't normally see on vegan menus although they do offer burgers and pizza for the vegan traditionalists.
I loved my dessert - the tart with beetroot and black Doris plums. I don't like floral flavours but they were happy to swap out the lavender ice cream that it usually comes with and I had a lovely real vanilla flavoured ice cream instead.
It is great that they have a takeaway menu too.
Lovely friendly and helpful staff.
But the best thing is that they are all vegan and proudly so.

Pros: proudly vegan, menu for all tastes, lovely staff

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