Wellington’s hottest new Asian eating house and bar, Hot Sauce, is now raising the temperature on the local food scene with its impressive list of creative cocktails and a menu bursting with contemporary twists on traditional Asian – Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Thai flavours.
Hot Sauce, which officially swung open its doors this week, is the latest addition to the QT Museum Wellington dining and drinking precinct, and is inspired by the hustle and bustle of its sister venue – Hot Sauce Melbourne laneway bar.
Executive Chef Wylie Dean says Hot Sauce is intended to be a casual place to relax, meet some friends or shake off a long day, or even flight with some great cocktails and fresh food, simply prepared with punchy flavours.
“If it were a cocktail it’d be one part Japanese, one part Thai and a splash of Korean shaken with a dash of LA, and served with a twist.”
Dean is no stranger to Asian flavours, having worked in kitchens in Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia and China. Hot Sauce will be serving up baos, miang, sashimi, dumplings and other oriental delicacies. Adventurous signature tipples introduce the complexity unfamiliar Asian ingredients. The shiso leaf features in Hot Sauce’s signature Gangnam Shiso Style and gyokoro (sweet seaweed) muddles an Asian twist into a modern day classic, with the Kyoto Old Fashioned.
“One of my highlights of working in Japan was spending three months in Jiro Ono’s kitchen [of Jiro Dreams of Sushi fame]. I watched his techniques closely and was blown away by his skill. I then worked at his son’s restaurant in Roppongi Hills; there I was able to get my hands on a knife to help prepare the sashimi.”
Hot Sauce was designed by architect and interior designer Shelley Indyk, who says she was inspired to create a space for “lazy lounging”.
“We wanted to create a space that paid homage to the various Asian cultures that have inspired the menu, whilst bringing in a sense of intrigue, intimacy and vibrancy. The contrasting textures; polished concrete, intricate fabrication and timber create a dynamic space that is bold but beautiful and honest”.