Tuesday5:00pm - Late.
Wednesday5:00pm – Late.
Thursday5:00pm – 10:00 pm.
Friday5:00pm – Late.
Saturday4:00pm – Late.
3 Wilson Street, Newtown
Mason is a small neighbourhood restaurant masquerading as a bar. A sign above the jet black entrance at Mason invites you to come as you are, and it's a tempting proposal.
Tucked away on a quiet one-way street, just off the main Newtown strip, Mason is helmed by Matt Hawkes, formerly of Rita fame. If you’re wondering, Mason is also Matt’s middle name. The place is dark, the music is loud, and it's busy. All of the staff are friendly, and you can tell they’re having a good time.
The menu is small, yet concise. Cooking seasonally and incorporating almost all organic produce is a priority. The food and the style of eating—think lots of small plates, spicy garlicky condiments, fresh pita—are designed to take you away on a journey. For a minute, you might even forget you’re in Wellington. This sense of adventure is embellished by a menu that changes almost weekly, with surprising detours such as fresh Te Matuku oysters with watermelon and mint granita, and chargrilled octopus skewers.
The beer is cold, the wine natural, and the cocktails strong—treat it like a bar. Don’t let the bookings and set tables fool you, customers are encouraged to stop in for a glass of wine after work, a spicy rye pickleback to get the night going, or even a silvan spiced old fashioned for a nightcap.
Matt cooks food he wants to eat, and trust us, you’ll want to eat it too. So, next time you’re in the area, come as you are. An ex-record shop that feels just as comfortable being a neighbourhood bar as it is a restaurant, it’s a top pick for those looking for a more refined place to wile away the evening. Plus, dancing is encouraged.
Words by John Son & Photography by Anna Briggs
3 Wilson Street, Newtown
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