In the span of less than 100 metres between Eva Street and Leeds Street, you’ll find some of Wellington’s best bars and eateries in what’s known as the Hannahs Laneway. Now, there’s even more reason to take a jaunt down the brick and paint-lined alley, with popular pan-Asian restaurant Mr Go’s having relocated, joining Pizza Pomodoro, Shepherd, Goldings Free Dive, Wellington Chocolate Factory and more.
Owned by Dean White’s Dining Room Group (Ombra, Kisa), Mr Go’s opened its doors at 3 Eva Street in late July after seven years on Taranaki Street. The move was on the cards for just over 18 months, says White, with the opportunity for a rethink arising when the lease was due to be renewed. Plus, they needed more space.
“The restaurant was pretty much full seven nights a week, with a waitlist every single night,” he tells Broadsheet. The new Mr Go’s is 50 per cent bigger, having gone from 95 seats to 140, and can better cater to the larger groups the sharing style of the food and upbeat atmosphere has always attracted. Now there are several larger tables that can seat up to 22 people – so keep that in mind for your next birthday.
As for the location, White wanted Mr Go’s to remain central – and the space was purpose-built in what was formerly student flats and a car park. It sits below boutique accommodation The Cobbler Hotel – also newly opened this year.
“It’s close to the Opera House, it’s close to St James Theatre, it’s close to Michael Fowler Centre – it makes a lot of sense being where we are,” says White. “There’s not a lot of space that comes up in the Hannahs Laneway, so we were fortunate that the timing was right.”
They’ve referenced this with a retro-inspired feel and mint-green palette, amplifying the diner look with plastic laminate tables, checked floors, and booth seating. “With learnings from the previous Mr Go's, we understood that the space would be busy from the get-go,” Caldwell tells Broadsheet. “We called on hard, durable and utilitarian materials to ensure the space would gracefully wear in, rather than wear out.”
LED lights can be switched between red and blue to change the mood, and multi-coloured, textured lead-light glass windows add interest over the bar, the kitchen pass, and seating division.
The main feature of the new site is the all-weather courtyard, a clever indoor-outdoor space that has an opaque retractable roof to be opened on good days and keep the elements out on others. “I’ve just come from there; it’s a freezing cold five-degree day and there are 40 people sitting in that area with the heaters on, happy as Larry,” says White.
With the move, they’ve also refocused the food to a broadly Chinese and Taiwanese-inspired menu, cutting more wide-ranging influences that included dishes and flavours from Indian, Sri Lankan, Malaysian, and Japanese cuisine. More dim sum-style dishes have joined the line-up of dumplings, wontons and steamed buns, and the new kitchen’s large grill kisses beef skirt steak and wok-fried rice cakes, cumin-spiced lamb skewers, and chilli caramel pork belly.
There’s still a selection of handmade bao buns, and a good range of vegetable dishes such as kung pao cauliflower, dan dan noodles (minus the pork), and grilled brussels sprouts.
White says he loves the “fresh energy” the new space provides. “We’re looking forward to having guests, new and old, join us.”
3 Eva Street, Te Aro, Wellington
(04) 384 3488
Mon & Tues 4pm–10pm
Weds & Thurs midday–10pm