Rarely will you find a place quite like The Lab. Serving up quality cuisine at affordable prices, they’ve bridged the gap in Wellington’s market for food you and your wallet can feel good about, every time.
The Lab is quickly becoming a household name for fresh eats in Wellington City. Starting with a goal to shake up the way cafes do things, they ended up blasting the lid off the bottle and now have four exquisite cafes, each delving into the different ways of doing things.
Their latest and greatest, The Lab Victoria St, has slowed down from the swift pace their other locations move at. Being the first of their cafes to be a standalone eatery, they embrace the relaxed, dine-in vibe that locals have come to know and love.
Wanting to know more about how The Lab Victoria St differentiates itself? We asked Manager Wilson Fuentes a round of quickfire questions.
What sets The Lab Victoria St apart from the other locations?
All of our other locations are more of a takeaway-style, whereas here we are trying to introduce a more relaxed table service. If things go well, then we are looking to introduce a dinner service as well. Ultimately, we are trying to shift that takeaway environment into a restaurant vibe. That would be the biggest difference between our location and the others. Our Victoria University location is 100% takeaway, and the Lab at Press Hall is fairly similar – most people go just for takeaways.
Do you find that people sit in here more often than they take away?
It’s a bit of both, probably 50/50 right now. Our venue is a little bit different from the others, where we have more room for people to dine in, so our customers make use of that.
How long have you guys been open here?
I am not 100% sure of the exact day, but it was just after lockdown – so we’re not even a year old yet!
How long have you been working here?
Since about September last year.
How do you like it?
I really like it yeah! I’m the manager here and I love it. I wouldn’t work in a place that I don’t enjoy.
What’s your favourite thing on the menu?
Right now? Hmm, I would have to say the avocado on toast. We won the best avocado toast in the city. That’s probably what I eat the most right now.
What would you say the most popular dish is?
That. That and maybe the Korean Chicken Burger. It’s also hugely popular. Those two dishes are definitely the top ordered.
Do you have any deals or events?
We are starting to brainstorm a few, so keep your eyes out.
What do you bring to the table in Wellington?
We bring great service to the table. I haven’t tried enough of the cafes around us to tell you completely, but in comparison to some of the cafes I have tried – we are set apart by the level of service. You can go to a lot of places around the city that have regular service, but here we give you our best every single time. You can find very good chefs everywhere, full of good people working in those kitchens, but it’s very hard to find people who actually know how to do a proper job in service and serve their customers well. Here, we always strive to do the best we possibly can do our customers. To not just serve, but go beyond and give them a proper experience.