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“Good food and fun”

Cool Change Bar & Eatery
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $6 - $25
Cuisines: Bar, Wine Bar, New Zealand, European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Families with children, Local cuisine, Bar scene
Dining options: Drinks, Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Description: Why Cool Change? Cool change came to fruition for a number of reasons. Having frequented this stunning region for some years to escape the hustle & bustle of the city life at every opportunity, we saw a window to taste the Wairarapa life as residents & business owners. Hence why we thought it would be a Cool Change. We stumbled across the chance to convert one of the most ornate, beautiful buildings in the Wairarapa into a warm, comfortable, unique hospitality concept. The name derives from one of our greatest passions - music. Throw in the fact that we are vulnerable to the odd occasional southerly blast & fondness of "The Little River Band" Cool Change was born. Our facility consists of 1 private function room, seats 12 people. Our dining room features booth seating, open fire, period & deco lighting and retro wallpaper. The bar greets you on entry with a warm ambiance; sky TV when required & a wine list to tempt those taste buds. Cool Change cuisine will not disappoint as our Head Chef Rachel Priestley has weaved her magic around the globe - Italy, Switzerland, Austria, United States, France, Finland, Sweden, Taipei, Hong Kong, China - Shanghai. Her cuisine is Italian inspired food, using the freshest ingredients including using her own italian salumi. Food and wine was her life and Rachel worked for 10 years in Italy. She produces all sorts of Italian salumi products from happy pigs in New Zealand, she has opened six Italian restaurants in Italy, taught Tuscan chefs how to cook Tuscan cuisine better, taught male chefs from Puglia in the South of Italy their own cuisine. Rachel ran a truffle shop in Florence, opened a wine bar in Bormio for Amaro Braulio, a restaurant by the sea in Gaeta in a 14th century pharmacy, a restaurant in Naples for the Camorra - the Naples Mafia. And now she is back in New Zealand to supply you with fine Italian food and wine, cooking here at Cool Change Bar & Eatery.
Sydney
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Good food and fun”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2014

We had a tasty tapas style dinner. We all enjoyed the retro inspired decor of the restaurant. The service was fun and friendly but a little disorganised. One of our dishes didn't arrive and the final bill was wrong. Make sure you grab a giant Jaffa on your way out.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank KorenaSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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287 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    150
    77
    31
    10
    19
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
224 reviews
85 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere, food okay”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 26, 2014

Thoroughly enjoyed our experience at Cool Change, staff were so good, we would have eaten there whatever the food! Menu was extensive and the wine list was local which was awesome. I had the fish of the day which was presented very well but in my opinion was a bit dry and not what snapper could be, my husband had pork belly which he loved, our friends had fish and mussels, agreed with me on the fish, they felt it was also a bit dry, mussels were good. Overall it was a great place to go, even if not the best food, local wine was very good.
Would definitely recommend and return.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Janis W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“Great cool spot in a beautiful town.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 25, 2014

If in Martinborough, don't leave without paying this place a visit. Enjoy a drink and relax in retro arm chairs out on the street. Friendly staff. Cool place. Great pics inside.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank WayDownUnder2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
127 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Cool Change is definitely Cool!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2014

This is probably the best restaurant in the town. With its funky decor and prime location in the square it has presence and style. The bar is a great meeting spot before dinner where you can relax over a drink and meet plenty of the locals.

The menu with its italian infusion and local produce is a treat. The cured meats platter is a wonderful starter with flavours that simply melt in your mouth. The risotto cakes are also a star. It is hard to pick a favourite from the mains but for us the twice cooked pork belly and the Scotch Fillet were outstanding. Good portions and wonderful presentation. The restaurant has a superb selection of wines with a good selection of local Martinborough wines as well as varietals from other regions and overseas.

You simply cannot go past Cool Change when in Martinborough!

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Bruce J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Wonderful food and atmosphere”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 20, 2014

This was my second time at Cool Change and the team here are very helpful and accommodating. We were a group of 9 woman and although I needed to change the number coming for dinner a few times they were both patient and accommodating. Food was great all round, pork belly was a huge hit! It was very busy and a bit rowdy due to a beer festival being on in Martinborough that day, but the staff were very friendly and professional. My favorite place to dine in Martinborough!

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank CatherineWatson70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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