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My friend Sue has just spent a quality nine days in Wellington Hospital’s maternity ward after giving birth to twins. Sue tends to be a lot less fussy than me about the standard of food deemed to be “edible”. Sue eats (and enjoys) frozen dinners from the supermarket. But even Sue was balking at consuming much of the institutional repast served up from the hospital’s kitchen. I am sure that if you took the food into a lab and spun it into its component cells – it must be nutricious or the hospital wouldn’t serve it. You just don’t want to look at it when you eat it.

Sue reached her Waterloo when the lunch shown below was served at about day 6 in the maternity ward.

Hospital food - Sue's Waterloo

Hospital food - Sue's Waterloo

I got a distress call that she needed real food. And was desperately craving eggs. I drew a blank for a moment. I was in town running errands. It was freezing and wintry-wet. And I was trying to work out how I could pick up scrambled eggs from somewhere and get them to her without them turning into a revolting congealed mess.

The epiphany came when I remembered Pranah’s Spanish omelette (with tomato, olives and potato and a green side salad) – delicious hot or lukewarm. Pranah is a vegetarian cafe in Newtown and one of my favourite Wellington brunch/ lunch spots. As a die-hard carnivore, you know the food is good if I can forget the lack of bacon on the menu. They serve Newtown’s own People’s Coffee and rank up there as one of the better coffee spots in the city.

The Pranah team came to Sue’s rescue. The result wasn’t as pretty as it usually is on a plate as the goal was to keep it warm. The chef was particularly creative with the takeaway side salad. Rather than stuffing it into the container with the hot omelette he put it in a milkshake cup.

The good news is that Susan had a piping hot, healthy and delicious lunch. And polished off the lot. Creative serving photo displayed below.

Pranah's Spanish omelette - takeaway

Pranah's Spanish omelette - takeaway. It is normally served flat on the plate with green salad on top

Pranah's side salad

Pranah's side salad - creatively served.

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