Wellington On A Plate – what am I up to?

So for a couple of weeks in August Wellington becomes a place of mad crazy food things. It is always rather foodie but for these weeks there are set menus, burgers, baking and events.
This event is Wellington On A Plate.

I am not going to go into any great big detail as you are probably a bit of a food nut any way and can read your way through. I will add any where I visit onto this post and it will grown over the next few weeks. There are bookings I have made and things I am lined up to eat.

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My first eating was a vegetarian burger in a hotel restaurant. Yes, you read right- hotel and veggie.

City Dining & Bar (formally, Wakefields Restaurant)

West Vege Burger  –Kumara, chickpea and coconut patty with Zany Zeus feta and Prana micro herbs on a Pandoro bun, with hand cut chips (V) (GF option)

Friends were coming in from Auckland and Dunedin and we needed somewhere where we could hear each other speak on a Friday night. After much deliberating I chose the West Plaza Hotel with their yum sounding West Vege Burger. The hotel isn’t one of the well known ones in the city, if you are wondering where it is- near  Gubb Shoes and the tourist information centre. The restaurant is just inside the lobby on the left and is in a nice open space.

Back to the important thing- the burger.

It was excellent, very tasty, a very decent size and filling. The balance of flavours were great and the meat was not missed. The patty was a good size and filled the bun nicely and the feta went really well with the other flavours. It stayed together and was finished right down to the last bite by all. The hand cut chips were huge and more like wedges, they too were good. The only little gripe I would have is that we had to ask for sauce to go with it. It arrived quickly when asked for and we were given a dish each and it had a BBQ taste to it. I really enjoyed it. We had great attentive service which was not at all overbearing. If they had this burger on all the time I would certainly go back. Well done City Dining and Bar, West Plaza Hotel.

Milk and Honey- Victoria University, Kelburn.

Starter- Kingsmeade Palliser parmesan and tapioca hot bread roll with house made cultured butter (V)

Main-Roast kumara tart with Tim’s honey, freshly made cheese, thyme from the garden and wild parsley salad (V)

I am lucky enough to work at a bank on the campus of Victoria University. Milk and Honey is opposite my work and I met friends there for lunch today. I didn’t take any photos of my lunch as we were busy chatting and forgot.

I enjoyed the tart and the cheese was great. The stand out piece of this meal was the bread roll, they were cheesy and gorgeous. The only way I can think to describe them is like the pâte a choux but with a more bread based centre. I will try to get the recipe.

Taylors on Jackson

King Of Didsbury – $25
Taylors Pirinoa Station half-pound wagyu patty with hot-smoked wagyu short rib pastrami, Kingsmeade Emmental, jalapeño Russian mayo and house-made pickles. Garage Project beer match: Texas Tea.

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The photos are not the best but they make me laugh.

So, me the not much of a meat eater went for the Taylors on Jacksons burger. I feel that the term burger is underselling this beast but can not think of a better term. It certainly should be King of something.

For this adventure I went with my birthday buddy and fellow Pom, Lucy. We arrived giggling about the idea of finishing this burger, we behaved like food bloggers and took photos before eating and drinking the lovely Garage Project beer match: Texas Tea . I got to show off my flash new camera and get some top tips from Lucy the guru of photography. Anyway, on to the burger.

I have to say this is the burger to ruin all other burgers. I will always compare all burgers to this. The meat patty was cooked to perfection, crisp on the outside with a very decent sized pink middle. The pastrami was delicious and so was everything else. The accompanying spuds were far too Moorish and hard to resist.

With the size of this burger our biggest struggle was the whole saga of- how do we eat this?
We started with the purest approach of keeping it whole. I did OK, Lucy felt she needed a shower. We downed burger and pondered our approach. Lucy went for the very British approach of using the cutlery. I went for the treat it like a cake and cut wedges method. I think I was the cleverest.

I would say we both managed about 2/3rds of both the burger and the spuds. We both ate most of the pickles. We did bicker about who won the eating contest but I do declare a draw.

If you want to try this King of Didsbury you need to phone and book. There are a limited number per night, I say BOOK NOW, you will not be sad. 04 560 4727

I will be going back for the full 3 course menu and will blog that too.

Just have to add a beer photo.

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La Boca Loca

Frijoles Fodongas Burger

Zany Zeus goat feta and pinto beans sloppy joe in an organic blue corn gordita, with spicy wedges and salsa (GF) (V) (Vegan option)

I was very intrigued with this burgers description and its vegetarian status. The idea of the corn tortillas as a bun also got me. I managed to get lovely Lucy to come with me to try it out. Our evening was interesting. The restaurant was busy and the service wasn’t the best and a little odd. It took a while to get a drinks menu and water. The fact that we were sat in the naughty corner (where we belong ) probably didn’t help.

The burger was an actual burger, it wasn’t sloppy, didn’t run everywhere and had a patty shape. We really liked it and it reminded us of  a posh version of the  Spicy Bean Burger that Burger King does in the UK. Everything  went well together and it really worked. The wedges were good but there were not enough of them. Maybe charging a couple of dollars more and padding out the burger a bit more would work.

This burger was good because it was so different. It is another I would have again. It would be good to see the vegetarian burger have its own category  at the next Wellington On A Plate so it can be judged on its own merit.

Thanks for the photo and the laughs Lucy.

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The Final Meal of WOAP 2014-

Taylors on Jackson- Yes Back Again.

Three courses plus a Wellington regional beverage – $65

Starter

House-baked bread with truffle mushroom butter

and

followed by Taylors Pirinoa Station wagyu steak tartare with fried chicken oyster, celeriac, egg yolk jam, wild Hutt River onion weed and pickled white anchovy

Main

Taylors Pirinoa Station wagyu with confit potato, onion leaves, tarragon and Louise’s black garlic

Dessert

BFG lemon meringue pie cheesecake with Zany Zeus mascarpone

Beverage

Paddy Borthwick wine, Panhead Custom Ales craft beer or house-made soda

I was the first person to make a WOAP booking at Taylors. I saw it as my opportunity to get the Mr there at last. I booked for four people with friends in mind and they jumped at the chance.

Before heading over to Taylors we met at the new pub on Jackson Street- Queen of Jackson. It is rather lovely in there and a good meeting point.

We headed over to Taylors in anticipation of the great meal I had talked up, we were not disappointed  Some of the menu had changed from the above but had stayed along the same lines. The bread rolls were, as always, delicious and the butter was a hit.

The starter was similar to my visit with Wellington Foodies but has the edition of nori, which was excellent. The portion was big and I was helped out with come of my tartare. We all enjoyed the mix of flavours and the egg yolks were popular.

The main was beef cheek, I had tried this once before when Mr had it and I didn’t like it. That beef cheek was nothing like this one, which I loved. It was so tender and full of flavour. The meat fee apart in a good way on cutting. I can’t remember the full description but do know there was a brinjal mix (eggplant) with breadcrumbs on top of the beef, a carrot remoulade (posh coleslaw) heritage smoked beetroot. I am sure I am missing something. As per usual with Glen’s food, everything on the plate worked. We also had one of each side for the table to share.

The sides were -rocket, hazelnut, chardonnay pear, parmesan /Fried potatoes, local lager vinegar / Green beans, seaweed, lemon butter The larger vinegar was in a spray bottle and a big hit.

We all enjoyed our starters and main and the dessert finished the meal perfectly. At one point I had to laugh as all that could be heard was the clang of spoons against the glass jars. There were four adults trying to get every last little bit with childlike grins on our faces. The dessert was similar to advertised and served in a mason jar like the lemon meringue pie cheesecake. The new flavour was one of Mr’s favourites  desserts-

The new “BFG” parsnip + apple crumble cheesecake.

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It was so good and each mouthful offered a different but similar taste. The serving was huge but we all managed to finish.

The drink choices went very well with the dinner and the service was great. All up, the was a brilliant dining experience and we left agreeing to go back soon. We had a really good night out with fantastic food and great company.

So, Wellington On A Plate is over for another year. There were a few places I would have loved to have gone but just didn’t get to. I look forward to next year and am happy that I have Wellington Foodies to do similar events with throughout the year.

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