Wellington On A Plate 2017 – Let The Eating Begin.

A confession, I started a day early with a cheeky try of a burger. It was the Thursday and I was invited along to be Lucy from Wellington Foodies plus 1. It was a very good start and a nice surprise. I must confess that I hadn’t paid much attention to the Sojourn at The James Cook Hotel when looking at the WOAP guide. Next year it will be one of the first ones I look for. Lucy had the main menu and proclaimed that gorgeous too.

Sojourn Cafe and Bar

The burger was different (in a good way) and very imaginative. Only a few will get this but it reminded me of a meaty spicy bean burger. I would certainly recommend this and would go back. The dessert was amazing too and was of a very high standard, up there with the fancy French place.

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The Burger, CCC Mexi Tower

Tortilla-crumbed chilli con Carne patty with lettuce, tomato, guacamole, hard goat’s cheese and sour cream in a mole burger bun, with kūmara chips and chipotle mayonnaise (NF).

Matched w Garage Project Hāpi Daze

The Dessert

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Mascarpone bavarois with rhubarb and strawberry pâté de fruit, mixed berry gel and rhubarb crisp.

 

Hippopotamus Restaurant

I picked the Hippo as somewhere to go for a fancy meal with Mr Muffin. The 3-course menu appealed to both of us and this was a minor miracle.  The food was delicious and of the high standard you would expect. The service was terrible and it certainly didn’t feel like the special evening out we were aiming for. We left a bit sad to be honest and feeling like we were a bother.

Anyway, onto the food.

Entrée

We both had the soup. It came with the dry ingredients in a bowl and the liquid was poured at the table. It was delicious.

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France meets New Zealand: Marmite-based onion soup (V)

For main

I went for the gnocchi and Mr opted for the pie. For some reason, he didn’t get a syringe of tomato sauce in his and we realised after eating that others had this. Both courses were excellent. I may have a little pie envy but the gnocchi was very me and I ate some of the perfect pastry from the pie.

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Kūmara gnocchi, cauliflower purée, Lot Eight olive oil and grated cheese (v).

 

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The Humble Kiwi Pie: Black Dog beer-braised Wairarapa wild venison leg and Parkvale Mushroom (NF)

Dessert

Oh my. I had a posh Jaffa cake and it was divine. I may have not stopped thinking about it. Mr had the Milk and Honey, I can’t tell you anything about it as I didn’t get a look in.

 

Milk & Honey: Hokey pokey, ANZAC biscuit crumb, burnt honey crémeux, buttermilk sorbet, thyme, honey gel

– or –

Jaffa: Whittaker’s dark chocolate mousse, orange curd, chocolate soil and orange marmalade

 

Five Boroughs

This burger was a bit of a whim, a friend mentioned how they had plans to go but could only book if there were 6+ people. I offered us up as the extras and a table was booked. Five Boroughs was buzzing on a Sunday night and the service was friendly and efficient. The burger, oh the burger. Another clever take on the basic meat patty. The chicken roast as a burger worked very well. This is one big burger and we all adopted our own methods. I went for the cut it in half approach. I must tell you that this a whole meal and between 7 of us we managed about one portion of fries. It was good to have them and dip them in the gravy.

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Flippin’ the Bird

Roast chicken patty, Sunday roast vegetable hash, caramelised onions, mayonnaise and smoked brinza on a sage stuffing bun with chicken gravy (NF).

Matched w Garage Project Hakituri

My List-

Salty Pidgin

Southern Cross

St Johns

Queen of Jackson

Basque

The Borough Tawa

Bin44

There are plenty more places I would like to add if I get the time.

 

 

 

 

 

Manual – The Button I Now Know How To Use On My Camera.

After 3 years of having a fancy camera, I have finally learnt how to use it for food photography. I have enrolled for evening classes a couple of times and they have never happened as there weren’t enough people. When I saw the very fancy Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand had a 2-day weekend class I decided to jump in and get it done!

The weekend was fantastic, it was spent in their space in Cuba Street, Wellington. I loved it. The first day we talked about the food photography and how to use the camera. The Sunday we took photographs of actual food cooked by some of the Le Cordon Bleu students, photographed them while they cooked and ate their food.

It isn’t easy to learn as an adult and I am a long time out of school. I am no expert (yet) but I plan to be. I would recommend this class, it is by no means cheap but is very informative and a great way to learn.

Here are a few of my favourite photographs. They are not perfect, I love them and I am proud of my progress. My next step is to take the camera out of the house and to buy Photoshop.

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30 Day Entertainment Book- Excellent For Your New Zealand Or Australian Holiday.

Kangaroo and cheeky fantail.

15% off at Australia Zoo.

This is not a sponsored post, just passing on my knowledge (I can be thanked in food! )

The Entertainment Book is a New Zealand and Australian thing. It is sold by charities or organisations and a fundraiser and is fantastic. I have included it a good few posts as we get it every year for the Wellington region. As mentioned in a previous post, we got one for our holiday in Port Douglas and Cairnes a few years ago.

Lamb Pizza

25% off the bill at Miss Moneypenny’s, Noosa Heads.

Previous Entertainment Book Posts.

This year there was a new idea, a 30-day book. I say book, we used the fab App.There isn’t really a book. With this new feature you can pick a start date and you have 30 days from then to use it. This came at a perfect time for us as and our family holiday to Noosa and Brisbane (Brisbane 17/18). It was easier to use in Brisbane but we got great use out of it and not only did the Entertainment Book save us money but it also saved our sanity.

Chicken Laab

25% off at Phat Elephant, Brisbane.

On the App there is this fabulous button and I was mocked by my family for my love of this button, it is called, Near Me. It finds where you are and pulls up the information for all the things around you with offers in the book. It is great. Many of our eating decisions were made based on if they were in ‘The Book’ or not. This wasn’t just for saving money but because if a place is in The Book then generally they are used by locals and worth a visit. Some you may have not have even noticed or gone to if you were an average tourist. We went to a lovely Italian we wouldn’t have visited otherwise and ventured more out of Noosa Heads because we had ideas of what was there.

We used our Book not just for food but for adventure too. We went on The Wheel Of Brisbane because The Book got us 50% off. Our Australia Zoo tickets were 15% off and booked online.

The Wheel of Brisbane

50% off The Wheel Of Brisbane. My selfie.

I have been passionate about The Entertainment Book for a while now and I often tell people about it.  I do like to feel as if I am clever and saving a few dollars here and there. We paid $30 for 30 days and gained this amount in savings in 2 days. It is so worth it, even if your family do mock you every time you stand still and shout, ‘I’m just going to press near me’.

Our value received was calculated by The Book to be $245.

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So We Are On Holiday In Noosa, Australia. Do You Think This Is Strange?


We had A lovely lunch in a cafe in Noosaville. The food was delicious, the view was wonderful but the service was strange, very strange. The owner was welcoming and explained the menu . I noticed as he was brining out food he was putting the dish on a laid table and a young man was taking photos of the food. None of the other tables had table cloths on and this guy was just using his phone. It took a while to get served because the owner was talking to this young guy about social media and I presume from that he is a blogger. He wasn’t sat at the photo table, this was a special table for the customers food to be placed on before serving it to them and for it to be photographed!

Strangely enough I don’t have any problems with bloggers. I do have an issue with feeling like my food is second hand and someone else getting up close and personal with my dish. I also didn’t like having to wait to give my order, my drink being forgotten and having to remind the guy several times. 

We weren’t the only people having this odd experience. Customers were giving each other raised eyebrow looks all over the restaurant.

 Have you ever had your food used as a photo prop before receiving it? 

Am I overthinking this?

Offal Club at Hillside – I DID IT MUM!

 

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It started like this!

 

I have mentioned before that I am not a natural meat eater. I swapped meat for vegetables off my brother’s plate and turned vegetarian at 14 years old. It lasted until we moved to New Zealand.

Last night I did something that I have been saying I would do for ages and maybe even a couple of years, I went to Offal Club. Offal Club happens at Hillside Kitchen and Cellar in Thorndon on random Monday nights. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for various Monday night themes.

I would highly recommend Offal Club to anyone, except the vegetarians and vegans. There ain’t no place for you at that table! I can honestly say, I will go again. If you know me I will wear you down and drag you along. If you can trust anyone to cook you offal it has to be Asher Boote. The meal was an amazing price too, I paid $65 for 5 courses.  This meal was worth more and simply amazing.

Here are a few pictures, can you believe this is offal? They do have to be big to make you look closely and think, ‘I could eat that’.

Tripe

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First came tripe. Yes, I said tripe, salt and pepper tripe with pickled cucumber, onion and a sweet and sour sauce. It was not like tripe and I need to say the word, marvellous.

 

Blood

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Pureed black pudding, white anchovies and sprouts with a squid ink cracker. This was clever, very clever. Very clever in a good way.

 

Tongue

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Lambs tongue in a light broth with turnip and carrot. I am not sure I could cook this but it was wonderful. My knees did get a little shaky seeing little baby lambs tongue on my plate. The meat was nothing like I imagined and it was soft with a little crunch around the outside. The balance of the meal was perfect.

 

Heart

Beef heart lightly smoked with mushrooms, onions and bacon. There was mashed spuds and spinach too. I have to be honest, I liked this but it didn’t float my boat. I think it was closer to a normal beef dish. The others at the table vacuumed it up. I can tick heart off my offal list now.

 

Ants

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Lemongrass ants with parsnip ice cream and persimmon.  These ants are native. We may have spent rather a lot of time trying to decide how they were killed and came to taste of lemongrass. They are frozen and the lemongrass taste is natural. Yes, they really do taste of lemongrass. You can buy them from Anteater . This was a lovely way to eat ants, last time I had them they were crunchy and in a salsa.

The very last treat was the little morsels I love. There was no offal and I just have to post a photo because of the cuteness. The little lemon meringues may have been referred to as angels nipples.

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Most Excellent Chocolate Raspberry Cake And Thick Chocolate Icing.

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My daughter turned 14 years old this week. I don’t know where the time has gone? She is turning into an amazing young lady and is way taller than me. She comes in very handy for getting things off shelves and general reaching tasks. I don’t think I will need a step stall for a few years.

As it was her birthday on a Wednesday and her party on Saturday she was lucky enough to get two cakes. One was a rerun of the Cheesecake Shops Rainbow Cake and I made the most lovely chocolate cake for the actual day. I want to put the recipe on here for next time as this is going to be my go-to chocolate cake recipe and it went really well with the thick chocolate icing. Afer a couple of days of being cut, I microwaved a slice for 15 seconds and this turned it into a pudding type cake.

The cake recipe is from the Chelsea Sugar Website and the icing from Yummy Tummy Aarthi. 

The icing is very thick and this is how I intended it to be. It can be spread with a dinner knife dipped in hot water.

I used Lindt Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Chocolate for the cake.

Enjoy. I have to squeeze the dreaded word in somewhere, the jam keeps it moist.

Chocolate Raspberry Cake- Muffinmum.com

125g butter

3/4 cup caster sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp Vanilla essence

1/2 cup raspberry jam, homemade is optional

1 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup cocoa

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup milk, warmed

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Cake

Grease and line a 24cm cake tin.

Cream butter and Caster Sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Then beat in vanilla and raspberry jam.

Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa.

Dissolve baking soda in milk.

Fold dry ingredients and milk alternately into butter mixture.
Fold in chocolate chips.

Spoon into cake tin and bake at 180°C for 45 minutes.

Leave in tin on a rack to cool for ten minutes, remove from tin and allow to cool
Ice with chocolate icing when cold.

Thick Chocolate Icing

30 grams butter

1 tablespoon water

3/4 c icing sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa powder ( I love Pams)

Place water and butter in a saucepan on a low heat, gently melt the butter

Sieve cocoa powder and icing sugar

Beat cocoa and icing sugar into the butter mix

This will be thick, slowly add some more hot water if needed

Place in the centre of the cake and work outwards using a knife dipped in a cup of hot water

 

 

Visa Wellington On A Plate 2017.

WOAP17

 

That time has come, the time where I spend far too much time reading menus and planning to eat out. Most of the time these plans happen and I am not home for long for some of August.

Burgers are my thing and also eating out at new places. You can read some of my previous years’ antics here.

So far I am liking the look of my friend Lucy’s Looking Good: Food Styling and Photography. 

The High Tea events are also looking good.

Anyway, off you go.

Visa Wellington On A Plate

Let me know what you think?