The Chocolate Tour
A while ago I started looking for a subscription box, I love getting mail and opening boxes. Thinking about it that is rather strange as I don’t like opening gifts from people I know. In my search I looked at all sorts but didn’t find anything that floated my boat. I did consider a socks one, but nah. One day my quest was over.
Fellow blogger, Wellingtonian and Mum Rosa started a chocolate subscription box. Yes, you read right a chocolate subscription box. New Zealand is fast becoming recognised as an excellent chocolate producer. Today my first box arrived. I managed to hide from other’s photos on social media and even wait until after dinner before opening it.
Opening it I must to confess to feeling a little nervous and worried that I might be disappointed. I shouldn’t have bothered with the negative thoughts, it contained a fantastic stash of chocolate goodness. This months box has the theme, The Inner Child. So far I have just eaten the J’aime Les Macaron’s Choc Pop. It was so very good and I am having an internal argument about what to eat next. I must finish here and solve the argument!
*This is not a sponsored post.
Sorry I didn’t use a fancy camera but I needed to get to the good stuff.
I get asked how we eat out so often on a regular basis. The answer is pretty simple really and I will give you a couple of tips. I got thinking about this today when Mr and I were at Gr8 Tandoori Indian in Lower Hutt. Their lunch menu is a main, rice and plain naan for $9.90 , you can pimp your naan for $1. Today we splashed out and had Onion Bhaji for $6. Oh those fried morsels were good, so good. Our two mains and bhaji came to $28.40 and was easily enough for a main meal, in fact we declared our selves Christmas Day full! I sometimes pay that in a cafe for a coffee and breakfast for 1.
Eating out at lunch time can be really cheap. We enjoy Indian and Asian food, often they are the places with the good lunch time deals. The portions are never stingy and always enough for a main meal. Our favourites change and do often base our weekend outing on where to have lunch!
Drink The Water
In New Zealand cold water is put on the tables in most restaurants. If you eat out at lunch time and stick to the water it makes your meal pretty cheap. On occasion one of us might splash out and have something but generally we stick to the water. A beer could nearly the same as your whole meal at lunch time. If you want the beer, have the beer…. I am Emma the Enabler and not a party pooper.
Go for lunch in the place that looks dingy and dark. Walk in the door of the noisy place with picture food. Try things you wouldn’t otherwise pick. If you are not paying full price for an evening meal it is a good excuse to give something different or somewhere different a go. You may find the perfect lunch spot and it may always remain a lovely lunch place but keep you happy.
When we do eat out in the evening we will more than likely choose somewhere in the Entertainment Book. Having the app on our phones has meant we have used it so much more. Using the vouchers is also a way to discover new places and helps with the being brave part.
Go Out Separately
I am the one who eats out the most in our family. We do not always eat out together and when you see my food pics, I am often out with friends. This cuts the cost of eating out and means that as the foodie, I get to eat out more. We do do pocket money accounts and I then have my own food fund.
Joining a group of like minded foodies is also a good way to eat out without your partner or non foodie friends. Wellington Foodies is a great place to start and I have met some fab people through belonging to this group.
I am not going to write a list with links, you need to discover these places for yourself. Ask away on FB if you would like any top tips or have something to add.
Sorry, this photograph has to be big. Just look at that.
The Nest- Pumpkin seed crumbed soft boiled egg , filo pastry nest , beetroot ketchup, feta and mesclun salad.
This is not something I normally say but, I was wrong.
I have been laughing about how Insta/Snapchat the food at Comes and Goes in Petone is and being rather judgemental about how it could not taste as good as it looks. It sure does taste as good as it looks and my mind was blown by this dish, The Nest.
The Nest is two pumpkin seed crumbed soft boiled egg , filo pastry nest , beetroot ketchup, feta and mesclun salad. Just look at that, it is a plate of beauty and the taste was amazing.
I do have to warn you, we had to wait for a table on a Friday early lunch time. I am so pleased we did wait, it sure was worth it.
So I eat my words, not only is the food Insta/Snap worthy it tastes mighty fine too.
One more photo……….
Almost a year ago I went to Jano Bistro for their degustation. Last night, I did it again and Mr Muffin came along too.
This is a minor miracle. Mr M does enjoy eating out but it is normally of the Asian variety and comes with a kick.We went along with friends who had never done a degustation either and they too were left impressed with Jano’s too.
The food looked fantastic and tasted amazing too. We talked about the wonderful thing about doing a degustation menu is eating things you would never order. We all ate just about everything on our plate. Mr M left a small part of the calamari mousse but it was finished by our dining companion.
I am now plotting our next fancy dinner out, I may have to wait a couple of months but I have plans in my head and they may involve the Artisan Dining House.
Now, I am not one for descriptions or remembering the exact description of a dish. I can tell you that all the elements on the plate went perfectly and I am just going to give a brief hint with the pictures (click to enlarge). If you want to go, you need to book and they can adjust the menu to suit dietary needs.
*not a sponsored post
You know how you always have that one place you always talk about going to but never do?
Tequila Joe’s and their eat all you can taco Tuesday’s was just that for me and some friends. This week we finally went and we ate all we could. Each of us ladies had 6 each, shared two baskets of fries and one of corn chips. I think we did well as the tacos are not those tiny ones.
All of the tacos were excellent, the fries were fab and the food kept on coming until we could eat no more. Not only do you get various tacos but Baja fries and corn chips too. To be honest, I didn’t expect to enjoy the tacos as much as I did and my expectations weren’t high. I really enjoyed the evening, the atmosphere and the food. I think the pork were my favourite and I am not a big pork fan.
Check their website and Facebook for the information. I do believe they are now doing Taco Thursday too. it is best to book.
Yesterday was the first day of summer down this end of the world. In Wellington it started out grey and eventually turned into summer. It was a perfect day for heading over to the south coast of the city and for a bit of an adventure.
I picked up my friend Lily to head to the Beach House and Kiosk. I decided a detour down Adelaide Road with a stop off at a chocolatier’s was in order and I am mighty glad we did.
Excuse the not very good photo but you get the gist.
Baron Hasselhoff’s was amazing and I think I speak for both of us when I say we left happy. It is a small place with chocolates that amaze. It reminds me of visiting choccywoccydoodah in Brighton. You can see the mind at work making the delightful chocolates. These are not your run of the mill chocolates, they are thought out and considered flavours. They are very different chocolates to I have had anywhere else and I will certainly be treating myself to a box of 6 soon. While in there we had a good chat with the owner and did rather a lot of trying samples, buying chocolates and eating them right there, it was fun. I loved the Rose, raspberry and pomegranate molasses and was surprised by the liquorice root mallow puff.
After our chocolate stop we headed to the cafe at the end of the road and around by red rocks. The cafe that was here previously had rather a sad reputation and was a bit unloved by locals. It is the first stop for many people who have emigrated here or are on holiday, it was our first cafe in New Zealand. Wellington…… you need to rethink that!
The cafe has been renovated and is now the Beach House And Kiosk, it is stunning. The views around there are the same jaw dropping views and now the cafe is back to matching the scenery. We both loved the decor and the ambiance. It feels good and is a place I would drive out of my way to visit. The cakes on the counter looked lovely, the service was nice, friendly and Kiwi. The food we ordered was also excellent. Our one gripe was the duck fat spuds could have been cooked and little more.
The old owners of Elements and Zoe, one of the chefs from Elements are running this place. It showed in the food, the menu and I will certainly be back for more.
We shared a roasted cauliflower and chickpea salad and duck fat potatoes. Lily didn’t want the pecorino cheese on the spuds so I had mine on the side. Both dishes were lovely and we were left full. The smoked yoghurt with the cauliflower was a big winner. Oh, I forgot, we also fitted in half a doughnut each. That was good too.
My latest High Tea Society Review At Bolton Hotel, Artisan Restaurant is up and it is a goody. I am currently trying to convince the family to go on holiday to Singapore so I can’t get myself a teapot. Postage from the website may be cheaper but Singapore has so much food to try and the Postie doesn’t.
Last weekend on Facebook I had some great news, I won the special Monday metre long pizza at Mediterranean Foods. Yes, 1 meter long. I was very good and shared with my family and friends. It was very impressive and very good. We got to choose 3 different pizzas to be featured. We had Italia, SicilIa and Chioggia. It fed 5 of us and for $55 I think that is pretty good. The novelty of the huge pizza was easily matched by the great taste. The restaurant and shop have been refurbished and look fantastic.
Yes, I have had a week that has been all about food. That is every week but this week has been extra foodie with the pizza above and a few changes at work. I started new hours at and this meant a whole hour for lunch. Working in the suburb I work in means I have plenty of choices for lunch. This week I had a very good Palak Paneer with naan bread ($9.50) at The Curry Pot and Huarache Patria ($13 beef with green sauce) at Viva Mexico. Both were so very good and rather cheap.
Today I also had pancakes ($16) at the new cafe in Petone, Seashore Cabaret. They were the best pancakes I have had in the Wellington Region, the coffee was also good and I love the decor. I wasn’t expecting the place to please me, but it did.
If you are Tim my personal trainer, I would still give myself 7/10 for my diet. There was fruit and veg involved.