Monte Cervino – I would Order The Same Again.

One of the best reviews I can personally give is, I would order the same meal again. That doesn’t mean I defiantly would, it does mean a meal was damn fine. It also means the whole experience was excellent. At Monte Cervino, I would order the same meal again!

If you are wondering where Monte Cervino is ,because you want some mighty fine Italian food, it is on Tory Street where Lone Star used to be. The space has been altered and changed for the better and it is now a large restaurant with different eating space and a bar area.  When you use the online booking tool you can choose which area to sit in, we went for Open Kitchen, High Tables.

I loved watching the kitchen work and the pizza oven. We both enjoyed the enthusiasm of the staff who obviously enjoy where they work. This was one of those meals where we both left smiling and talking about when we will return.

At the time of writing this there is a voucher on Treat Me .

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We started with the very intriguing soft salami, Nduja Piccante. It had a great kick and was delicious. The pickled vegetables and bits served with it were great. It was easily enough for two.

 

For my main I went with the Nettle Agnolotti, Sardinian goat ricotta, winter greens, whey, butter sauce. I loved the fact that it wasn’t just a plate of pasta but had other bits on the plate. The pasta was perfect fluffy tasty green cloud. I must admit to going over board and ordering the rocket, endive, pear, walnut, salad but I did eat most of eat and enjoyed each mouthful. Mr ordered the Mozzarella Fior Di Latte, you can just see it behind my salad. He declared it the right size for one, he did have the duck fat potatoes but only got 2/3rds of the way through them.

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It is really hard to take a photo of Cannoli on a dark plate, you have to take it from me that this tasted far better than my terrible photograph. This baby was a ricotta, lemon, and pistachio cannoli. This was my first cannoli experience and I am a convert.

All up, we loved our meal. I may have bought another voucher and already be arguing with myself about what to order.

Thanks for reading.

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Queen Of Jackson, Petone.

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The Queen Of Jackson, Petone- I wish I had food photos. I wish you could see all the food and all the lovely things. You would need to smell it and see how each dish varied. BUT….

I didn’t take a single food photo and I can’t show you anything, You will have to take my word for it. I was too busy chatting and having a mighty fine beer or two. The food was so damn fine. Ottolenghi meets New Zealand fine. I mean that and that is big praise.

On my last trip back to the UK I planned a trip for me and my bestie, we went to London. We stayed in a very lovely hotel and I fulfilled my dream of eating at Ottolenghi. It was lovely and I enjoyed the food. I can tick that one off my list. The food today at the Queen Of Jackson in Petone was easily up there with the Spitalfields experience, if not better.

The occasion for eating there was a bit of an early birthday celebration for me. I invited 7 friends for their set menu, this had finished the day before and we ended up getting a better deal.  The new deal is 4 plates for $50 and you leave your table by 7.00pm. Between 8 of us, we had 8 plates and two bowls of fries. It was plenty for a lunchtime and an absolute bargain. The food with the fab beer selection is heaven.

Every dish was delicious and I will be hard pressed to know what to have next time. I am not the biggest meat eater but I ate all the meat. I may even have had my mind changed about pork belly.

The dishes we had were-

Warm cauliflower salad, mint, currants, spring onion, yoghurt

(lovely, how can cauliflower taste like this?)

Israeli couscous, apricot, apple, mint, cumin, baba ganoush

(so full of flavour)

Salt & pepper squid, nam jim dressing

(didn’t try, left it to the lovers)

Pulled pork tacos, bourbon sauce, apple slaw, pickled jalapenos

(delicious, great corn tacos and fab pork)

Chicken karaage, sriracha kewpie, kimchi slaw

(huge pile and so very tasty)

Pork belly, parsnip puree, fried chorizo & pinot noir sauce

(changed my mind about pork belly, that parsnip mash mmmmm)

Spiced lamb meatballs, Israeli couscous, feta yogurt

(so very tasty)

Seared beef tri-tip, french fried onion, habanero mustard

(yum, I finished this one up and scraped up all the mustard)

And two bowl of the Triple cooked hand cut fries, aioli.

(the fries here are always delicious)

 

Artisan Dining House- Have You Been?

 

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Silver Fern Farms Reserve beef fillet with beans, mushroom tortellini, consommé and snow.

I am often asked about where to dine for an important occasion or to satisfy that need for impeccable service and exceptional food. When I hear other people answer this question the obvious Logan Brown and Boulcott Street Bistro just about always come up. They are both nice places but Wellington does have other options. One of my suggestions is always Artisan Dining House at The Bolton Hotel. 

Last night we had a wonderful meal at Artisan and I will keep suggesting it to anyone who will listen.

My meal was the entry for Silver Fern Farms Restaurant Awards 2018 and I would call it a winner. If you have an occasion coming up or just need a great meal out you really should go and try this beef dish. I was impressed with how all the components worked together. It really is worth a trip to try this while you still can. Mr had the venison and was equally impressed.

As well as great mains the beer selection and desserts were mighty fine too. I enjoyed the Panhead Supercharger. For dessert, Mr was in heaven with one of his favourites, rice pudding. This rice pudding came with an extra special touch, a collection of do-it-yourself additions as well as quince. I chose the Organic chocolate and cherries with honey and yoghurt and it was amazing. I didn’t share.

 

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Let me know when you visit and try to go soon to have the Silver Fern Farm 2018 entry. Just so you know, it is in the Entertainment Book.

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Saffron Haveli- A Great New Lunch Spot

Something exciting happened on Saturday, we found our city Indian lunch spot! You know where Strawberry Fare used to be, well it is there. They have done it up rather nicely and the chairs are still the same. It is now called Saffron Haveli 

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The menu has some different dishes on it and even at lunchtime, there are plenty of choices. I commented that I wanted to go back this Saturday for lunch and Mr laughed like I was joking, I wasn’t!

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This is one of those places that is located in a little bit of an odd spot and they need you to turn up. Let me know if you do?

I can recommend the Bhurji Paneer Masala and it is going to be hard to go past that dish to try other, I will try my hardest. Mr had the Haveli Chicken Rahra and it was good too, he has Indian hot and it had a good kick to it. We also shared Pani Puri and had fun eating it.

 

 

Salty Pidgin- Ticks All The Boxes

Happy 2018, I know I am a little late. I have been very busy with parents visiting from the UK for a few weeks over Christmas. We had a wonderful time and ate out rather a lot.

I was given the task of coming up with a nice place to go out to eat that wasn’t Asian and a little bit fancy. This was to be our last supper. A few years ago this would have been an easy task, but now Wellington is such a foodies delight it was a little more difficult. I went through the obvious fancy pants places but didn’t feel happy with any of them. Then Mr reminded me of how much I had talked about ‘that place on the corner in Brooklyn’ and the decision was made – The Salty Pidgin. The wonderful photo below is taken from the website.

Taken from the Salty Pidgin's website.

 

The Salty Pidgin is a Bistro. Many places say they are but don’t measure up to the claim. It is casual but smart and the kind of place where it is nice to wear something smart or pretty but not too fancy but to feel like you are going out to dinner. It is on a corner and a bright open spot. In the winter they have a wonderful open fire. All of these nice bits helped me choose but the biggest influence was the all-important menu.

The menu was a winner because it does fancy dishes and pide which is a Turkish pizza. I love a good fancy dish with some tasty sides, Mr and Miss love a good pizza and some fries. My parents are easily pleased.

The other winning feature of the menu is the choice of wine and beer. It is all too common to get either or, not here, they have a good list of both. Even the non-alcoholic pages are good, I had a Six Barrell Soda.

I could go on for ages about how wonderful the dishes were but you need to go and try. I’ll give you a little bit of an idea and ramble on a bit. They have very, very good fries with a delicious homemade tomato sauce. We had these as a starter at Miss’s request. It was a great idea.

The Venison with a side of broccolini.

For main my dad and I both had the venison and agreed that it was delicious and very generous. I do believe I counted 5 medallions of meat. Everyone else went for the pide and were equally impressed. Mr tried the lamb’s shoulder pide and marvelled at the idea and wasn’t very good at sharing. Miss had the tomato and despite the teen angst, smiled. My mum had the beef kofta and was very happy with her choice too. I did manage to try a small bit of each pide and thought them marvellous. However, the venison was my happy place as was the side of broccolini with harissa. We all finished our meals and had desserts.

Special of the night- nectarine and almond clafoutis

The dessert menu wasn’t your usual and between us, we tried the special of the night cooked to order nectarine and almond clafoutis, ginger creme brulee and a very fancy rice pudding. All very lovely and inventive.

The best part was we all left the Salty Pidgin having had a wonderful evening. We couldn’t have chosen a more suitable place and had a better selection of food and drink. I know where I will be going next time someone wants to go out to dinner…… any one?

That is me in the blue dress!

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Wellington- The Burbs And An Awful Lot Of Eating Out.

In the past week I have eaten out rather a lot. I am not going to make excuses because eating out is my happy place. I even didn’t take a photo at every meal, sorry. Sometimes I just don’t want to and I am too hungry or want to get the best bits before someone else!

Tumeric in Tawa

Last Saturday we went for one of our lunchtime curries in our fav northern suburb Indian lunchtime meal deal spots. Now this place is nothing flash but their food is excellent. I still uphold my claim that they have the best paneer around. My go-to dish is kadhai paneer and I love their potato and onion kulcha. They have a lunchtime deal and I think it is $12 for a curry, rice and naan.

Salty Pidgin

I came here during WOAP and have been trying to think of reasons to go back. As I was heading to the movies in Brooklyn, I had the perfect excuse. A friend and I shared the vegetarian pide, the famous crispy cauliflower, chili olives and the most amazing fries. It was a lovely feed and absolutely perfect for a chat and a catch-up.

If I was asked where I would like to go for dinner, without a doubt my answer would involve the Salty Pidgin. I love the place and the food is great.

The movie was a fundraiser and for pudding, we had homemade slices and a bag of lollies!

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Khandallah Trading Company

 

This is our local and by joining their social club I got credit on my Goody App. Mr and Mr headed off to use this up. This place has had some strange menus in the past and now they seem to have gone back to do doing what they do best, great pub food.I really enjoy their burger and Mr loves their ribs. I think you can guess what we had.

Kelburn Village Pub

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The Eating Peeps gang got together to try the food at this pub. I have been for a beer before but not food. We had a voucher and it made the meal and a drink nice and cheap. One thing on the menu jumped out at me and I would go back to have it again, it was the cauliflower and hazelnut carbonara. It was absolutely delicious and as it had a vegetable in it, almost healthy. I would never make it at home as I would be the only one eating it.

Seashore Cabaret 

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Love this place, went for lunch with Miss Muffin. She had a bacon butty, I had the nachos and we shared the curly fries. It was fab, as always. If you haven’t been, you must. I can’t wait to go there with my parents when they visit at Christmas. I think we will go in the evening as you can book then.

So….. that was my eating week and it ended with this beautiful loaf being left on my doorstep.

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La Bella Italia- Petone Wins Again.

Last night I went out for a meal with a friend. Normally we go to a place where the Mr wouldn’t eat and decided to throw a bit of variety in and head out for Italian. We both like to use the Entertainment Book voucher and that did help with making the decision to go to La Bella Italia.

We met for a sneaky pre-dinner pint at Sprig and Fern. I enjoyed a limited addition red IPA. As it was a Friday night it was bustling and a great atmosphere. After our pint and chat, we walked to the industrial area where La Bella Italia is based. We had booked and on arrival, I was happy we did as it was busy.

My dining partner and I often order exactly the same and have very similar tastes. This time we realised we were both conflicted between two choices. We took the logical route and ordered one of each and shared. Both dishes were delicious and sharing was a fantastic idea.

The dishes we shared were-

Cannelloni di Crespelle -Crepes filled with spinach, ricotta and pecorino cheese with sage butter.

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They were good and very tasty. Rather than the cannelloni tubes, they were actual delicious crepes. We both really enjoyed these. I would have this dish again and eat it all. The balance was perfect.

Margherita- Fresh buffalo mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes – san marzano

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We attacked the pizza before I got a good photo. This pizza was excellent, I think it would be my favourite in Wellington. It reminded me of the pizza I get in my hometown (Brighton) where there is a big Italian community. The base tasted of being cooked in an authentic way, the cheese was stringy and there was a good splash of a decent olive oil. I would go back for pizza.

For dessert, we didn’t share. That is not something either of us would do! I choose the Bombolone. I did enjoy them but I can’t say they left me amazed, they were just good. My dining companion had the Attaccadito and found it a little dry. On the way out I noticed an orange and almond cake in the cabinet and next time I will inquire about that.

We did have a lovely meal and a lovely time. It is a great place for people watching as there is no place to hide and it is well lit. I look forward to going back one day.

Bombolone -A warm cinnamon donut with vanilla gelato

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