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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Sweet Enough Less Sugar, More Taste- A Great New NZ Baking Book.

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A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this lovely book. If you enlarge the photo you will see that it mentions my birthday buddy, Lucy Mutch from Wellington Foodies. She got to take all the wonderful photos as The Isherwood Sisters who wrote the book live in Wellington. You can find out all about the sisters and the books aim, to reduce sugar here.

Sunday afternoon Miss was baking for her week and I decided to help fill the oven and put a Monday smile on my colleagues faces by baking from the book. I chose the Wholemeal Ginger Crunch. The base has little sugar in and the icing is delicious. To top it all, it was very easy. I do enjoy a good one pot recipe. My colleagues enjoyed the slice.

You can arrange to sell the book for fundraising, I think that is a pretty nifty fundraising idea. So, order yourself the book and have a look and see for yourself.

 

Meatless Monday At Hillside in Thorndon.

Last Monday I attended a meatless Monday event at Hillside Kitchen and Cellar in Thorndon. I would like to thank the lovely Posh Lucy for arranging the Wellington Foodies dinner.

As the name suggests, the meal was meat free and thankfully, celery free. It was one excellent meal with course after course of food achievements. As Hillside they like to keep things cleverly simple and surprise. The flavours of each course were wonderful.

I am not going to go through major explanations but just leave you with a few photographs from the evening and a copy of the intriguing menu we were given.

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Sorry the menu got a little crumpled but you can still read it. The egg below was amazing, it was not just and egg. It had a smoked eggplant kind of chutney in the bottom. It was amazing.

The long think in the photo was a carrot that thought it was a steak. If I was blind folded I would have never guessed it was a carrot. The chocolate chip ice cream had potato chips dipped in chocolate and I think I am correct in saying, the ice-cream was potato.

Have a look and enjoy the photographs.

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.

Wellington Foodies

A couple of years ago now I decided that I needed to do something about my love of food. I don’t find evening classes every week on the same evening that attractive. I am more of a burst of learning kind of girl.

I started investigating and my first search was for dumpling lessons. I got lucky, oh so lucky, I found a class run by Vicky from the House of Dumplings and through Wellington Foodies, thus my Wellington Foodie life began.

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Wellington Foodies is run through the Meet-up site/app and there is also going to be an Auckland fraction. Basically what it is  is a place to do those food things you have wanted to do, go to dinner at a random place often with a special touch and a place to fully be understood when you gush over some new food discovery. It is run by volunteers and the baby of the wonderful Lucy Mutch (take a bow).

In the past the classes and events I have attended included dinner at Taylors on Jackson, puff pastry, knife skills and paneer matar with Sushil Ravikumar from Master Chef NZ.

Since I got back from our Hawaiian holiday I have been to two more events. The thing about these Wellington Foodie classes is you can end up doing something you are not sure about but don’t want to fess up to (like knife skills) or get someone to come and give you a class about the food of their country.

The first class was Are You Chicken: The Prodigal Daughter Returns…

This was about the chicken and how to break it down. Many people do not learn this as a kid  growing up. I certainly didn’t as I was a meat hating kind of kid (reformed!).  It was great and I now know that I can buy that reduced free range chicken and get more than a roast meal out of it. Not only did we cut it up, we made Kiev and ate it with a lovely salad made by Rachel. One of the great things is at these events you turn up to a room full of relative strangers, some who you may have been to classes with before and you end up having a blimin good evening.

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Another thing about these Wellington Foodies events is you can come across a blog, follow them on Facebook, marvel at their cuisine, realise that they live in the Wellington area and then heavily hint to Lucy that you really need to learn more about their food. That was how the My Persian Feast a Hands- Persian Cooking Class with Susan Assadi  came about. I may have been the instigator. The blog is My Persian Feast.

In this class Susan taught us about the food of the Persian region , she herself being from Iran. We made dolmeh filled with rice and lamb, marinated feta and Beetroot and mint yoghurt dip. The flavours were wonderful and simple. I will be dreaming about the marinated feta forever and may have planned a dinner party just so I can make it for others.

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This post is mainly about getting up off your bottom and going and doing something, if you are here and like food, I am giving you ideas!

Have fun.

A proper meal out- Taylors on Jackson

Right, have to prove my foodie worth and do a review of an amazing food experience.

I belong to the Meet-up group Wellington Foodies. One event was a dinner at Taylors on Jackson and I ticked the yes box straight away. To be honest, the menu didn’t have things on that I would normally choose. I am still not the world’s biggest meat eater but am actively trying to improve myself on this. This was my second visit to this restaurant and will not be my last.

House-baked sourdough, truffle butter
A little warm individual teeny tiny loaf with fluffy truffle butter, perfect.

Starter:

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An extraordinary mix of flavours.

Steak tartare, fried chicken oyster, pickled white anchovy, horseradish, confit egg yolk jam, black garlic
I looked at this starter on paper and felt rather confused. I just couldn’t see how this could possibly all blend into any kind of wonderful forkful or be something I would choose to order or enjoy. Thankfully it worked and I had to eat my preconceived ideas of what I would enjoy.

The steak tartar was in small slices and mixed with the anchovy. The chicken oyster was a fancy chicken nugget and the egg yolk was mind blowing and clever. All of the things on the plate were in sync with each other and shouldn’t have been. Who thinks to put beef with chicken and egg? Over all, a very clever dish.

Main:

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The Yellow Brick Road salmon.

Ora King salmon, beetroot + habanero, watermelon rind, elderflower, beach spinach, crème fraiche, olive
OR

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The Longbush pork


Longbush pork, wild fennel, pardon peppers, balsamic, burnt onion, whipped goats cheese, lavender + honey
I had the pork. I am new to eating pork and Longbush pork is sure a mighty fine way to embark on my pig eating pork adventure.

The description makes it sound like some airy fairy Cordon bleu plate, nope, not what this was. The pork was plentiful; the homemade crackling was a nice crunchy touch and the burnt onions were splendid. I also enjoyed the pardon peppers and liked the cheeky little addition of these, they were very tasty.

Again, everything worked. It was like a very fancy roast dinner with the sides of Fried potatoes with malt mayonnaise and a salad of rocket, hazelnut, poached pear and parmesan. I struggled to get through both bits of meat and enjoyed every mouthful. The spuds and the salad were lovely too.

By the empty wooden boards on the table, I am guessing everyone enjoyed the salmon too.

Dessert:

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Doesn’t look like a pudding, sure was good.

Sweet olive parfait, olive oil cake, raspberry, orange
OR

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Oh so very cute and apparently full of flavour.


The BFG lemon meringue pie cheesecake


I went for the mysterious sounding olive dish. I can report that candied olives work and are delicious. This dish was another which made me wonder, how the heck do these things go together?

The flavours all matched superbly. Someone described it as having pudding and a cheese course on one plate; I could see what they meant. My mind was blown with this dish as it was both an assault on the senses and delicious. I struggle to find words to adequately describe all the tastes. It tasted as colourful as it looks.

All up, I really enjoyed this meal. We mainly eat Asian cuisine out and I am often disappointed with Kiwi fare and leave thinking, I could have done that at home.

I am now planning how and when to get Mr Muffin along to try this food. I gave him the explanation that although this food sounds rather flash on paper, it is good Kiwi fare done with flare and imagination.

Thank you for the use of photographs, Lucy Mutch , Wellington Foodies

This Week- Wellington Foodies and a Mini Mazzer Coffee Grinder.

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Winning

One evening in the week I was having a Facebook conversation with a friend about my lack of winning luck. The next day I received and email telling me I had won a Mini Mazzer Coffee Grinder for swiping my Countdown Onecard. I am still trying to get over the shock and have figured out how to use this beauty. I had one of the best plunger coffees ever this morning. My winning swipe was for buying Hummingbird Coffee which is my all time favourite plunger coffee. I am now going to buy all the coffee gadgets and enjoy this machine. So, thank you Hummingbird Coffee and Countdown.

Wellington Foodies

My other news this week , I plucked up the courage and asked to become part of something I love. For the past year I have been attending Wellington Foodie Meet Up events. I have really enjoyed everything I have done and the varied people. It is a really great way to get out, do the things I love and meet like minded food obsessed beings. After a bit of thinking and pondering I realised that I really wanted to be more than a participant and asked if this would be possible. I am now lucky enough to be an Assistant Organiser. I am not sure what it entails and I look forward to finding out.

This particularly makes me happy as I do not have any grand plans for food based paid work. I actually rather enjoy being the bank lady at Victoria University and I can use my crazy food mind for good.