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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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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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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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?

 

 

One Night In Auckland!

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On Friday night I was a foodie fan girl and went up to Auckland for the night, the purpose was to see the great man, Jay Rayner. He was in Auckland as part of the Auckland Writers Festival. If you are one of those people who doesn’t know who Jay Rayner is, find out. He has written some excellent books and fabulous restaurant reviews. His talk was about The Ten (Food) Commandments and very amusing.

Whilst up there I had to eat! I travelled with my good friend and fellow foodie Lily, you may know her from NZ Masterchef? It was lovely to travel with someone else who mainly thought about food and the next meal.

Our first stop was for High Tea at The Stamford Plaza, it was a lovely treat and you can read my review for The High Tea Society here. This High Tea was our lunch.

In the evening we headed to Depot Eatery and as we were feeling rather full still we had a big ponder what to order. We decided to eat all the meat. I would recommend the NZ Meat Board, it was all good. The only thing I wasn’t sure about was the rabbit. Not because it was bunny but it was just not my thing. It went especially well with my beer which was served in a little jug with a little glass in a very European fashion.

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After our dinner we wandered around and ended up at in Lorne Street, I think Lily may have had secret plans to get me to try a Taiwanese Dessert. We went to Meet Fresh NZ and I let Lily do the ordering, she wasn’t sure how I would react. The dessert was very different but I liked it. I couldn’t eat a full portion but the black grass jelly, sago, ice and kidney beans were a very nice change and far more edible than they looked. OK, I freaked a little when I dropped a bit of black grass jelly and it looked like a slug. It was great to try something different and be with someone who knew what they were doing.

 

 

After dessert we went to see Jay Rayner, had a walk around night time Queen Street and went back to our room at The Rydges. Yeah, I know, Old.

For breakfast we headed to The Fed. I have been there several times before and do have a bit of a soft spot for the place. We both had the same bottomless coffee, grapefruit with and the excellent Griddle Cakes. I have had the Griddle Cakes 3 times now and each time they have lived up to my memory and been excellent. I  have tried copying them but haven’t got the fluffiness yet, this is my recipe.

I had a lovely night in Auckland and it was lovely to fly home Wellington and the snow capped ranges, the first snow of 2017.

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The Paperboat, A Berhampore Pizza Delight.

 

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Two things made me think about the delicious pizza we had at The Paperboat. The first was reading the book Lion and the mention of a city in India of a similar name as Beramphore , the second, a friend asking about the best pizza in Wellington. Maggie, here you go!

The Paperboat is over on my work side of the city and not a local. However, for the authentic wood-fired pizza and the handmade chips, we will travel. It is somewhere we constantly talk about and keep meaning to go back to and I think now I have told you too, we defiantly should.

Last visit we particularly enjoyed the IKA and the chips, there is just something wonderful about good pizza and fab chips. I am not a huge hot chips fan and when I have them, I want them to be special. I would go back for the chips alone and would love to try the fish.

If any one over that side of the city wants a dinner date, we will oblige!

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How Do You Eat Out So Often?

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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.

Lunch Time

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.

Be Brave

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.

Discount Vouchers

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.