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.

 

 

 

 

 

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?

 

 

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.

Degustation -I got Mr Muffin involved at Jano Bistro.

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.

 

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Salmon

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Pork

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Palate Cleanser

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Fish

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Lamb

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Cheese

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Dessert

Tequila Joe’s, Eat All You Can Tacos.

*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.

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Beef

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Chicken

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Pork

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Fish