The End of WOAP 2017. My Last Burger Was My Best Burger. Carrello Del Gelato and The Borough.

So it is all over. I swore I wouldn’t eat any bread with things in it for a while, that didn’t last. Just yesterday I had a Halloumi Burger at The Chippery and it was lovely.

My final two burgers were good ones. My last burger was my winner, it was mad,  incredible and a brain teaser. Anyway, the final burgers.

The Borough

This burger was good, the patty was really tasty and I could tell it wasn’t just beef. The halloumi could have been a bit thicker so that it tasted a bit more. I did enjoy it t.

I had the burger as part of the 2 course with beer menu. The dessert was a little odd, I love a good semolina cake but this was served with a chocolate ganache. The chocolate ganache was more like buttercream and didn’t go with the cake at all.

The main let down was how noisy The Borough is, I was there with a group of friends and we couldn;t hear each other. The service was also terrible. I felt like we were served by my stroppy teenage daughter. It did amuse us though.

The Borough Garage Burger

Pork and beef patty with fried Zany Zeus halloumi, Garage Project La Calavera Catrina hot sauce, beetroot relish and onion in a Nada Bakery brioche bun, with malt vinegar chips.

Dessert

Semolina lemon syrup cake with chocolate ganache.

 

Carrello del Gelato

These guys get a big title. They won my Burger Wars.

I know, a sweet burger? Yep. It was a very clever burger. It looked so much like a burger and that fact hurt my brain. My mouth kept expecting warm and meat but got cold and ice cream. When my brain got the sweet signals it was very happy.

I was stunned, as were my family. They were a bit silly and didn’t get one for themselves but I gave in and let them try mine. The Clareville Bakery doughnut bun was warm and this made it easier to eat the Cookie-crumbed burnt chocolate gelato patty. Everything about this burger came together, the sauces were great and the ‘cheese’ was the perfect thickness.

I finished Visa WOAP 2017 very happy.

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It’ll Be Sweet 2.0!

Cookie-crumbed burnt chocolate gelato patty with Bohemein white chocolate cheese, smoked salted caramel mustard and raspberry ketchup in a Clareville Bakery doughnut bun.

Alpaca And Basque, Visa WOAP 2017

Bin44 Restaurant

I just made a mistake, I google imaged alpaca and now I feel rather guilty about eating such a cute fluffy beast. One had Trump hair, guilt gone.

As a reformed vegetarian, I have surprised myself several times this year with offal eating and big meat meals. I am now impressed with myself and came home on Tuesday night with bits of alpaca in my teeth. Miss Muffin was not at all amused that her parents ate such a fluffy creature and she refused to partake in this outing.

So, the burger. It was another, ‘is this a burger?’. There was shredded meat and no patty. After a few bites I simply didn’t care, it was bloody delicious. I had questioned BIN44 staff previous to WOAP and was told that alpaca was a strong meat and would be mixed with a little bit of pork. What ever the meat was, it was lovely. A dressing of mango and lime was on the side and went well with the meat. The bun was also excellent and held the burger really well, no soggy bottom at all. It didn’t come with a side of fries but there was a jalapeno popper and two polenta fries on the top. Oh, those polenta fries were dreamy.

All up, this ingenious burger is my winner. A 10/10 for daring, taste, beer match and the whole package.

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Death From Above Burger

Garage Project Death From Above-braised alpaca loin with Brussels sprouts slaw and mango lime dressing in a Pasteleria Sans Rival hop-infused bun with polenta chips

Matched w Garage Project Death from Above.

 

Basque

How have I not been in here before? What a lovely place and very much my kind of joint. It has many choices of beer and tapas, I need to go back.

This burger was another different to the norm, made of cheese and a croquette. I love both of these things. It was a good burger and the fries were fab, really good seasoning. I did feel like the cheese could have been a little stronger tasting and maybe a bit of iceberg lettuce could have moistened it up a bit. It was very enjoyable and I would have it again. We all agreed it had a great burger to patty ratio.

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The Cheese Musketeers

Three cheese: Aged cheddar, Zany Zeus smoked brinza and mozzarella croquette patty, smoked chipotle relish, red cabbage slaw, green tea aioli and jalapeños in a Zaida’s milk bun, with paprika fries (V, NF, Pesc).

Visa Wellington On A Plate 2017 – More Eating.

I have managed to eat at home three times in a week and one of those days I had had a burger at lunch time. I am enjoying eating out but do have that holiday feeling of over indulgence. Don’t worry, I will carry on for the cause!

One thing I have learnt this week is, I do not know how to use my camera in dim light. Please excuse some of my photographs, I tried but eating is more important than the right shot in the dark.

Salty Pidgin

I had a real issue getting photographs in this lovely spot and you will have to just picture the food, sorry.

I’ve been wanting to come here for a while now but just haven’t made it. Now I have, I will be back. It is one of those neighbourhood restaurants with great food and atmosphere. It was really cold the night of our visit and the open wood fires were a lovely touch. Even though Brooklyn isn’t where I live, I would travel and be the designated driver.

This visit was with 4 girlfriends. We had been told we had to order off WOAP menu and get the Crispy Cauliflower, it was very good. I can see myself going back to have that and explore more of the menu.

Festival dish

Oxtail ravioli in rich onion broth with Kingsmeade Manchego, FINZ hazelnut wafer and cress

One of my party had the burger and she enjoyed it. The rest of us went for the Oxtail ravioli. It was delicious. Everything on the plate worked and I considered picking my bowl up to get the last bits of the broth out. It made me want to come home and explore my recipe books for similar dishes.

Dessert

Coconut semifreddo with Fix & Fogg peanut crumble and lime jelly (DF, GF)

The dessert was unusual and not something I would usually pick from a menu. I liked that, trying something different is good. It was certainly refreshing after the main.

I left feeling like this place is a real find.

Southern Cross Garden Bar Restaurant

I met my eating crew here. The burger intrigued us and we had high hopes for something different. Alas, we left unimpressed. We did get great joy out of watching a young man who was struggling with eating cauliflower and he seemed to be doing it to impress a young lady.

The main gripe at the table was the lack of cauliflower, it didn’t fill the bun and this was disappointing. Double what was in there would have worked better. Also, we found the mash very underseasoned and couldn’t see why it went with the burger. Some spicy crispy spuds would have worked better. Our opinions were made clear to the bar and they were happy to get feed back.

 

 

Kāpiti Fried Cauli (K.F.C)

Original recipe fried cauliflower with homemade vegan ‘jack cheese’, mayonnaise and lettuce in a Pandoro Kaiser bun with slaw, mash and Parkvale Mushroom gravy (DF, NF, Pesc, V, VV).

 

Monterey

This was my sneaky lunch time burger with some of my eating crew. Monterey does the best onion rings in the city and I do love their burgers. It is one of my spots for making sure I use the Entertainment Book voucher.

Their burger entry is different from others and it was very tasty. Our eating conversation involved discussing if it could be counted as a burger as it wasn’t a patty. Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing wrong with the delicious beef or pretzel roll, but is it a burger? If they had this on their menu I would get it again and encourage others to try it for a change.

Oh,  and the fries were excellent. They were nice and crispy with lovely flavours.

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The Steinbeck

Beef slow-cooked in Kererū Moonless Stout with bacon jam, Kāpiti Pakari aged cheddar, jalapeño, crunchy greens and aioli in a pretzel bun, with Cajun fries (NF).

Matched w Garage Project Loral Royale

 

St Johns Bar And Restaurant

I didn’t get any decent photo’s here with my camera either but I did get a decent belly full of food! This was another burger free evening and a very nice grown up meal out. This venue was picked because of the main being something neither of us would have at home, a plate of brassicas. In case you haven’t guessed by the choice of dinner, I was out with another friend and not Mr Muffin.

The main was delicious, a little more of the Zany Zeus halloumi would have been good. It was a lovely plate of nicely cooked veg and dressing. A refreshing dinner in the midst of burger meat!

The dessert was perfect, it oozed in a way that would please even Ramsay. The Carrello del Gelato raspberry sorbet impressed too.

 

Selection of brassicas with grilled Zany Zeus halloumi, roasted lemon purée and kale shards (GF, V)

Whittaker’s 72% dark chocolate fondant with Carrello del Gelato raspberry sorbet.

Queen Of Jackson

Another night out, another burger. We love this pub and often visit before heading somewhere else for dinner. Last night we stayed and ate.

This burger is huge, we saw many people giving up and using a knife and fork. Shame on them! It was squashable and we did the cut in half and use our hand’s method. For someone who isn’t a big meat eater I was worried that I might not enjoy this, I did. My only gripe would be that the bottom of the bun got rather soggy. I loved the pulled pork and came away thinking how I must perfect it myself in the pressure cooker.

I do apologise, my photo could have been better.

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Trump Tower

1/2 pound beef patty with pulled pork in bourbon sauce, cheddar, pickles, iceberg, tomato and Queen Lizzy’s burger sauce in housemade milk bun (GF, NF)

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

Bin44

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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