Petone- it is NOT THAT FAR PEOPLE.

I can’t believe the amount of people who think Petone is like a million miles away.from Wellington. From our house, up near Mount Kaukau, we can be there and parked in 15 minutes. Parking is easy and the drive is pretty.

In the past few years Petone has grown into a foodie heaven. It is another place we love to do our cheap family weekend lunches. It has good foodie shopping as well with Ontrays, The Dutch Shop , Ankurs Nice n Spice , The Spice Rack and probably a couple I have forgotten.

It is also a great place to go in the evening, it has some great watering holes. The Sprig and Fern is at the Wellington end of Jackson Street, there is also the Speights pub but we have never been in there. Down further there is Queen of Jackson which is fairly new, has a great beer selection and has a roof top terrace (will be visiting it soon) and close by is the former Empire, now called The Butcher and Brewer.  We will also be visiting and eating at The Butcher and Brewer, our plan is to get The Big Butcher as we will have my parents visiting . I will come back and report.

Just a quick plug before I get onto writing about where I have eaten- Petone now also has a brewery , down the side street by Mcdonalds is Baylands Brewery and Beer Supplies. 

So time for me to lecture you, I will start from the Wellington end of Jackson Street.

K Sing- 

Mains around $17, large portions

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This is another family Saturday lunch place. We came here on whim about 4 years ago and have been coming back every couple of months since. Miss Muffin (11yrs) is just beginning to explore more dishes and grow her taste buds, her normal order is chicken satay, summer rolls and plain rice.
I am not going into big descriptions of the food because you need to experience the wonderful fresh tastes yourself. The portions are large and the menu is the same at lunch time as in the evening. In the evening you do need to book and it has the added extra of being BYO wine and beer. Their home steamed peanuts in sesame are for sale near the till, they are good.

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Kilim

Mains around $15 at lunch

Love, love, love the vegetarian meze plate with all the bits. This is one of the places I come with girlfriends for a plate of yum and a good chat. For a kebab place it is more pricey than average, I think it is worth it. For some reason husband and daugher are not fans. I am happy to keep it as my place.

First Choice-

Mains around $17

This is a funny place, the food isn’t what you would call authentic but is still good. I would liken it to chip shop Chinese in a restaurant environment. When we have been we have enjoyed eating in a group of people and sharing lots of dishes. The cumin lamb has been a favourite.When eating in here there is a real mixed bunch of people. Some eat Chinese and others steak, egg and chips. You can even get a slice of white buttered bread.I wouldn’t go here for the real Chinese deal but more the Western idea of what Chinese food is. It is good food.

Taylors on Jackson- NOW CLOSED

Mains around $30

I have posted about my feelings about Glen’s food before here. As I can cook I choose to eat out food that wouldn’t be so easy to do at home, this is that food. You can read others reviews all over the internet and see that I am not the only one loving the flavours and combinations, have a look on Zomato.  This is a great place for a celebration, a chat and dinner with friends and because you need to believe in unpretentious good food.

Mr Ji’s Kitchen-

Lunch meals (includes rice) around $14, in the evening around $18

Another Saturday lunch time haunt for our little family. We have been coming to Mr Ji’s for a good few years now, mainly at lunch time but there has been the odd evening meal too. At all times we have found the food excellent and with lovely big portions. Our lunch time order is usually some pan-fried dumplings, spring onion bread (kind of like roti), main ,for me- shredded pork with garlic sauce , Kung Pao chicken for Mr and either noodles or satay chicken for Miss. We also have the tea.The portions at lunch time are huge and easily enough to be a meal. They always have a good serving of veg with them and it is different veg for different dishes.We have always had good service and have never had to wait too long for food.

And now  couple of additions that aren’t in Jackson Street.

La Bella Italia-

Prices vary, can use Entertainment Book.

What a fast, efficient and lovely place to have a sociable meal in. My only complaint would be that the portion could have been bigger as all my pasta vanished far too quickly.Walking into here it is hard to believe that you are not going to walk out and actually be in Italy. It is rather disappointing to be in an industrial part of Petone but you can see the sea.This place is a definite on the using the Entertainment Book voucher.

Maharajas-

Mains around $18

Have just had dinner here on a Tuesday night.  I went with another foodie who had never been before, we left full, very happy and talking of our return.
If you drive to go here and get put off by the outside, please go in. The resturant is out the back and a lovely set up. This is a family business that has been running for nearly 25 years, the owner told us that tonight.
When I told my husband I was coming here with a girlfriend, he was jealous. That is how good this place is.  We have been a good few times and have not had a bad meal. The one particular thing that keeps us coming back are the  kathi rolls, read the menu and look at the starters.
If you want real Indian food and to taste great fresh spices, come here.

Crazy Cakes and Donuts-

About $3 a donut.

This place is my guilty secret, as I bake a lot I am rather fussy when it comes to slices and cakes. Crazy Cakes and Donuts wins me over and keeps me happy everytime.These are not the deepfried cinnamon and sugar type of donut but more the bread kind. I like them that much that I have figured out if you buy the kids bunny shaped donut you get more. I always go for the iced variety and the husband tries all different kinds from the Filipino side on the right.This is a family run business, give them a go.

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.

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