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)

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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?

 

 

Visa Wellington On A Plate, 2016.

It is August and the need for baggy pants is here. From 12th- 28th August Wellington is even more about food than usual as Visa Wellington On A Plate takes over the city. This post will be about my eating over the 2 and a bit weeks.

Welcome Home at Logan Brown.

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So, last night I had such a good feast at an event. The event was Welcome Home and at one of my favs, Logan Brown. If you are in Wellington I urge you to go, there are tickets available still for 23-25 August and at $99 a ticket, it was well worth it.

The evening was about eating food from Wellington’s newest ethnic communities. You can read the official story here. I am not going to describe all of the dishes as that is part of the evening but I will leave you with some photographs. This food was between two of us and we both really enjoyed the whole huge meal. Everything was beautiful and I have a new love of rehydrated tealeaves. If you want to see the menu it is here.

 

My first Burger Wellington, Arizona – Danny’s Champion Pheasant.

Arizona’s own pheasant patty with pistachios, house smoked garlic butter, gorged raisins and Capital Produce celeriac remoulade on a Brezelmania saffron burger bun. Garage Project beer match: Hakituri (+ BEER $30)

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I met up with a friend who I hadn’t seen for a while and he suggested a few burgers, this was my pick. I have to be honest and say I was a little bit hesitant about trying a pheasant burger. Pheasant isn’t new to me but I hadn’t tried it for years. This burger is not 100% pheasant, it has a bit of chicken and the pistachios mixed in. This makes for a very tasty patty. The whole burger was good but did have to be eaten fast before the celeriac remoulade soaked through the base.

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The polenta fries were an added bonus, there wasn’t any mention of them on the Wellington On A Plate listing and they were good. The beer was a great beer match. All up, I enjoyed this burger, the beer and bonus polenta fries. It was interestingly different.

Artisan Dining House – Longbush ‘SPAM’ Burger and a Magical Dessert.

Longbush ‘SPAM’ patty with Meat Direct crumbed lambs brain and homemade apple and pineapple relish on a bun, with chilli butter potato peels.

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By golly, such a British thing to say but so fitting for both the burger, the dessert.When I first read the menus for Visa Wellington On A Plate Artisan was the first place I purposely searched for. MacLean Fraser is a chef I admire and know will produce interesting food. No run of the mill patty would appear on this menu.

Today I tried that burger and the amazing potato peels and would give it an easy 10/10. The patty and relish went so well together, the fruit working with the SPAM perfectly and the bun was light and fluffy.

I returned home telling Mr Muffin that he may need to come back with me and fully embrace the SPAM. My ulterior motive being to have the dine menu and that mighty fine and crazy dessert again. That dessert, a bowl arrives looking a tad strange with a layer of white chocolate, warm sauce is the poured on to the chocolate and the magic begins. I will leave my description there as you need to form your own opinion. Only a few days left now, get ringing to book your table -phone 04 462 3770.

I dined with my fellow Brit, Lucy from Wellington Foodies who took the wonderful photos.

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The Excitement – Visa Wellington On A Plate 2016.

2016WOAP

This week was the week of weeks for foodies in Wellington, it was the launch of Visa Wellington On A Plate. I wasn’t lucky enough to attend but sat at home waiting for the site to go live and I then vanished into the land of planning my eating.

I have a couple of events that I would love to go to and some eating planned already. I don’t want to divulge my events until I know I have the tickets, I will tell you fancy dress and spicy food feature. I am lucky to have a great friend who is going to be the buyer the of the tickets and go for it as soon as they are released at 12pm on the 13th June ’16. That friend is Lily who after a stint on Master Chef NZ 2015 is now writing her own lovely blog, Lemon Chilli.

The 2016 Burgers have 4 sweet choices this year. I think I may have to give them a try. The venison burgers also sound great. For the days when I feel like being meat free, I also have options.

In the past August has seen me eating more burgers in a couple of weeks than I eat in the rest of the year, being rather invisible at home and having a very good time. I can’t wait for 2016 and I hope it is as fun as other years.

My Visa WOAP 2015 involved many a burger, pigs trotters, lambs brains and other offal. There were lots of laughs and Mr Muffin and I had the best night out at The Roman Feast event held at The Artisan Restaurant (still thanking you MacClean) . The Artisan has an excellent sounding and challenging burger this year and another major event, you can look here for all of their offerings.

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Get browsing, get planning and get ready to get eating. Stretchy pants are advised.

Just have to add this last photo, eating a burger as big as our heads back in 2014!

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Degustation at Jano.

Last night I went to Jano on Willis Street with three lovely friends. You may be looking puzzled and pondering where on earth Jano is in Wellington? It is up the top end of Willis Street in a cute yellow cottage that was once Citron.

For me, it was one of those places that you think you must try and then you forget to go. This time I remembered and my friends and I made a concerted effort to book a table. We were spurred on by the Entertainment Book voucher and the fast approaching end of the 2015/16 book. We all left feeling very happy that we made the effort and felt like we had had a special meal out.

I have to say, we were not easy customers. If a song could have played as the four of us walked in I am pretty sure it would have been Taylor Swift, I knew you were trouble when you walked in. We were not intentionally awkward and we were very much accommodated.

Out of the four of us, two of us wanted to know what the menu would be and two of us didn’t. I was on the not wanting to know team. Eventually , we came to a compromise and the two fuss pots specified what they didn’t want. These demands included no dairy, no lamb and no raw meat. Each person was given the right meal for each course . On top of that each plate was also impressive. The only gripe through the evening was that some of our party felt the need to season some of the plates. I would put this down to personal taste. The salt and pepper grinder was worth asking for just to have a play.

The service through out the evening was brilliant, right down to the French accent. Jano really is a lovely bistro with the whole package. Go on, stop putting it on your list. It is certainly now one of the tops on my must use the Entertainment Book voucher list and my fancy meal out list. I hope they are part of Wellington On A Plate this year.

Here are a few photographs of my courses in the order they were served. The degustation was 7 courses and these were taken from the A La Carte menu. It is a great way to broaden your horizons and eat things you may not have ordered. I wouldn’t have picked the venison or the pork and they were my favourites.

Just look at the cutlery and plates, aren’t they lovely too?

 

 

A mango and vodka amuse-bouche , a lovely palate cleanser.

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Jano Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Goodbye 2015, The Year of Leaping Food Hurdles.

 

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At the beginning of this year I decided 2015 was the year of eating.

My aim was to get over my meat based phobia and just eat things without over thinking them. As 2015 comes to a close I am happy to report that I had an excellent eating year and jumped food based hurdles. However, I still do not like bacon despite trying it over and over again.

In 2015 I was lucky enough to have two events that enabled my trying new things.

Our family trip to Cairns and Port Douglas meant trying all things Aussie. My birthday was spent stroking wallabies and later eating the furry cute things. Now that is something I never thought I would say. We ate many a strange Aussie thing at Ochre that night. Green ants are nice and crunchy.

The second event was attending the Wellington on a Plate Roman Feast at ARTISAN. Not only was that an excellent night out but a brilliant way to try all the things. Mr Muffin is still talking about the event and how we will be booking whatever MacLean Fraser is hosting. That night brings a smile to my face as we had such a wonderful feast and laughed so much.

In 2015 I was discovered The Chameleon Restaurant. That was all thanks to my friend (posh) Lucy. It was there that after 14 years of living in New Zealand I finally tried Paua. I was actually surprised I liked it. I think the beautiful presentation and gentle slicing had something to do with it.

Another New Zealand food I tried was Mutton Bird. I would like to thank Ms Forde for cooking it. I did try but just couldn’t like it.

2015 was a great food year and an all round great year. For me it was also marked by an achievement, my first year in 6 years with out a visit to the tube of doom, otherwise know as an MRI.

So, as we leave 2015 I wish you and yours a happy new year.

My eats.

Mutton bird

Lambs Brains

Lamb Sweetbread

Paua

Scallops

Crocodile

Emu

Kangaroo

Wallaby

Green ants

Pigs trotter

Pig head

2015 also was the year Miss Muffin overtook in height. I knew this day would come but I didn’t expect her to be just 12 yrs old when it did.

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