I’m not usually this quiet for this long huh?
I’ve been salivating over the Wellington on a Plate (WOAP) programme for 2016, trying to shortlist what I most want to try.
And trotting round all the new bars in the city (a post on those next week for you).
So to WOAP, here are my observations:
More interesting burgers this year, with quite a few new players to the game. Some of the ingredients that popped out at me:
- yorkshire pudding bun (Furnace, Trentham)
- Creole spiced meat and crispy grits (Coco at the Roxy)
- house-made cashew bun (Apache)
- lasagne toppers as buns (Scopa)
- monkey gland sauce (Butcher and Brewer, Petone)
- ghost chilli cheese (Hideaway)
- kangaroo in a wattle bun (The Larder)
- foraged seaweed (The Ramen Shop)
- grilled lambs liver (WBC)
- turkey breasts as buns in a turducken (Five Boroughs)
- eel (Kelburn Pub)
- soft shell crab (Coene’s Provisions, The Olde Bailey, the Crusty Crab food truck)
- pork belly with octopus (Zibibbo)
- beetroot in EVERYTHING!
More cocktail players, with a variety of entree/main/dessert tapas:
- 10th Year Delight – rum, lemon, eggs and sauerkraut with the remains of a rueben on the side (Hawthorn)
- Shogun – Japanese whisky, plum brandy, sake and mirin (phew!) with local sashimi (WBC)
- the Elitist Martini V2.0 – citrus martini with liquid nitrogen-charged champagne popsicle (St Johns Bar)
- BGR – salted caramel rum with orange juice, spices, red wine and cardamon spice foam, with a dessert burger of macarons, Wellington Chocolate Factory patty and aged cheddar (CGR Merchant)
- A Regional Tale – bourbon with dessert wine and chocolate bitters, limoncello, thyme liquer and champers, accompanied by bone marrow fudge, oxtail and almonds (Matterhorn)
- you need to like grapefruit (beware those on some types of medications!)
- a whole section of mocktails, some just tame versions of the above, some totally separate concoctions.
Changes to the DINE menus so that restaurants can offer a festival dish on its own at lunch-time (i.e. don’t need to have 2 or 3 courses, and will be able to dine quicker), with many offering different lunch and dinner options:
- the theme this year is ‘element of surprise’
- again, many new players to the game
- some super-cheap options – $15 dish and beverage at The Kanteen (NZ Post House) and Southern Cross
- a good few unique Gelissimo gelato flavours at various restaurants – American pale ale gelato (Backbencher), blue cheese gelato with a pork main (Glasshouse Rydges Thorndon), rose petal (One 80 Copthorne Oriental)
- and a good bit of craft beer flavouring – Panhead Blacktop Oat Stout cheesecake (Backbencher), Garage Project Aro Noir stout gravy (Bethel Woods), Tuatara Dubbel-braised beef short rib, and Panhead Canhead Hardtail Henry Oaked Stout ice cream (Little Beer Quarter) and more
- also a bit of vegan – seitan ‘steak’ (Bin 44), jackfruit with beans, kumara and pickled snap peas (Little Beer Quarter), walnut and mushroom meatballs with beetroot noodles and coconut bacon (Southern Cross), tamarillo tarte tatin with feta panna cotta, onion marmalade, rosemary and chocolate dirt (Glasshouse, Rydges Thorndon) and more
- and the most unusual menu in entirety – free range crispy pigs ears wth black garlic and mushrooms three ways, free range pork brawn dumplings, and Wellington Chocolate Factory cacao and pig’s blood mousse with sweet pickled walnuts, praline and pear (Wellesley) – crikey!
I’m sure that’s enough to well whet your appetites. Bring it on!