foodiegemsofwellie

For worthy eating and drinking experiences around Wellington, NZ (and the greater region) – you can also catch Heather over at KNOW Wellington's Word on the Street Blog or hosting Zest Food Tours around the city…

Archive for the tag “dinner”

Dinner returns to Elements

Elements cafe at Lyall Bay now have a dinner service on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, in addition to their popular daytime fare.

The Elements philosophy is to gather people around a table to share great food and wine (not tapas, you get to have your own), with the food being nourishing and hand made from fresh, seasonable and sustainably farmed ingredients. In a relaxing and convivial environment without pretention (if that’s not a real word, I bags its credit!).

Elements decor

They certainly make nearly everything in-house including breads, stocks, sauces, pasta, ice creams, etc (unless there’s a local artisan product they’d like to showcase), with the intention of creating a fond food memory with a little ‘wow’.

Actually, the word fond seems just right for Elements.

So how did we go?

The complimentary bread was warm and fresh, with whipped salted and sweet chilli butter options, the sweet chilli being a little different to the norm.

And then we proceeded to the chive, pumpkin and blue cheese gnocchi with a side of smokey bacon peas (could have eaten a bucketful of those!), and the chicken with Jamaican spices. The gnocchi was comforting with many textures and flavours, and the chicken was pleasant with a ‘wow’ shredded chicken leg rosti cake. So far, so good.

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We then cracked on to the peanut butter parfait dessert, and port with dark chocolate truffles – it’s so nice to have a light / alternate dessert option when you don’t fancy the full monty.

The dessert had nicely bruleed bananas, along with dense parfait, light banana cake and crispy peanut brittle. AND surprise chocolate peanut butter truffles. Again lots of different textures which met well when spooned up together.

Elements banana dessert

I also very much enjoyed the pear, cucumber, lemon, mint and elderflower soda mocktail one of the young ladies crafted for me. And the very virtuous feeling about the number of fruits and veg I was ticking off for the day!

On the evening we visited, the restaurant had a nice hubbub, but nothing that intruded on our own conversation. And because there are several rooms to Elements, they can cater for groups more or less in their own space.

We had a very pleasant time overall, and I think just quietly, that young Sam might come further into his own as time goes by.

144 Onepu Road, Lyall Bay

Elements mocktail

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A Matterhorn resurgence

MH green bowl.jpgUPDATE: Matterhorn have ceased doing brunches and are back to 3pm onwards 7 days.

Matterhorn has been around a long time with various food styles. But recently has returned to an a’la’carte style with the return of Executive Chef Sean Marshall as co-owner.

They’ve also re-established weekend brunches, which are a delight in that lovely sunny courtyard (if only summer continued all year round!). With the menu being a mix of traditional dishes (corn fritters) and newer trends (smoothie bowls).

The service and ambience remains personable, they still do a cracking cocktail, their Sunday roasts remain one of the best around, and they still have a variety of live evening entertainment.

Full details here about the new brunch experience.

106 Cuba Street (down the corridor, not far from the bucket fountain)

MH courtyard

Karaka Cafe at the Wharewaka

More friends coming through town and another brunch to be had.  What hardship!

Given their intention to park around the waterfront, Karaka cafe in the Wharewaka sprung to mind as a new place close by for them to try.  Although not outdoor weather particularly, the cafe feels welcoming (probably due to the lively colours and plants) and still provided pleasant water and city views.

A range of brunches were opted for including muesli with yoghurt and banana, avocado and tomato on grainy toast, eggs on toast, toast with peanut butter, and french toast with bacon, banana and butterscotch.  Other than the grainy toast selection, the toast provided was toasted traditional rewana bread.  Rewana bread using a potato started instead of the usual yeast starter.  Commented on as different and tasty.

One of the unique factors of this cafe is the use of maori titles and descriptions and inclusion of traditional foods or ingredients (rewana bread, horopito, hangi mash, etc).  A simple way for visitors to get an introduction to this part of NZ’s culture.

The coffee served was Mojo’s and met with everyone’s approval (twice I’ve been surprised by the coffee exceeding expectation here now, huh), and the pick of the breakfasts in my (humble!) opinion is the french toast (no carbohydrate bias here at all your honour…).  All those soft caramelly textures and tastes, with the contrast of bacon.  Mmmmmmm.

They also offer a good selection of counter foods, platters and wine (imagining a nice sunny afternoon), and have a range of beers including some from our local brewers.

The service again was slow and had to be chased along once or twice, so still not right in that regard, but otherwise very pleasant, something different, and I’m going back for dinner sometime soon to check that out too.

 

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