foodiegemsofwellie

For worthy eating and drinking experiences around Wellington, NZ (and the greater region) – you can also catch Heather out and about hosting Zest Food Tours around the city…

Archive for the tag “French / Italian”

Olde Beach Bakery, Waikanae

This is another of my must-do-this-summer places, as they have quite the following. It’s not quite summer, but was a sunny day, so that counts right?

Olde Beach Bakery is owned by the folks who have Long Beach and the North End Brewery at Waikanae Beach (their salt and wood barrel aged beers sound interesting). So a good bit of customer and food experience on board.

The kitchen of the bakery is open, and partly in the front window so you can see the bakers at work (you can wave to them through the window from 4am!). They like to use local and seasonal, including from their own vege garden, and hand craft right down to the milkshake syrups.

I was there at breakfast time so after much eeny-meeny-miny-moeying, I settled on a northern Brittany (French) kouign-amann – a light sourdough with sweet apple that’s created like a croissant with buttery layers, crispy on the outside, and softer on the inside. It was a revelation, and I’d most definitely have one of these again (didn’t help much with the elimination process for next time!).

Bakery Kouign-amann

They also make a range of fresh artisan breads, cheese scones that are highly sought after (verified by a local I was chatting with), miles of pastries, sweet cakes and indulgences, and some very appealing-looking filled baguettes and sandwiches.

The staff were all really friendly, informative and helpful and I’m sure as eggs, that if I lived anywhere near Waikanae, I’d be here more days than not.

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7 days

3 Ono Street, Waikanae Beach

Mirabelle in Carterton

Another on my keep-missing-it list was Cafe Mirabelle at Carterton. I’d never managed to go past when it was open, but finally, success! Twice in fact, go figure.

Mirabelle is run by French husband and wife team Megan (the magic in the kitchen) and Olivier (the FOH maestro) Rochery. The food philosophy is simple, hearty and unpretentious, like dining at home in France. And what would French dining be without wine, beer and liqueurs? You’ll never need to find out here.

One visit was for a light brekkie, so I made a beeline for the pastries. They all looked delightful and beautifully hand-made, and in fact the apple danish I settled on might be the best one I’ve ever had. The pastry was light and crispy, the apple generous and beautifully layered, and both the custard beneath and glaze on top just the right hint of sweetness without overkill. I’m still revelling in the memory.

Mirabelle apple danish

The other visit was lunch so I decided on the macaroni cheese with bacon from the menu board. It was a close run thing with the goat cheese salad, but since it was a slightly cool day, and I was interested to see how Mirabelle would deliver the dish, the mac cheese won. And yes it did arrive French style, topped with cheese, pepper (noticeable), a dose of melted butter, bread for dipping, and bubbly hot grilled top.

A delicious and unctuous dish (love that word!). All for $12.50. Excellent value.

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A place not to be missed if you can time it right.

Wednesday to Sunday daytimes (9-4 weekdays, 10-3 weekends), dinner Friday and Saturday nights (bookings recommended).

31 High North Street, Carterton

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