wellington on a plate 2013

17 July 2013
burger wellington

I'm pretty chuffed...no, let's not be modest here.  I'm bloody f**king ecstatic actually about getting the tickets to all the WOAP Dine events that I wanted this year.  It's only taken me three years to master a strategy and have the process down pat, ensuring that this year I don't miss out on my top picks.

So now that that's done, I can move on to the next stage - Burger Wellington!  This will be the first time that I've put together a list of burger picks.  In the past it's been quite ad hoc; if I happened to be in town and hungry for lunch or dinner, I'd head to the nearest restaurant or cafe to see if they had a Burger Wellington menu.  This time I decided to put a burger wish-list together so that it's less a stab in the dark so to speak and I go to the ones I really like the sound of.

I've tried to even things out and chose one of each protein or type - I don't really want to just eat beef burgers or venison burgers.  The burger menus seem to be big on spices this year...Moroccon-ny, middle eastern and Mexican spices and flavours and sauces seem popular.  So here are my picks:

High-5 Sliders ~ Artisan Restaurant
I get FIVE amazing sounding sliders to enjoy, one of which is a dessert bun. Need I say more?

Hawaii 5-0 ~ Astoria
I like the sound of what this burger is going to be made up of...well, until I got to teriyaki sauce. That made me skid to a stop. Then I decided I'm still going to give it a go for this reason - I'm a fan of the TV series Hawaii 5-0, the original and current. When I was little, whenever the closing credits came on and the theme song would play again, my favourite part was to sit on the floor legs stretched out and then paddle like mad like the canoe paddlers, nah-nah-na-ing to the song. Yu'll know what I mean here! So based on not my culinary taste but my love for a tv series, I am going to eat this burger.

The Miss Piggy Goes Bush Burger ~ Charlie Bill
I really wanted to go and try their burger last year but missed out. So it's going on my burger list this year. Also, I like that they're working in some NZ ingredients like püha and harakeke. Not many eateries have, if at all.

Flocking to the Duke's Harem ~ Duke Carvell's
There's lamb, there's halloumi. And there's shoestring fries. Why then wouldn't I give this burger a go?

The Craydaddy ~ Hummingbird
Why would anyone pass up on a crayfish burger? Also, anything with kewpie mayo is always a winner. I put kewpie mayo is almost just as important in my culinary world as bacon.

The Badger Burger ~ Bangalore Polo Club
I've been here a couple of times for drinks but in all honesty, it's not my scene and I haven't been back for a long while. But I will put in an appearance since it's one of the few eateries that has chicken thigh as opposed to breast for their burger. Dark meat has so much more taste and a lot more moist than breast! I'll never understand this breast obsession...

All About Longbush Pork Burger ~ Ti Kouka Cafe
This burger has my favourite pork from heritage pigs reared by a couple of the nicest people around and cooked by one of the nicest chefs in town. This is definitely one of my must-eat burgers!

Oops! This Might Be a Boom Burger ~ Cafe Polo
I still talk about their Polly Burger that won the Burger Wellington challenge in 2011 - it was seriously crazy good. I'd go and try their burger for this year's challenge just based on that alone. And also, that's how you name a burger to get the punters in.

The Great Pretender ~ Rata Cafe
I always pick a vegetarian burger for Burger Wellington; a nice change from all that meat. I do wish though more eateries would be bold and enter a vegetarian option. Do most eateries steer away from doing a vegetarian burger because they think a meat one has more of a chance to win and pull in the diners? Why wouldn't a vegetarian burger pull in the crowds and take the burger crown? Case in point - The Polly Burger, Cafe Polo, 2011 Burger Wellington winner.

Seafood Gordita ~ La Boca Loca
I've not eaten anything I didn't like at La Boca Loca and since I there's been no fish burger that has caught eye so far for the burger challenge, I'm intrigued as to whether this burger will make up for the lack of it.

Dough and Deer ~ The Larder
Venison is not a favourite of mine nor is it a choice I make often when eating out, but I hope to get in on some venison action since this burger is made of venison liver and I LOVE liver. Jacob Brown always delivers so I don't expect to not like the burger (fingers crossed).

And since I always look for any reason to head over the hill to Wairarapa, here's a couple of burgers there that caught my fancy.

Baghdad Burger ~ Bar Salute, Greytown
You get to choose either the meat or vegetarian option. I think I'd go for the pistachio and kumara falafel burger. The burgers comes with chickpea parmesan fries. With a side like that, the meal sounds promising.

The Moby Dick ~ Cafe Medici, Martinborough
Fish burgers are also thin on the ground and I love me a fish burger meal. They never sit heavily in your stomach and that only means room for dessert! If we make it to Martinborough during WOAP, I'm definitely having this burger. Plus I'm really curious to see if I'd like the poached egg in the burger. Since I'd eat just about anything with a fried or poached egg on top, I think I might like this!

19 June 2013

It's that time of the year again - 17 days of  weeks of food-fueled indulgence that is a foodie's own personal Christmas come early.

Wellington's annual gastronomic event Wellington On A Plate is just around the corner. You could hear the distant roar of excitement when the event programme launched on 6 June (mine was more of a triumphant inner squeal than a roar). I was one of the lucky few who got a copy of the programme at the launch before it was made available to the public the next day!

This year's WOAP will be it's fifth and biggest yet; with 110 participating eateries from the whole Wellington region and 113 festival events in 17 days of gastro delights. And then there's the 69 eateries to choose from for the battle of the burgers; I can assure you that you haven't tasted gourmet burgers until you've tasted some of these offerings.

Photo courtesy of Positively Wellington Tourism.

So starts the anticipation, the devouring of the programme, the planning and scheming. And let's not forget the saving and pre-event dieting too. By the time the event opens on 9 August, there'll be dog-eared post-it plastered highlighted circled programmes in handbags, on coffee and bedside tables, kitchen benches and in staff rooms all over Wellington and further afield. I personally have two programmes going at the same time plus a WOAP dedicated folder in my bookmarks on my internet browser. Just a little obsessed you ask? Well, just a little...

Tickets went on Visa presale on Monday and general sale opens today at 12pm (19 June). I can't even tell you how quickly the presale tickets sold out - if you're keen be sure to be in front of that computer at 12pm with credit card at the ready so you don't miss out.  Happy to say that yours truly managed to get presale tickets to ALL of the events on my list. (whoop! whoop!)

Here's are the events that I'm going to:

Prison Gate to Plate with Martin Bosley and Rimutaka Prison
Oyez, Oyez! at Le Canard
Pest Control at The Larder
New Orleans’ Sunday Jazz Brunch at Logan Brown
Pecha Kucha: Imbibe
Full-circle Feast at Ti Kouka with Longbush Pork
Fiesta de la Familia at La Boca Loca
Moore Wilson’s Taste St Night Market (no tickets required)

Plus I have a DINE and Burger Wellington list as long as my arm which I won't list here but you can check out the offerings here and here.

Hope you'll stick around and keep an eye out for more photos and food thoughts as I eat my way through Wellington On a Plate 2013!


  1. Wow, that's some list you've got there. I feel a lightweight with only my short list of things. That said we will just be back from a holiday so I've had to restrict my budget this year.

    1. Oh my burger list is really only a wish list. Since we've dropped a hefty amount on the events, we're trying to not go mad with everything else during woap. Some restaurants are doing pretty special woap DINE menus, so it'll be a toss up of those of the burgers!

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