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By Heather• 28 Jul 2015
It's nearly upon us - Visa Wellington On a Plate (VWOAP) 2015!
There are 109 DINE menus available this year, and since I can't quite see myself squeezing them all into 17 days, along with 81 burgers, 31 cocktails, and a myriad of events, I decided to start a little early. Here are some of my picks for 2015:
For the city...
A fabulous way to try the Cuisine 2015 NZ Best New Restaurant for $45 or $55. It's vital you make dessert one of your courses. They’re outstanding (pictured their rhubarb and strawberry soufflé with vanilla sauce from a recent dinner there).
Who could pass up baked Le Marche chevre with rocket, mulled red wine pear, OnTrays smoked bacon and house made warm bread, followed by a selection of Louis' handcrafted patisserie? Not me. But I do plan to do some serious walking after those little delights.
For the burger when you’re not having a VWOAP burger. I’m eyeing up the Waikane crab slider with iceberg and Bloody Mary mayo, and the dessert choux burger with Te Horo pears, Fantail Grove hazelnuts and Kapiti gingernut ice cream (last year’s favourite Bee Piggy burger from The Jimmy pictured).
Winner of the 2013 VWOAP best menu and 2014 best dish, Muse always impress. If you're keen on wine, they're holding a Sensory Evaluation Laboratory (are you a super taster?), and have an impressive sounding VWOAP cocktail with Whittakers chocolate snow and a dessert donut burger. I'm so there! (pictured a recent panfried market fish with leek and potato puree, crab tortellini’s, almond cream and caviar - clever crabby plating huh).
Any of the VWOAP MiNDFOOD Best Menu finalists should hit the mark – Artisan, Hummingbird, Logan Brown, Ti Kouka or Zibibbo. I'm liking the sound of Zibibbo’s Zany Zeus ricotta and chestnut gnocchi with night-roasted pigs cheeks, picked apple, soured feta and roasting juices (pictured their gnocchi Parisienne with pork and fennel sausage, mushroom and parmesan crumb).
And for the 'burbs...
A recent Kingfish and avocado poke (raw fish salad) was light and flavourful, and the DINE Zany Zeus hot ricotta donuts with mandarin custard, and dark chocolate sauce another sweet finish. And what a fun and funky place to hang out.
The DINE potato and goat feta pasta Pierogi dumplings with fried onions and bacon are pretty and tasty, and given I’ve been on a dumpling bender lately, the sultana stuffed apple dumpling baked in pastry was a fitting finish. Great to have Polish food on offer.
I recently had cured pork belly with kimchi mayo, and crispy cauliflower with harissa mayo, which were both pleasant, but the licorice cheesecake with caramelized pineapple and chocolate crackle took it on home (DINE flavours). Especially considering I’m neither a licorice nor pineapple fan.
Would love to hear what DINE menus have caught your eye?
Georgia meets maker and baker Brigid of Milk Crate cafe.