We’re just over halfway through this year’s Welly on a Plate and my diet has consisted of mainly burgers for the last ten days or so. I thought I’d give you guys a wee round up of what I’ve eaten so far, and a few other bites I’m hoping to squeeze in before the festival is done for this year.
What I already ate
My first WOAP/Burger Welly for this year’s fest did not disappoint! Husk’s ‘Apocalypse Now’ was a chickpea and smoked mushroom patty with coleslaw, avocado and Texas chilli sauce in a chilli corn bun. It had the perfect combo of flavour, texture and heat and was my fave burger so far. The patty and avocado were lovely and soft, while the coleslaw gave it a nice crunch, and the whole affair came with a wee jalapeño popper on the side. (V, VV option)
P.S. (unrelated to WOAP) …they also make good coffee.
I was pretty excited about this one just because it sounded so different! Seize’s ‘Vegan Fried Egg Burger’ involved a house-made vegan fried egg, vegan cheese, sauerkraut and a quinoa patty on what I think was a chickpea bun. They also had a vegan festival main but I opted for the burger because I decided the festival main was pretty similar to what they normally had on menu. The ‘egg’ was made of tofu and carrot sauce and was actually pretty good! The whole burger tasted pretty great and probably was the most exciting I’ve tried so far, but towards the end I decided I wasn’t completely sold on the ‘bun’. It also came with some onion rings, which I think were fried in rice flour? (GF, DF, V, VV, Pesc)
I had my only full WOAP dine set menu so far at SoCro and was a little underwhelmed tbh. I chose their Kāpiti Fried Cauli (K.F.C) Burger Welly for my main and found it to be quite dry and somewhat bland. Consisting of fried cauliflower with homemade vegan ‘jack cheese’, mayonnaise and lettuce in a Pandoro Kaiser bun with slaw, mash and Parkvale Mushroom gravy, I think this burger could have been a winner but didn’t quite hit the mark. I’d have liked it if the fried cauli was in smaller chunks (so better batter-to-cauliflower ratio), if there was (a lot) more mayo and if there was a touch of spice or at least more herbs. This dish doesn’t actually come with fries, but they accidentally served mine with fries and then brought me the mash it’s meant to come with. The mushroom gravy and vegan cheese were excellent. I didn’t even realise the cheese was vegan until I read it online later. (DF, NF, Pesc, V, VV)
For the entrée they had dates stuffed with orange, thyme and homemade cashew nut cheese in homemade bean curd ‘bacon’. My friend asked for the meat version of this (I wasn’t planning on having any) but we got given the vegan ones. I wasn’t a big fan of these wee guys because it just kind of tasted like orange and dates smushed together. (GF, DF, VV, V)
The spiced apple martini was delicious and my fav part of the menu, and came with a smaller version of the entrée dish. I asked for the vegetarian version but got given the vegan type again, which was a shame because I think the dates would have been a lot more palatable with the Havarti cheese the veg version was meant to come with. I imagine it would have been like a bite-sized cheeseboard! The cocktail was made with vodka and cointreau with star anise, cardamom, sarsaparilla and nutmeg-infused fresh apple and lemon juice. (GF, NF, Pesc option, V option, VV option)
For dessert we had homemade raspberry jam-filled lamington, dipped in Whittaker’s Dark Ghana and coconut, with whipped coconut cream. This pretty nice, but again, it wasn’t really spectacular. or anything. (DF, NF, V, VV)
Concrete finally served me my first non-burger WOAP dish, which was pretty exciting. I went for a weekday lunch and had their vegetarian festival main, which was a maple roast pumpkin, caramelised onion and goat’s cheese tart with fig, kiwifruit and walnut slaw. It was pretty yum, and appealed to my sweet tooth. I really enjoyed the fruity coleslaw, which surprised me as I’m not a giant slaw fan to start with. (V)
EASILY THE BEST WOAP DISH I HAVE EATEN THIS YEAR, BY A LONG SHOT. ALSO THE CHEAPEST. I CAN’T RAVE ABOUT THIS ENOUGH. ALL CAPS ISN’T ENOUGH TO EXPRESS MY FEELS. So I was pretty excited when I was browsing menus and came across this, because pani puri is my absolute fave Indian street food. Kanteen’s version of these deep-fried wheat balls were stuffed with agria potatoes, chickpeas, Zany Zeus smoked yoghurt and tamarind water. I was a bit worried that they’d ruin them by Westernising the dish too much, but they were great! Even though they were sweeter than I’ve previously had them, they were still spicy and crunchy and a real experience (you have to pour the green water into the balls and then eat them whole). For $15 you get a tray of these puppies AND a little pot of t leaf’s Kawakawa tea. AMAZING! (NF, V, VV option)
Another day, another burger. Such a hard life! I took someone who doesn’t like burgers here for their birthday (hehehe) and even they agreed that the Zany Zeus smoked brinza in Basque’s three cheese musketeers burger was something else. The burger also featured aged cheddar and mozzarella in a croquette patty, smoked chipotle relish, red cabbage slaw and jalapeños in a Zaida’s milk bun, with paprika fries. This one was simple and complicated at the same time: it didn’t really have much in it apart from cheese and cabbage, but the different types of cheese definitely built up the layers of flavour. I was also a real big fan of the green tea aioli which came with the paprika fries. I don’t drink beer but I got the Garage Project Pernicious Weed beer match for the birthday boy and was told it was very good. I had a little bit and it was fragrant but pretty much tasted like beer to me. (V, NF, Pesc)
What I got locked in for this week
I’ve got tickets to the sold-out Umami Origami at Egmont St Eatery with the awesome Chef Zach Tinsley. I’m looking forward to four courses of vegetarian, gluten-free and aesthetically pleasing goodness. Also can’t wait to hear about the background and inspiration for the dishes from the man himself!
What I hope I get to eat/drink
Wellington Food Truck Rally – I love our food truck scene! And I love that all the food truck owners are mates and swap food with each other. Good vibes and good food, what could be better?
- Five and Dime – I’m keen for their ‘Impossible Burger’ because I’m dying to know what an ‘impossible’ vegetarian patty tastes like.
- The Botanist – Because how could you not as a vegetarian food blogger? I don’t know whether I’d go for the smoked kūmara, quinoa and ricotta burger or the goat’s cheese souffle from the dine menu, I suspect I’ll have a lot of trouble deciding!
- Little Beer Quarter – A vegan ‘Friday Night’ Alamir kebab with Southern fried tempeh followed by a Kiwi bakery-style donut, filled with Wooden Spoon Smokey Pokey ice cream and rhubarb coulis sounds incredible.
- Laundry – This dine menu sounds amaze, with guacamole and handcut tortilla chips, chimichangas, vegan chilli on Mexican red rice and vegan cheesecake, YUM!
- Boulcott Street Bistro – How good does salted caramel, cinnamon-spiked Earl Grey syrup and spiced rum sound tho?
- Dragonfly – I’m a big kid who probs couldn’t pass on Chambord jelly in a Whittaker’s chocolate cup. Or anything else novel, ever.
- Monsoon Poon – Is it even possible to say no to a PB&J cocktail? Spesh when it’s a hard shake.
- Motel Bar – How often do you have the chance to try a daiquiri made with Zany Zeus halloumi-infused golden rum?
- The Black Sparrow – A dessert cocktail crafted with Smoke & Oakum’s Gunpowder Rum and Kererū porter-infused chocolate syrup, with a Fix & Fogg Chocolate Peanut Butter macaron? Unghhh.
Pretty much this is my (delicious and exciting) partially completed to-do list. So… what’s on yours?