The Wellington on a Plate food festival I mentioned a couple of posts back is designed to showcase food and drink from around the region as well as promoting what they call “culinary tourism” to the area. There are numerous foodie events and restaurant offers such as the one we went to last week. My second foray into this year’s festival was at Ombra on Cuba Street, described as a “Venetian bacaro”, serving small dishes and good wine. The restaurant itself has a nice atmosphere and a sort of industrial shabby chic decor, as well as a picture by Piera McArthur, whose work I saw in a retrospective exhibition in November last year.
The deal here was for any two courses from a short menu (2 starters, 2 mains, 2 deserts) plus a Wellington regional drink for $25. For my first course I chose the Don Emilio sausage crostino. The sausage, made locally in the Wellington suburb of Brooklyn, was full of robust flavours and was paired well with a good tomato sauce.
For my second course, I had the Yellow Brick Road (a local supplier of seafood to many restaurants in the area) sardines with an endive and orange salad. Believe it or not, I’ve been thinking of fresh sardines quite a bit recently after looking at friends’ pictures of a holiday in Lisbon, and remembering the good ones I had there. Anyway, I was so pleased that the sardines were excellent, with a good crispy skin and lots of meat. However I was a very slightly disappointed with the salad. While the citrus tang went well with the oily fish, the rest was just a little lacking in a suitably robust flavour to complement the fish. It was still good though!
To drink, I had the Pencarrow Chardonnay 2013. I’m not a great fan of chardonnay, probably due to years of buying cheap stuff in the UK, but since I have been here I have had so many good ones that I am moving back to liking it. It was bursting with rich flavour and went really well with the sardines.
All in all, a great deal and some really nice food. I’d like to go back again some day and try some of the offerings on their regular menu.