A seat at the table: Wellington on a Plate

One of the food lovers highlights in Wellington is Wellington on a Plate. A celebration of the food and drink within the Wellington region, the month long event is designed to support the region’s hospitality and culinary sector. This year, Wellington on a Plate (WOAP) is being held in October rather than August, due to Covid-19. But luckily since we are at Level 1, restaurants are open, and we can go out and enjoy some good food and new tastes. The first half of the festival is given over to Dine Wellington, with the second half focussed on burgers in Burger Wellington. Throughout the month there is also Cocktail Wellington, and various food related events going on over the region.

On the first day of WOAP we headed to local restaurant Daisy’s to try their three course festival menu. To drink, we opted for an Otago pinot noir. We started with rēwana flatbread with cultured kawakawa butter sprinkled with linseeds. Rēwena bread is a traditional Māori potato bread, which is similar to sourdough. This one was made with purple kumara (a type of sweet potato), and was still warm when brought to the table. It was so soft and pillowy (is that a word?), and with the butter, really delicious. I know I have mentioned kawakawa before – we have plants in our garden – but it is a native plant used a lot in traditional medicines and in cooking.

To start – the butter was served on a kawakawa leaf

The main dish was a shepherd’s pie with baked carrots, charred greens and crushed peas. The serving you see below was for two people, just in case you wondered! The meat was tender and full of flavour, and the potato topping soft and sticky just as it should be. The vegetables were done to perfection, and were just the right accompaniment.

The pie in all its glory
And plated up

In previous years, venues have produced a Festival Dish that has formed part of a competition to find the best dish. However this year it was decided not to have the competition in the current climate. Restaurants are still promoting a Festival Dish as part of the event, and at Daisy’s, it was the dessert. This was a stewed rhubarb base topped with a croissant bread and butter pudding and served with a runny custard. The rhubarb was tart, the topping crisp and the custard just as it should be.

So…verdict…the whole menu is comfort food to perfection, both warming and full of flavours.

Rating for the whole meal: 9/10

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram@thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on thistlesandkiwis@gmail.com

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