It’s most Wellingtonians favorite time of the year - those two weeks we’ve all been saving every penny and fasting for. Wellington on a Plate is an innovative and collaborative culinary festival, established in 2009 by Positively Wellington Tourism and Grow Wellington. It’s an indulgent showcase of the thriving hospitality scene in the capital city, with a central focus on promoting local restaurants, cafes and breweries.
There’s something on the table for everyone, from cheaper options for students, burgers with beer matches from local breweries for beer-lovers, a three-course degustation for the high-rollers, and donuts, desserts and gelatos for the sweet-toothed. There’s various cooking classes, beer and wine tasting events and pop-up stores throughout the city.
It’s almost a little overwhelming trying to cram everything into your schedule and your puku. To make things easier for you, here’s what to expect - apart from the unregrettable and inevitable weight-gain by the end of this month.
There’s been a never-ending burger fad in the capital city, heightened by guys like EKIM and the newly opened Burger Liquor. Burger Wellington takes advantage of this trend and hypes it to another level with playful experimentation and innovation, reshaping your concept of a traditional burger. It caters for everyone’s dietary needs with an array of pork, beef, chicken, seafood, vegetarian and vegan burgers, teamed with all sorts of spicy and saucy condiments. Garage Project is the official brewery catering all the cafes with the official beer match for their burgers, even more of an excuse to set sail on a burger-and-gram journey.
Last year’s winner: Shooting Charley’s Burger by Charley Noble
Taylor Preston’s beef patty with OnTrays Monterey Jack, bacon and Smoke & Oakum rum punch, smoky pineapple, chilli chutney with house cut chips.
Eyes on: Charley Noble EBISU BURGER
Moana Pacific fish burger with house chutney and Japanese mayonnaise in a Brezelmania squid ink bun, with shoestring fries. Eisbu is the Japanese god of fishermen and luck.
Why? Squid ink buns and oriental burgers are totally on the rise this year, and last year’s winners are sure to not disappoint.
This is the main course of the event, with over 100 eateries offering lunch time and dinner set menus ranging from $15 - $85. Most places bestow a choice of two courses plus a regional beverage out of a list three or four courses, including a starter, a main, and a dessert. Beverage matches are provided by local favorites like Garage Project, Six Barrel Soda, and Flight Coffee - just to name a few. Ingredients are sourced from local businesses also - with Zany Zeus cheese, cream, and Fix and Fogg peanut butter regularly popping up on the menu list.
Eyes on: Ombra
Why? Because smoked yoghurt and beef cheeks - enough said.
Spirits New Zealand provides Wellington restaurants and bars a base to work their magic on. Over 30 places will complete in the clash of the cocktails to produce the most inventive, ingenious and mouthwatering masterpieces, with a tapas match made in heaven to make things all the better.
The What’s Good team will be checking out the groovy beer, food and music matching event Music2Brew later on the week, so keep an eye out for what’s going on. For more information on tickets and times, check out their website.