Wellington on a Plate – August 29th

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Every year for the past few, the Wellington hospo sector has organised a fortnight-long food festival that showcases the culinary creatives who reside in our wee Creative Capital. Wellington on a Plate. There are pop-up restaurants, special menus, themed menus (Hobbit fayre at Fran Walsh’s Roxy Cinema for example), best burger competitions – lots going on. They even managed to shoehorn a craft beer fest into the middle weekend – Beervana. Shame I was away skiing that weekend 😦

As part of her birthday gift from me I took L out to The Larder, a restaurant close to the Weta Workshop / 3 Foot 6 Wellywood empires. It gained local fame for espousing the intent of serving all parts of a animal to their guests, not just the filet. Having checked first that wasn’t any offal on their WOAP menu, I booked a table for dinner.

With each course there came a matching wine. So we ordered some bubbles to have with crispy ciabatta and butter:

Quartz Reef NV Brut Central Otago – bright fresh nose, French stick in the mouth, dry on the middle palate, and a sweet finish. Lively. 4

We were then served a entree of pork belly with witloof, pickled shallots and walnuts. With it we drank:

Craggy Range Te Muna Martinborough Riesling 2013 – lifted aroma, very Riesling with citrus and pear, early kero; off-dry, light ripe and luscious to drink, Great match. 4. Ls favourite dish.

Next up was duck leg confit with roast cauliflower, kale, pomegranate and clove, with:

Craggy Range Te Muna Pinot Noir 2011 – classic Martinborough Pinot, savoury with red cherries. Smooth and balanced and great fruit weight, with some heat on the back palate. A pleasure to sniff and drink. 4+ The food was delicious.

Up next was Brie and Blue with honey and fennel crackers. With this a Chardonnay:

Craggy Range Kidnappers Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2011 – pronounced light pears on bouquet. Light malo and little oak to taste. First impressions was ripe and quite light, but this was deceptive as I saw some weight in the middle palate and a long finish. It also had the citrus acidity that I like. Went very well with blue cheese. 4

A marvellous dessert finished off the meal – Quince Tart Tatin with almond ice cream. My favourite dish. We enjoyed with it:

Craggy Range Te Muna Noble Riesling 2009 – the last bottles of this wine lie in The Larders cellar. Wow. What to say about this sticky? Just gorgeous. Complex golden syrup nose that blossoms from the glass. Honeyed and sweet and rich in the mouth. Honeycomb and solvent and Turkish delight. A delight. 5

A great meal, with some excellent wine matches.

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