VISA Wellington On a Plate 2021 is just around the corner, and the dish team is salivating over a couple of events that we’d love to attend.
The trio of myself, our Editor Sarah and our new Sub-editor Maddie have put our heads together and hand-picked some of the more delectable goings-on at this year’s VISA Wellington On a Plate. These are the events that have not only caught our eyes but left our stomachs rumbling, too.
Considering I ate a burger that was practically the size of my head this past weekend, it’s no surprise that Burger Wellington is atop my list. To say that this year’s offerings are a little out there would be an understatement, some of them almost defy physics! I’m more of a burger ‘traditionalist’ myself but I’m quite keen on Winner Winner’s The Backwards BBQ and Grill Meats Beer’s Smash ‘em Bro. A Garage Project Beer on the side would be a great finish, too, I reckon.
I love the flavours of South-east Asia, from Pad Thai to crispy spring rolls and everything in between, it’s all good in my books. This event promises to deliver all that and more on a silver platter at the Chameleon Restaurant inside the Intercontinental Hotel. And even though I’m not really one for fancy dining, I’m intrigued by the idea. And the mention of cocktails only entices me further.
I know I just said I love South-east Asian food, but I really love Mexican food, too. As a Spanish speaker and enthusiast for all things Latin, my standards are pretty high when it comes to Mexican food and the like. But Rose & Smith’s description of ‘Wairarapa meats slow-cooked over fire and coal’ are simply too much to resist. The addition of a Latin-themed dancefloor also sounds like a great way to burn off the excess calories afterwards.
Merely utter the words cheese and wine and all else becomes superfluous in my opinion! This match-made-in-heaven event at The Lobby Lounge combines innovative twists on the traditional high tea with an array of cheesy treats alongside some premium Te Mata wines... I couldn’t think of anything better!
I’m always in awe of how eloquently our Drinks Editor Yvonne Lorkin can talk about the flavours in a glass of wine – and I’m hoping this event at Noble Rot Wine Bar will teach me a few of her skills! Wine without Words promises to present a line-up of classic New Zealand wines alongside benchmark international examples, to illustrate how terroir influences taste and flavour profiles. Each pair of wines will be matched with food to complete the experience – and guests will (fingers crossed) walk away with a better sense of how to describe the differences between wines.
Could there be anything better than creating your own chocolate bars?! This event at Wellington Chocolate Factory sees guests learning about bean-to-bar chocolate production and walking away with three bars they’ve invented themselves. Plus, sessions include chocolate drinks and chocolate tastings – perfect for those with a sweet tooth!
I’m a bit of a chocolate fiend, so this event at The Library looks right up my street. Offering everything from chocolate tasting plates and decadent desserts to innovative savoury plates and chocolate cocktails, it describes itself as “the chocolate equivalent of a spa day for your soul”, and I’ve never been so ready for anything. I’ve particularly got my eye on the double-cream brie with cocoa husk lavosh and a sea salt and chocolate fudge martini.
The dishes of the Middle East are some of my favourites, from silky hummus to smoky chicken shawarma and vibrant beetroot tahini – and this event showcasing the flavours of Syria in an all-you-can-eat buffet is one of my top picks. I especially love the idea of ending the night with Damascus’ signature tea and authentic Syrian treats”, as the programme promises.
Gorgeous Grace Patisserie is transforming into a ramen and dessert bar for the month of August, collaborating with exclusive ramen joint, Townhouse Ramen. Personally, I can’t think of anything better than enjoying a steaming bowl of noodles followed by an exquisite dessert – and this bright little spot is a lovely place to be.
You can check out more Visa Wellington On a Plate Festival events and free pop-ups here - and remember to check out the Dine Wellington festival dishes (1-15 Aug), Burger Wellington burgers (13-31 Aug) and Cocktail Wellington cocktails (1-31 Aug) too!