A Food Blogger’s Guide to Wellington on a Plate

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This article was originally published on Capsule.

Now in its 13th year, Wellington on a Plate is still delivering foodies with events such as Burger Wellington, Dine Wellington and Cocktail Wellington, and it’s a great excuse to head to the capital for a true epicurean weekend!

The theme for this year is that of improvisers, new thinkers, marginalized people, rebels, those who dance as they please and go against the grain. It’s surprising, stimulating, different, new, adventurous, exotic, memorable, delicious and curious – Out of Place.

We’re going to go downstairs to check it out, but before we go out and buy some one-size-fits-all pants in the works, we spoke to Wellington’s top food influencer Wellingnoms (Kalliana Kong) to get the info on what’s good this what you just want not to miss, and what the life of a food influencer is like!

READ MORE:
* What’s good: Wellington restaurants that serve authentic bites with a lot of heat
* Wellington we have Plate to take gourmets “irrelevant” in August
* A chocolate egg, a “schmoke” cocktail and a shrimp burger win the Wellington on a Plate awards
* Chef’s culinary guide to Wellington

Kalliana Kong directs Wellingnoms.

PROVIDED

Kalliana Kong directs Wellingnoms.

Tell me a little bit about Wellingnoms – how you got started in the food influencer world and what it’s like to review the foods (and eat, I guess!) That you love so much.

I started Wellingnoms in 2015 with one of my best friends (then co-worker) Hannah, we started it to hang out together and try new places in town. The start of Wellingnoms also coincided with the Wellington on a Plate festival, so there was no shortage of places to eat. Hannah moved to Brisbane almost two years ago and I continued the solo page. I love all aspects of food. I like to cook it, eat it, read it and talk about it. Food is also how my parents showed me love, it continues with me, food is also my language of love. So being able to share that with people is great. I’m always really surprised when people ask me for my recommendations by DM or in person, especially if it’s for a special occasion. The best thing about Wellingnoms is the friends I’ve made along the way – I’ve been fortunate enough to meet several people, other food influencers and small business owners I’ve worked with through the platform, who have become good friends.

If someone had to eat only one meal in Wellington, where would you tell them to go and what would you tell them to eat?

This is such a difficult question! I feel like it depends on the occasion, but my favorite will always be Little Penang’s Mee Goreng. I love it with chicken, but I know from authority that the vegetarian version is just as delicious.

Master Kong.

PROVIDED

Master Kong.

Visa Wellington on a Plate must be the highlight of the foodie calendar? What can beginners expect?

Visa Wellington on a Plate means Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries all rolled into one for me – it’s my favorite time of year. Newbies can expect to see a plethora of choices, especially when it comes to the Burger Wellington portion of the festival. If you’re the type of person who has a hard time choosing between multiple options, you might have a hard time – so my advice is to do your research, create a wish list, and plan your time well.

Wellingnom’s Top Picks for Visa Wellington on a Plate 2021

Girls’ weekend:

Sex and food – nothing says a girls night out like a dinner and a show, darling! There are bound to be treats galore and with Hugo Grrl, one of the best cabaret producers in the country, behind the production of the burlesque show – it will be an unforgettable entertaining evening.

Welly Boutique Wine Festival – what better way to experience all the great wines of the region than at a boutique wine festival by the water. Add tapas and live music, this seems like a great way to spend an afternoon with friends.

Cinderella and her beautiful sisters – very cool to see three iconic Auckland bars appear at Cinderella, every session is bound to be a good time.

A romantic date

In time and place – This multisensory event will have you kissing your inner sweet tooth. No romantic evening is complete without dessert and this event features four romance classes!

Current food, current mood – This event feels like a date night on another level, five classes designed to represent different emotions with a full sensory experience.

Three Martini Lunch – A long lunch with two of Wellington’s most iconic places – Hawthorne and Ortega Fish Shack – absolute perfection, my perfect meeting place for the day.

Lulu bar.

PROVIDED

Lulu bar.

The guys trip

to the smoky inn – Good things take time and slow slow barbecue is one of them. Matt is an extremely talented pitmaster, so this is the perfect event for barbecue lovers.

Beervana – the event par excellence for all those who love the beer business and an equally extremely fun atmosphere for those who get started.

Enter the dragon – probably one of the most iconic events in the VWOAP lineup, a night of yum cha and beers with a twist of 90s and early 2000s firecrackers. not to like?

A family matter

It will be sweet – my nephew’s birthday is in August and I always get him a ticket to an event where he can get his hands dirty and learn a skill. This year I picked this event for him because what kid doesn’t want to learn how to make ice cream ?!

Chocolate maker of the day – A real Willy Wonka moment in a real chocolate factory hidden in a Wellington lane, a magical way to spend an afternoon with the family.

Snap, Crackle and Pop Up! – Fancy breakfast cereals seem to have our hearts, so let’s give them our stomachs too. Plus, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even though it’s loaded with sugar.

Refinery bar and restaurant.

PROVIDED

Refinery bar and restaurant.

What real foodies should not miss

Gochu 2 U – I’ve been to Gochu in Auckland and loved every bite that was served to me so I’m excited to see what they bring to their pop-up in Shepherd.

Salonika Bar – Field and Green has a knack for transforming its menu during the festival period to tell a story and explore the diaspora of Jewish cuisine. Their pop-ups are always educational and delicious

Chaat Street – Indian cuisine is often underestimated, so I was delighted to see several pop-ups and events focused on this cuisine. I’ve never been disappointed with an event at LTD so have high hopes for this pop-up.

The best slice of Wellington

The taste of friends – Taste of Home regularly serves some of the best noodles in town at their tiny premises, so I can’t wait to see what they can do in a bigger kitchen like Shepherd’s. I have a feeling this event will be sold out, you will need quick fingers to get tickets.

Tokyo nights – The super-exclusive Tokyo townhouse that pops up for an entire month is a treat for anyone who has coveted their perfect noodle bowls. They also team up with Grace Patisserie, so dessert will definitely be there too.

Flavors of Syria – Hidden away in Vogeltown is a family-run Middle Eastern restaurant, Damascus, which is popular with Wellington foodies. Middle Eastern cooking is having a well deserved time and I love the sound of this Syrian all-you-can-eat feast, it reminds me of family meals back home.

The festival runs from August 1 to August 31. General sales available from June 21 – click here for more information



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