Beer, burgers and black ice-cream

As the tenth Wellington on a Plate draws to a close, here are three things we enjoyed as part of this food festival that takes over the city.

Beer No Evil, Pie No Evil

Now in its fifth year, the pie and beer event at Sprig and Fern in Thorndon, sees the pairing of Sprig and Fern’s beers with Waikanae-based Siggy’s Pies.  I realise looking back at old posts, that this we have been to every one of these events.  Well, let’s face it, pies and beer make an excellent combination for a Sunday lunch!

The combinations this year were: a pilsner with bacon and egg pie; British Best with pepper steak pie; American Brown Ale with a steak and cheese pie; Imperial Porter with beef, bacon and blue cheese and an Apple Cider with a pork, apple an cider pie.  I think my favourite combination was the porter and beef, bacon and blue cheese pie, though probably the best beer was the British Best, and the best pie…well, very surprising for me, the pork apple and cider.

The last two pies
Almost finished!

Dine Wellington: Kelburn Village Pub

On Thursday evening, we ate at one of our local places, Kelburn Village Pub.  We decided to go for the three course, Dine Wellington menu, both opting to start with the Tequila-cured salmon carpaccio with dill crème fraîche, beetroot gel and salmon crackling.  This was really lovely, and the flavours worked well together.

The salmon carpaccio

For our main dish, Karl opted for the braised beef cheek with puréed squash, smoked agria potato croquettes, parsnip bubbles, and curry oil, which got a big thumbs up.  I had the fish, with saffron mash, cabbage, tiny leek chips, and a ‘caramelised balsamic reduction’.  It was nice, but no show stopper.

Fish of the day

Dessert was a real chocolate affair, with a tartlet of spiced rum and chocolate with chilli and Carrello del Gelato Charcoal and Coconut ice cream.  This was really rich and very good, and I probably don’t need to eat chocolate again for a month!  I drank Ohau Sauvignon Blanc, and Karl an Ohau Pinot Noir.

Digging into the dessert

Burger Wellington: Bellamy’s By Logan Brown

On Friday, we went to Bellamy’s By Logan Brown, a new restaurant based within the Beehive (ie Parliament).  Actually, Bellamy’s has been the parliamentary restaurant for many a year, but has now been taken over by Logan Brown, a well known Wellington restaurant (see here). Previously for exclusive use by parliamentarians, the restaurant is now open to anyone, and has a full menu of good looking things.  We, however, opted for the Wellington on a Plate Burger Wellington on this visit.  The burger, with the title of The Executive Decision consisted of a whisky dry-aged Wagyu patty, smoked cheese, habanero sauce, caramelised onion and iceberg in a housemade buttermilk bun, served of course with chips (fries or whatever you call them where you live).

And since we were in Parliament, the burger was topped with the New Zealand flag!

This was a really good classic burger.  The cheese, pickles and onions all went really well together – think a gourmet Big Mac. And while there was nothing unusual about this burger, it did allow the meat to be central stage.  At first, I thought there weren’t that many chips…but really, there was just the right amount given the size of the burger.  We both drank a Pegasus Bay merlot cabernet.

Early evening view from the 3rd floor of The Beehive

So that was Wellington on a Plate for us in 2018.  Wonder if anyone actually ate all 179 burgers?

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




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