This week’s small pleasures #335

I make no apologies for the amount of food in this week’s post. Wellington on a Plate, our local food festival. is on in the city, so casual conversations tend to be about this and food related topics. As well as eating, I also attended a couple of sessions at the Eat Your Words food writing symposium, that I will report on further at the end of the month. However, the big event of course this week was the Eurovision Song Contest. For us in New Zealand, the competition started at 7am on Sunday, so we got up and enjoyed breakfast (see below – there were also bagels) with friends who came round and laughed, shouted and cried out in wonder at the songs. Sweden won for the seventh time, with the singer Loreen singing the winning song for the second time. Finland came second, with an extremely catchy song that can get stuck as your ear worm of the day.

Wellington on a Plate 1

This year, Wellington on a Plate or WOAP, has been split into two, with Dine Wellington and associated events being held now, and Burger Wellington and Beervana in August. On Thursday evening, we went to Field & Green for their “culinary adventure exploring North African Jewish cuisine”. For their fifth pop up during WOAP, owner and chef Laura Greenfield went on another culinary adventure, exploring the food of the Jews who lived on the southern shores of the Mediterranean in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. To start we chose the Pain Juif à l’Anis or Algerian anise bread roll, the ajlouk d’aubergine or Tunisian aubergine dip and beztels à la viande, an Algerian fried pastry with lamb. There were also little pots of chermoula and labneh with lemon on the table. Everything was really delicious and bursting with flavour. I particularly liked the aubergine dip. We then shared the T’Fina Pkaïla or Tunisian beef cheek stew with white beans and spinach and the Moroccan orange salad with olives which complemented the meat very well. We don’t normally have a dessert as you know, but I really wanted to try the Farka or Tunisian couscous cake with dates and nuts, served with rosewater yoghurt. It was as good as it sounds in particular the yoghurt. It was a really excellent set of dishes with some good wine too.

Wellington on a Plate 2

Our second WOAP treat this week was at Chaat Street (by Vaibhav Vishen) where we went for Sunday lunch after the Eurovision Song Contest. Chaat Street started as a pop up on WOAP in 2021, and then occupied a small space on Victoria Street before moving to their current home on Willis Street. The food is based on Indian Street food – but with a twist – as non-traditional ingredients like daikon are used as well. Owner Vishen grew up in Kashmir, and the WOAP event was a Wazwan feast based on family gatherings in that part of India. I can say that absolutely everything we had to eat was absolutely delicious, and we definitely have to go back again. We ate kasher kabab, a turmeric spiced kebab with daikon chutney, matcch or lamb meatballs slow cooked in yoghurt, wangun yakhin, aubergine or eggplant cooked in black cardamom scented yoghurt, turneric rice, lavas (a type of bread) and doon chutin, a walnut chutney. It is hard to say what I enjoyed most as it was all excellent, but the walnut chutney was a huge hit with me.

Yet more food related small pleasures

On Wednesday, I stopped off at Dixon Street Deli for one of my favourite lunches, avocado toast with halloumi and tomato. With avocados being ridiculously priced at the moment, it there was extra halloumi which suited me just fine. It is one of those cafes that is good to sit in, eat, drink tea and read, which is just what I did. In the shopping basket this week: new season persimmons, half a cabbage, some spinach, apples, mushrooms, a fennel bulb and a little kohlrabi.

Simple things

  • Getting some extra credit on my Unity Books loyalty card thanks to two people who didn’t want their’s – looks like some free books are on the cards!
  • Finding two new dresses and some wine red ankle boots.
  • Lying on the sofa, reading on Sunday afternoon after Eurovision and lunch.
  • Lighting candles and getting cosy
  • Enjoying so much good food this week
  • Seeing this picture of my great nephew Niko’s first birthday

What were your small pleasures this week? Here are some other blog posts from a few fellow bloggers looking at the good things in life. 

Also entered in Natalie the Explorer’s Weekend Coffee Share.

Thistles and Kiwis is a Wellington, New Zealand based blog written by Barbara, who likes cats, summer, good food and pretends to garden.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram @thistlesandkiwis. If you want to get in touch, email me on or


  1. Eat, drink and be merry. Looks like everyone truly enjoyed themselves. As for that Eurovision song contest — Finland was robbed!!! Käärijä’s song is, by far, the better, catchy, feel good song the world needed. CHA CHA CHA !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You really are a great food writer and photographer Barbara, I love reading your posts despite not being a foodie!! Thanks for the mention, I’ve arrived in the UK and all is now well after a rocky start!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. yummmmmm such a delicious week!
    My favourites are the Birthday Boy (so much zest for mealtime!) and the haloumi sandwich (feel so inspired to make me one!)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Apologies if this appears twice, WordPress in a fankle with Jetpack! No apology needed on the food front. Always great to see these things and share virtually. Really nice to see this going on, on the other side of the world. Loved the birthday picture, reminds me of the time we took a cake into nursery for my sons birthday a while a go. Happy times…..and cake!

    Liked by 1 person

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