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Do Dine Wellington and support local!

September 25, 2020

Dine Wellington is kicking off the Visa Wellington On a Plate 2020 Festival season in less than a week! This celebration of Wellington’s Festival dishes and desserts takes place from 1-11 October, and is a wonderful way of getting out and about, and trying plates from all those places you always said you’d to go to, but have never got around to. Or perhaps you're returning to one of your tried and true favourites!

Not only are there multiple Festival dishes to enjoy, there are also Festival set menus, where you can try 2-3 courses of eateries’ culinary delights. 

There is no way we can cover the full, delicious Dine Wellington line up in one little blog. However, we can encourage you to go out, support local, and try as many of them as possible! After all, Level 1 has given us permission to. So here are some of our #DineWelly picks for 2020...

Photography by Gemini Cafe & Eatery


Every year we see more and more plant-based dishes - and it’s not just the herbivores amongst us who are indulging! We’re seeing omnivores enjoying these as much as vegetarians and vegans. There’s probably also a carnivore or two there, who’ve crossed the line and gone to the green side.

Plant-based friendly eatery, Mockingbird, is dishing up the “beetific” Beetissimo; pan-fried parcels filled with beetroot, vegan cream cheese and walnut, with Prosecco, lemon and caper butter sauce and Shoots NZ micro corral. 

Or try Gemini Cafe & Eatery’s Glitter & Spark - the cafe has a reputation for beautifully eye-catching plant-based dishes with flavour to match - Glitter & Spark is made up of sweet and sour fried Mushroom House oyster mushrooms, braised button mushrooms and organic freeze dried shiitake mushrooms with sweet and sour sauce, French toast and pineapple. 

Photography by Fratelli


Sometimes a bowl of pasta is all the comfort you need in this increasingly complicated world. Jardin Grill is serving a beautifully nourishing dish of Longbush pork belly ragù with saffron infused hand cut pappardelle, shaved Grana Padano and basil, called O Te Whenua (“of the land”). 

Pasta lovers should also try Oak & Vine’s take on traditional ravioli, with Kōura Kai, delicious pockets of crayfish with tomato concasse, orange beurre blanc and Shoots NZ microgreens. 

Fratelli’s Gnocchi di Kūmara isn’t technically pasta, however, we can’t ignore pan-fried Horowhenua kūmara gnocchi with braised Wairarapa lamb belly, puha and a Jerusalem artichoke puree - plus Fratelli’s really knows pasta, so you can’t go wrong. 

Photography by Lulu


NZ is fortunate to be surrounded with a deep blue sea filled with some of the best kaimoana (seafood) in the world. Ortega Fish Shack is one of Wellington’s number one spots for fresh, locally and sustainably sourced seafood, and for Dine Wellington, Ortega is presenting a daily seasonal seafood selection from Awatoru Wildfood, Tora Collective, Yellow Brick Road, Fish Factory and Moana Fisheries, which changes depending on the catch of the day. You know, no matter what’s coming in on the day, Ortega will work its kaimoana magic, and won’t put a foot (or fin) wrong. 

Lulu's is featuring a wonderful oceanic take on the classic charcuterie board for Dine Wellington with Seacuterie, a colourful platter of jewel-hued pescatarian delights: housemade tuna and salmon pastrami, octopus carpaccio, smoked marlin croquette and Yellow Brick Road oysters. Serves two, but t’will be hard to share… 

Photography by Bellbird Eatery


Remember that retro ad, “Give ‘em a taste of Kiwi”? (There’s a handy link there for people with bad memories/were too busy being born/didn’t exist yet.) The ad has very little to do with Dine Wellington, however, these dishes are flying the Kiwi culinary flag, giving diners a taste of Kiwi, taking inspiration from traditional Māori cooking styles and native ingredients.  

Master Kong presents Kohuatia (meaning “boil”), a fusion take on the traditional Māori boil up. This one can be shared between two and consists of Woody's Free Range Farm horopito-rubbed confit pork belly, okra, kūmara and eggplant with a kawakawa, tamarind and watercress broth. Nourishing kai for the soul! 

Also hitting peak local is Bellbird Eatery, which plays to En-Zed strengths with the humble Kiwi pie. But not just any pie - Land and Sea showcases the very best produce from our fair shores with a puff pastry pie of beef, Parkvale mushrooms, Baylands Brewery stout and oysters paired with roasted bone marrow and mushy peas. Tu meke!! 

Photography by Zelati


It wouldn’t be Dine Wellington without finishing on a sweet note. We’re not monsters, so we refuse to go home without satiating our sweet tooths. 

Zelati Dessert Cafe in Leftbank is serving up a Halo-Halo Sundae, inspired by a traditional Filipino dessert, the name of which translates to “mix mix”. It consists of a layered sundae with Zelati’s housemade vanilla coconut and purple kūmara sorbets, banana oat milk gelato, sweet corn and dulce de leche gelato, topped with coconut strands, Zany Zeus organic milk, coconut gel, puffed rice and other sweet preserves. 106.7 million Filipinos can’t be wrong. 

Or for something a little more traditional, try the very Kiwi Rhubarb & Custard from Thorndon’s newest restaurant, Daisy’s. A dessert to be shared between two, it consists of homegrown stewed rhubarb with Goods Manufactory croissant bread and butter pudding and runny custard. 

Our advice? Try both. 

Get out and support Wellington’s local restaurants this year with Dine Wellington (1-11 October) - check out the line up of Dine Welly Festival dishes and set menus!