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And the Visa Wellington On a Plate 2022 finalists are...

September 1, 2022

We sincerely want to thank everyone who took part this year -  the chefs, front of house, bartenders, hoteliers, business owners, event organisers, the producers and suppliers, our partners and sponsors and all those who got out to Eat Curious this August.

With this year's theme: A State of Flux, we travelled through time, space, textures and flavours. Once again, our Wellington Region hospitality flexed their creative muscle to serve you a delicious festival programme.

Without further ado, we're very excited to announce the Dine Welly, Burger Welly (soon) and Cocktail Welly (soon) Festival Award finalists for 2022! You've rated, we've crunched the numbers so drum roll please...

Dine Wellington Finalists

Boulcott Street Bistro – Crayfish Pōneke

Story inspiration:

Being the "Father of Wellington" John Plimmer knew what he liked and how he liked it, very similar to the Duke of Wellington. Boulcott St Bistro’s twist on the Beef Wellington takes a local approach, hero-ing some of our wonderful seafood, in the form of the old Duke's favourite meal.

Dish description:

Yellow Brick Road Cook Strait Crayfish and Fish Factory Mana Island groper with chive crêpe, housemade pastry and crayfish bisque.

Charley Noble Eatery & Bar – The Han-guk Cook: Master Yeong

Story inspiration:

A culinary identity originates in time-mastered traditions and local produce that thrives in a particular region. Charley Noble’s team is rich in Korean, Chinese, Scottish, English, Italian, Chilean, American, and of course, Māori culture. Wellington has a culinary magic trick: embracing all of the different cultures in a uniquely Wellington experience. Charley Noble are fortunate to draw inspiration from the experiences of their multinational team and are proud to showcase Master Yeong’s Duck Bulgogi as a celebration of their story and the team behind the dream.

Dish description:

Awatoru wild bush honey bulgogi with doenjang marinated duck breast, tamarillo bulgogi sauce and saeng chae (pickled relish).

Mr Go's – Fly Home

Story inspiration:

From 1908 to 1930, Mr Go's at 59 Taranaki Street was home to Chinese-owned Fon Lee Laundry. From the 1950s to the late 1970s, it was then home to the NAC's (National Airways Corporation) City Depot. Combined, these past lives have influenced Mr Go's Festival Dish, a Chinese-inspired meal served in-flight style.

Dish description:

Moana New Zealand market fish with bok choy, seaweed jasmine rice, Six Barrel Soda Co. ginger syrup sauce, steamed spring onion bun, five-spice butter and a Hong Kong egg tart.

Neo Café & Eatery – The Flat White Project

Story inspiration:

Neo Café & Eatery are here to celebrate the flat white and the good work of the Wellington coffee pioneers of the early 1990s. It was their efforts and love for coffee that led to the innovation of this beloved morning staple - now a coffee lovers’ addiction worldwide. For cafés and baristas, the flat white has become the measuring stick for excellence. The evolution of brewing equipment and coffee quality has only added fuel to the fire of perfection. This year, in a playful take on the quintessential coffee-and-cake combo, Neo offers a melded dish designed to take you on a journey of delight and surprise; one that is reminiscent of those cuddly feelings you get when your lips meet the silky-smooth foam of the flat white, followed by the intense espresso hit of blended coffee, chocolate and malt flavours, forming a perfect balance as you head towards the bottom of the cup - or in this case, plate.

Dish description:

Whittaker’s Flat White Chocolate mousse with Garage Project Cereal Milk Stout torte, chocolate almond dacquoise, chocolate shell, hazelnut praline and a Coffee Supreme blend espresso pour-over.

The Old Quarter – Grandma's Kung Fu

Story inspiration:

Wellington is the craft beer capital of New Zealand, and passionate brewers can be found almost on every corner, creating some of the finest brews available on the Kiwi market. The Old Quarter is proud to serve local beer to Wellingtonians and visitors alike. Taking inspiration they've incorporated local craft beer into their Festival Dish, demonstrating the diversity of local beer as a culinary ingredient.

Dish description:

Braised pork belly with Grandma's Parrotdog Lager stock, bok choy, baby carrot and Grandma's Kung Fu caramel sauce.

Cocktail Wellington presented by Tommy's Finalists


Pravda – Off the Beeten Track

Beetroot-infused vodka, burnt Wellington Honey, kvass, apple kompot, cardamom bitters and a kefir yoghurt foam. Accompanied by a chicken and duck liver pâté, dill-pickled cucumber and lumpfish caviar blini.


Nolita – Fly Me to the Moon

Cherry, lemon and apple Southward Distillery gin. Accompanied by a brandy snap cannoli with lemon curd cream cheese, miso caramel and chocolate brownie dust.


Lulu Bar – Mango Unstrained

Custom blend rum, coconut and mango milk punch with locally foraged horopito. Accompanied by a turmeric macaroon, curried pork shank and lime pickle.


Boulcott Street Bistro – The Martinborough Martini

Brown butter washed Reid & Reid Rev. Dawson’s gin with housemade Palliser chardonnay vermouth and fresh dill. Accompanied by a crayfish éclair.


Wilson Barbecue – The Boozy BBQ

Smoked rum hard shake with housemade caramel cream, Kāpiti vanilla bean ice cream, caramelised bacon bits. Accompanied by bacon fries.


Garage Project presents Burger Wellington Finalists


Chaat Street – Dabeli

Crispy dabeli spiced potato patty with Fix & Fogg Smoke and Fire peanut butter, coriander, onions, crispy chickpea noodles and tamarind chutney in a masala butter brioche bun, with kala masala chips.

Garage Project beer match: Transit of Venus


Thistle Inn – Au Poivre

60/40 chuck and brisket blend patty with housemade Longbush Pork nduja, double cheese, onion, café de Paris, pickled red onions and au jus in a potato bun, with seasoned fries.

Garage Project beer match: Chipper


Fred's – Pork, Apple & Crackle

Woody's Free Range Farm horopito rubbed pork with pork crackling, pickled apple, fennel slaw, stuffing, onion jam and gravy in a kawakawa buttered brioche bun.

Garage Project beer match: Chipper


Huxley's – Doors of Perception

Aged Wagyu beef and pork patty with black pastrami, yuzu, black garlic, American cheese and housemade pickles in a Brezelmania potato milk bun, with skin-on shoestring fries.

Garage Project beer match: Golden Path


Egmont St. Eatery – Saigon Smash

Vietnamese-style spiced smashed PrimeStar beef patty with pickled daikon, pickled carrot, chilli cheese, Vietnamese mint, coriander and pâté mayonnaise in a The Catering Studio potato bun, with skin-on shoestring fries.

Garage Project beer match: Garagista


Meet the judges:

Introducing our panel of judges who will be visiting all our finalists to try their festival dish, burger or cocktail. The winners will be announced on 11 September on our social channels and during the Felix Awards.

Dine Wellington & Garage Project presents Burger Wellington

Janna James

Head of Marketing, Garage Project

Hayden McMillan

Chef/Owner of LorettaFloriditas

Ellis Robbins

Head chef at Everybody Eats

Siobhan Downes

Senior Travel Reporter at Stuff

Lewis Culshaw

Hospo Prom, Hop Dogs and Rabbit Hole Events

Cocktail Wellington presented by Tommy's Real Estate Wellington

Riki Carter

Highball manager & cocktail expert

Henry Bong

Marketing Manager, Tommy's