WLG 'Pop-Up' Restaurant – Wellington, New Zealand

WLG ——————————-> SYD

A three hours flight across the pond, the quaint Wellington city in New Zealand will be landing in the big smoke of Sydney some time in September. The New Zealanders are going to perform in group, but not with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet, chanting over a Haka traditional dance routine to pronounce their arrival. Instead they are going to invite all Sydneysiders to experience a fortnight long of Kiwi hospitality at a ‘Pop Up’ restaurant in Kings Cross where recently closed Bayswater Brasserie used to be.

I am glad the cat is finally out of the bag early this week, because me and my fellow blogger friends have already had a preview of the pop up restaurant during our trip to Wellington for WOAP and I was dying to break the exciting news to all the foodies in Sydney what’s coming. Now I can finally blog about it and yes, one of you are going to experience WLG in sydney, FREE!

But first, here’s a preview of the WLG pop-up in the Wellington city itself.

We attended the WLG pop-up in a dark grey building near the harbour front, which used to be a cinemaplex but now is nothing more than a big empty space with architecture showroom upstairs. An extreme makeover had turned the abandoned space into an elegant yet casual dining room filled with long communal tables, leather couches are set up next to the bar area for those who would like to hang out over a glass of NZ wine after meal or perhaps waiting for the next sitting. Everyone seems to be in good spirits and definitely not short of conversations around the communal tables.

During the two weeks of WLG in Sydney, they will have four renowned ‘chefs in residence’ including Jacob Brown of The Larder, Shaun Clouston of Logan Brown, Tom Hutchison of Capitol and Rex Morgan of Boulcott Street Bistro, who will take you on a culinary journey with different menus of what Wellington has to offer.

Jacob Brown took the lead and in charged of the kitchen for the preview WLG dinner while we were there. I was actually rather excited because I just had the best meal in New Zealand on the same day at The Larder, prepared by Jacob himself.

The meal started off with a sharing antipasto platter for two which of course emphasized on local produce consists of Lot 8 spiced olives, citrus cured salmon gravlax with NZ wasabi panna cotta, paper thin slices of venison carpaccio with horseradish cream and wild watercress, and fried goat’s cheese with manuka honey and feijoa chutney. Most of us didn’t fancy the feijoa flavoured turkish delights at the Devour gala dinner very much, but this fresh feijoa chutney is actually quite delectable with a gritty texture like guava.

Diners had a choice of three mains on the menu. For the seafood lovers, the roasted Groper with Marlborough mussels and clams served with green pea stew was actually perfectly cooked to a nice soft flakey flesh. Helen insisted me to try the petite pois, these little green peas were very sweet and happily popped inside my mouth.

I opted for the Horopito seasoned beef which is served medium rare, the tender juicy piece of red meat was rested on a bed of extra virgin pomme puree, with slow roasted tomato and green beans on the side. Horopito has been used by the Maori in cooking for centuries, its peppery flavour is the perfect substitution of peppercorn with the beef.

Peter G went for the vegetarian friendly Wairarapa wild mushroom risotto with Grand Padana, the dull greyish looking buttery rich risotto painted from the wild mushroom was contrasted with a carpet of vivid green micro herbs over the top. For the first time I was envy and wish that I would have ordered the risotto myself.

The dessert is not for the fainthearted. I cracked the toffee layer gingerly and it shattered into thousand shards, revealing a thick Mojo coffee flavour custard brulee that was incredibly creamy. Do we need to make it even more orgasmic? Yes. we. do. Why not add a quenelle of Whittaker’s chocolate mousse which was more like thick chocolate ganache that I could feel my heart clogging on every spoonful in a good way.

Have a guess how much the 3 course meal cost? Not $45, not $35, but an insanely GFC-friendly low at $29! “AT TWENTY NINE BUCKS! TWO WEEKS ONLY! ALL MEALS MUST BE SOLD!!! AT WLG! MUST BOOK QUICK!” I started to sound like a second-hand car salesman now, even though I know spruiking of this exciting event is totally unnecessary. As Brad Monaghan from Positively Wellington Tourism has just informed us few days ago that they have already sold over half the tickets (the first whole allocation) in under four hours.

You seriously do not want to miss out and are highly recommended to book in advance.

What is WLG?

WLG is a unique ‘pop up’ restaurant that will showcase the best of Wellington’s food scene for two weeks only. For just $29 per person every diner will receive a three course meal with coffee. Locally matched wine is available for purchase.  Payment transactions accepted are credit cards, EFTPOS and cash.

WHEN: September 14th - 26th
The restaurant will be open from 6pm - 10pm, with the wine bar opening at 5pm on weekdays and 3pm on weekends.

WHERE: 32 Bayswater Road, Kings Cross
WHO: WLG will have four ‘chefs in residence’ who will control the kitchen for 3 - 4 days each. They are:

Jacob Brown - 14 – 15 September
Shaun Clouston – 16 – 19 September
Tom Hutchison – 20 - 23 September
Rex Morgan – 24 – 26 September

HOW: Only 200 seats are available each night, so bookings are highly recommended. Book online at www.timeoutsydney.com.au/WLG or visit the WLG event page on Facebook.

More information can be found at:
www.facebook.com/timeoutsydney
www.facebook.com/wellington.newzealand
www.WellingtonNZ.com

Cheap is good, but complimentary meal is even better!

[Competition is now closed, winner announced here.]

Positively Wellington Tourism has also kindly offered ATFT Readers the chance to win a complimentary double pass for you and a guest to experience the Kiwi hospitality at WLG pop-up restaurant in Sydney on Tuesday, 21st September at 8pm sitting. To win, here’s what you have to do:

THE PRIZE
Prize: A dinner for two at WLG pop-up restaurant in Sydney.
Date: Tue, 21st September 2010
Time: 8pm sitting
Venue: 32 Bayswater Rd, Kings Cross, 2011

Note: Entrants are opened to readers who are eligible!

HOW TO ENTER

  1. Fill in the blanks: WLG stands for ___________.

  2. Leave your answer in the comment box below.
  3. BE CREATIVE! eg. Well Licked Grease, Whimp Like Girl… you get the drill.

Terms & conditions:

  1. You must be over 18 years old or older to enter.
  2. Entry will be judged on creativity and honesty.
  3. Entries are opened to all readers who are eligible.
  4. Entries closed on Sunday, 12th September 11.59 AM AEST. The winner will be drawn and announced on Monday, 13 September, 10.00AM AEST.
  5. Winner will be notified by email, and tickets are available from the venue to collect on the evening.
  6. Please use contact form if you have any questions.

Good luck and thank you!

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