That's a wrap for Visa WOAP 2018
No matter how much you get to eat and drink your way around Wellington during Visa WOAP there always that little bit of FOMO when you see what other people have had. My biggest regret is not getting my hands on one of Wilson Barbecue’s Insta-famous short rib burgers (I tried!) but on the whole I’m grateful for all the yummy experiences I’ve had this year.
Early reports indicate that this year’s festival has been another slam-dunk success. It’s been exciting to see the queues forming outside places like Lucky on Courtenay Place, Goldburger at Shepherd, the Lashings Pop Up Brownie Bar, and events at the Visa Festival Hub. Restaurants and bars have been consistently packed, proof that Visa WOAP is one of the city’s leading cultural events. There is no doubt that we are home to the country’s best food festival. You’ve all made this an epic 10th birthday party for the ages!
Here are some of my highlights from the last week...
- Last year’s triple threat finalists Mr Go’s took on the traditional Chinese custom of serving noodles on a birthday. Their festival dish of noodles and mushroom broth was hearty and rich, and a jackpot for all you mushroom lovers out there. I followed this up with their dessert of orange five ways, a throwback to the plates of orange slices that are often served after a massive Chinese feast. Although I opted for the festival dish over their burger, an added bonus was getting my hands on one of their incredible cheeseburger spring rolls they had made for their Mr and Ms G’s event earlier their week.
- Pickle & Pie’s Dip, Pickle & Drip burger was one I was getting lots of enthusiastic feedback. “I recommend pouring the gravy all over the burger,” said the waitress who delivered my burger. You don’t have to tell me twice... I’d been eyeing it up since seeing a preview photo of it in the lead-up to the festival, so I headed out to my old stomping ground for a little bit of hometown glory in Lower Hutt. Bellbird Eatery’s The Aloha burger was worth the wait: thick slabs of perfectly grilled pork with a tequila-infused pineapple and chipotle slaw. A superb full-stop on 17 days of burgers.
- I did manage to make it to a few cocktails. Recent Wellington addition Forresters Lane’s Born, Buried and Dug-Up was a sophisticated drink with a nifty story. The drink (Smoke & Oakum Gunpowder Rum, Reid + Reid Vermouth, yellow chartreuse and housemade aromatic bitters) was buried in casks in Ōtaki for several months. On paper it sounds like a big boozy drink, but the time underground mellowed it out, leaving a crisp and herbaceous drink with a pleasant bite to round off each sip.
- The Black Sparrow’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time! was exactly that – a peanut butter and jelly old fashioned, made with Fix & Fogg-infused rum and housemade jam bitters. Seriously fun, especially with the choctop ice cream served on the side.
The 2018 Visa WOAP festival awards ceremony takes place on Monday 3 September and winners will be revealed on our social channels as they’re announced. We’ll have a full wrap-up of the ceremony right here on the blog shortly after.