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Published on September 17th, 2012 | by Ultimate OmNoms

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Welly Excursion

As you may have followed from Part 1 and Part 2 posts from the NZ Food Bloggers Conference, I was down in Welly for a very quick 4 days to catch the last of Welly On A Plate along with the conference.

I was keen to get as many tastings as I could before the conference and thanks to everyone’s recommendations on Twitter and Facebook, I went on a culinary journey through Welly to hunt these places down!

First stop: Simply Paris

The words “crepes” just kept reeling through my head and although I wouldn’t normally have such a sweet bomb for lunch, 2pm totally justifies for a late lunch snack. Crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside – just way crepes should be! Had to scoop this one fast though, the inside of Simply Paris was cozily heated and needless to say I’m normally a slow eater. Perks of not travelling alone – I had a good chunk of my friend’s savory crepes to try out. Delish!

 Crépiterolle: Sweet crêpe topped with vanilla scoop, chocolat fondu, roasted almonds and Chantilly cream; Forestière: mushrooms, bacon, onions and sour cream

Hot Chocolate prepared with ganache (a velvet smooth mixture of milk and chopped chocolate),

Dinner: General Practitioners

General Practitioners also happened to be one of our lunch sponsors for the NZFBA lunch! The huge attraction was hearing that it was a hospital themed bar & restaurant. Luckily it wasn’t enough to put one off their hunger – just medical instruments on display and romance medical novels hanging on walls.

I had a look at their Welly On A Plate offering but wanting to have a bit more freedom, we went ahead with our choices of pork belly, and lamb pate with a selection of artisan breads.

Kaffee Eis

On the way back at 10.30pm on a Wed night, Kaffee Eis was still buzzing with a cue of people lining up already. Recommended as THE best gelato place ever, dessert queen Cecilia must find out if that’s true.

As with all great ice cream parlours, you can stand there asking for multiple samples of ice cream before you make your ultimate choice. I was hoping for a really nutty flavoured pistachio but opted instead for the killer combo of coconut, ferrero rocher and maple walnut. While I can’t say it was the overall THE best gelato for all flavours, the ferrero rocher was by far the best ferrero rocher gelato I’ve had. Complete with chunky bits of the chocolate itself to remind you that yes, it is ferrero rocher gelato, not just chocolate with nuts as most shops seem to do it.

Brunch: Sweet Mother’s Kitchen

With influences of New Orleans with Cajun, Creole dishes and Mexican snack food, this place was recommended to me again and again. Just opposite the road of our lodge, a brunch date was meant to be.

Big J’s Breakfast – Potato hash, red beans (cooked traditional style with a ham hock), Cajun-style smoked sausage, bacon, eggs, hollandaise, 5 grain toast

This was where the greedy side of me kicked in and I wanted a bit of everything on the menu. You can never refuse hash browns and poached eggs for breakfast. The combo had a good Mexican kick to it with a generous serving of red beans in delicious sauce. The only regret? I couldn’t finish it.

Eggsadilla – Large flour tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, cheese and mushroom, served with guacamole, salsa and black beans

This was a much more realistic proportion! Loved the spiciness zing of the salsa and the fluffy tortilla that melted in my mouth.

Pre-dinner dessert: Strawberry Fare

What is this pre-dinner dessert matter? Well technically it was my last meal in Welly before the conference and the concept of a dessert house was just too good to miss.

Black Forest Tower – Layers of cherry, black berry and chocolate mousse encased in a chocolate wrap. New design on an old Kiwi Delight.

This hit the roof of my sweetness scale. Oblivious to the fact that the next day was going to be a full on chocolate filled day, I admit I ordered this knowing it was going to look amazing. And you simply can’t go wrong with chocolate and cherries.

Inside the full on chocolate casing is chocolate mousse with a sponge bottom. It was so sweet it made me pull that face when something is too sour and you blink spastically as if that will clear your head. Lucky I had someone to share it with. Strawberry Fare is no doubt a popular spot for dates and post dinner sweets. Sharing is not just recommended, it’s essential!

Dinner: The Portlander

A few of us were lucky to be part of the Eat&Tweet session at this steakhouse. Having just recently opened, everything looked amazing and welcoming.

King crab legs with wasabi mayonnaise and lemon.

Gasps and jealous eyes all round the table when this entree came. If the crab leg was this big, imagine how big the actual crab was! Lots of fun to dig into it, the inner Asian leaped out and hands and tools were all over the place. Serious crab business.

Wagyu – Grade five to seven, very well marbled wagyu sirloin.

As a steak house how can you resist not ordering a nice sizable steak. To say that it was good would be a total understatement. It was just. too good. Beautiful, juicy and tender.  You can see the “man-fries” phenomenon in the same photo with the portobello mushrooms. Masked under the name “hand-cut fries” on the menu, these man-fries really kicked the steak occasion up a notch.

Take photos, tweet and EAT! That’s what us bloggers love to do. Attention on Beth from Eat&Greet’s killer knife!

Only the really dedicated dessert fans stayed til the end for this amazing array of desserts.

Had a few generous bites of the other desserts but the poached pear was love at first sight from the menu. The poached pear wrapped in filo pastry was delicious. So light and fluffy on the outside to dig into a beautiful poached centre. Just delightful.

That wraps up my one and a half days of pure food nomming in Welly! There’s so many other restaurants I feel like I’ve missed. One and a half days just isn’t enough! Leave a comment with your favourite Welly eatery and I’ll make sure to hunt it down next time!

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