The Dominion Post
Egg-ceptional dessert hatched
Anyone trying for a last-minute booking at some top Wellington restaurants will have been lucky to find a table this weekend.
While attendance for Dine Wellington, part of the Wellington On A Plate festival, was challenging to monitor in its opening days, spokeswoman JoAnne Carr said: ‘‘Anecdotally, what we have seen and what we have heard has really thrilled us.
‘‘The feedback from restaurants has been that the festival already has them flat out, with many saying they are already booking out.’’
Mariah Grace launched her eatery, Grace Patisserie, four months ago. For her, the festival was a chance to showcase her cakes, pastries and desserts.
Grace’s festival dish is a dessert that looks like a bird’s nest. It has drawn people into the business and garnered attention on social media.
The dessert is made from white chocolate coconut mousse, passionfruit curd, and mango banana mint coulis, among other delicious ingredients.
Yesterday morning, the Tory St patisserie was full, with a constant stream of people wanting a seat in the cafe. ‘‘So far, it has gone well. We have had bookings coming in, particularly in the weekend,’’ Grace said.
‘‘People are coming to look for the dish . . . The event is obviously getting people out and about to different restaurants.’’
Le Minh, owner of Vietnamese restaurant Apache, said that since the start of the festival, he had been running two sittings for lunch and dinner.
Most diners were ordering a special festival dish that combined confit pork belly, caramelised salmon, and a tea-soaked quail egg, he said.
Apache is also taking part in the festival’s Burger On A Plate.
The restaurant won the burger competition three years ago with its spicy chicken version. This year’s entry combines tiger prawns and wagyu beef.
Carr said while some festival events had been fully booked, more sessions had been added for others.