Rest easy team, I am back. I would like to follow up on Wayne‘s message re the bit of disorganisation over the newsletter. Much has been happening in the last couple of months and Pat and I have spent six weeks in Sydney and are still getting back into a groove. Overseas visitors and other activities have further impacted. Please bear with us, things will come right in time. Some really excellent events coming up over the next year so there is much to look forward to.
Save the Date
This feature will continue over the next few months with the March event being the first of 3 special themed events your committee is planning in 2020 to celebrate our 40th anniversary. A full calendar of events will be sent out separately so you can update your diaries.
Please find attached the menu for the December Dinner. The second attachment is the payment advice for the November tasting. This includes a section allowing you to indicate preferences for the Dinner. The ability to let the restaurant know our requirements in advance is of benefit in keeping costs down.
We are working on final details for the menu and pricing. Wayne will supply members with a combined “payment advice’ form before the November tasting. So forget about second Wednesday of the month this time and put 8 December into your diaries.
We are sure it will be a great event. As I say, more detail from Wayne shortly.
Desperate dessert diners have emerged in droves to book seats at the soon-to-close Wellington restaurant Strawberry Fare.
The Kent Tce restaurant will shut its doors on May 29, disappointing many loyal sweet-toothed patrons who fear missing their favourite sugar hit.
Owner Katy Pearce was inundated with people booking tables after announcing its impending closure on social media at midday on Tuesday, forcing her to stop taking any further reservations by Tuesday evening.
“It’s been overwhelming. I feel so terrible to say to people we just can’t take any more bookings.”
One of her maitre d’s, Caitlin Barrie, suggested posting news of the closure on the restaurant’s Facebook page, a day after staff were told about it on Monday.
Pearce said she knew it would create huge interest, but agreed with Barrie’s encouraging words: “Let’s go out with a bang”.
Within about eight hours, all their last bookings were full with hundreds of people emailing and phoning in.
“I said to Caitlin afterwards, ‘You got your bang’.”
The art deco restaurant opened in 1992 in a remodelled former funeral parlour and swiftly became a popular institution for its sweet treats.
Pearce said it was a hard decision to close-up shop, but the building needed repairs and she wanted a break to spend more time with her three daughters, aged from 6 to 12 years.
“I’ve worked every day for the last 24 years. That’s what owning your own business is like. It will be so nice for me to have a break.”
Many people had posted messages on social media mourning the inner-city restaurant’s closure, reminiscing about special occasions over favourite desserts, which moved her to tears.
“It’s been really lovely. I haven’t realised how much impact it’s had.”
News of the closure forced the Christchurch-based restaurant of the same name to clarify it was still business as usual.
“Strawberry Fare in Christchurch is not closing. Strawberry Fare in Wellington is closing. Not us,” its Facebook page said.
A great turnout made for a great evening. The staff and service at 1841 was as good as we’ve come to expect anywhere in town.
Members and guests were welcomed with a glass or two of Paul Bur sparkling then treated to Johnsonville’s finest array of fresh wholesome entrees and mains. Interesting was that most tables ordered everything on the menu. The vegetarian rice rolls served with an Asian dipping sauce was as fresh as you could get. Those ordering the chowder left nothing, even the crispy tortilla basket in which it was served was gone.
you may have been forgiven expecting mains to be smaller for a large group. The truth is the mains were fantastic – beautifully presented, great flavours (I shared my wife’s pork), leaving us needing a break before dessert.
The desserts and cheese board topped off a great evening.
Congratulations to the staff and chef at 1841 for a great meal.
A great place to reward yourself and for a group dinner. WelTec’s latest move is a great surprise and one to come back to for more.
If you were fortunate to experience the club’s first WelTec experience in July 2012, you would have been appreciative of the work students put into meal presentation and service.
If you were even more fortunate to experience the club’s latest dinner in WelTec’s new location in Cuba St, you’d be astounded by the attention to detail and quality and the awards won for the facilities redevelopment.
As expected with a new place there were serious, positive changes in students whereby members could watch students at work in new, pristine kitchens and teaching kitchens. I’m sure that has made a difference on students as dinners saw first-hand the pride shown by students both front and back of house.
As members arrived, we were greeted with a glass of bubbly. Some members took up the opportunity to bring wine capped with cork to help student’s gain necessary opening skills. From what I saw not a cork was broken. Great work guys and gals.
After finding our seats waiting students took our orders. Even though students may not have tasted the dishes, which is a lost opportunity for students to understand what they are serving, if you were to ask them what they would go for it was either the steak or duck; obviously on sight. Interesting enough, sitting in tables of eight, one side of my table had steak while the other all had the duck.
The entrees were presented to the standard expected with tortellini aficionado’s saying it could have been hotter.
The mains were exquisitely presented. The ‘steakers’ all said they were perfectly cooked. Even bleu steaks were sealed to perfection. The duck was as tender as anything I’ve had anywhere including when I cook duck. Desserts were simply presented and delicious.
Members I spoke with all said they wouldn’t have changed their order as all dishes were superb and could not find any faults.
Several points WelTec should take note of is to ensure salt and pepper shakers are full; several were empty. And if you have table lighting such as candles, use them or remove them from tables.
As my group was leaving, we were asked if we wanted a tour of level 3. We graciously accepted and were taken for a tour. It has been 30 odd years since I was in a training kitchen and it brought back great memories.
Check out WelTec’s new facilities.
Congratulations and well done WelTec.
Footnote from editor
The July dinner was a beautiful night, very enjoyable. The food was good and the atmosphere is lovely. The change to Wellington City has resulted in a great venue. The students were good with their service given that this was only their second week. However, there was some spread in service with the first tables finishing the course before the last of that course had come out. One member of your committee commented that he had the best blue steak ever, but some members found the steak was cold. There was some confusion about the vegetables and it was decided that we do need to find out if vegetables are included on the plate or separately. Despite these small problems we feel it is a venue we could use again.
We are making some enquiries about the capacity however it is possible that attendance will be limited to 40 people. Anne will maintain a list of those attending. Please ensure you make your intention to attend as soon as possible to ensure a place.
Those attending should be aware that this is a learning experience for the students and that we should let the students open the wine at least at the start.
It’s an early start with the bubbles being opened at 6pm, the restaurant will be open from 5:30 pm. People may need to purchase wine from the bar or use their own before 6pm.
Guidance will be given to the students on the distribution of the wine et.c, so patience and understanding are important.
The cost will likely be $45.00 for three courses with corkage, coffee and tea. We must be seated by 6:45pm and finished by 9:30 pm. An order form will be sent out in the very near future.
WelTec Training Restaurant Dinner Menu
Pumpkin and Ginger Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Grilled Cypriot Halloumi Cheese with Lemon Dressing and Sourdough Sippets (V)
Lamb Shank Tortellini with Pea Puree and Caper & Raisin Dressing
Confit of Duck Leg with Whipped Celeriac, Chorizo & Corn Succotash and Marmalade Jus
Porcini Crusted Fillet Steak on Sourdough Croute with Horseradish Butter and Spiced Oxtail Jus
Dukkah Roasted Corn Fed Chicken Supreme with Smoked Aubergine Puree and Jus Roti
All Mains served with Seasonal Vegetables and Pommes Dauphine
Pear Bavarois with Ginger Beer Sorbet
Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse in Hazelnut Meringue with Raspberry Sauce
Warm Frangipane Tart and Vanilla Roasted Pineapple with Caramel Sauce
Cuba Street Bistro is situated at 203/205 Cuba Street, Te Aro. It is a smart and charming location in the heart of Wellington. They offer contemporary New Zealand cuisine made from the best locally sourced ingredients and couple this with a quality dining experience. Perfect for a group of friends, a family outing etc.
Please see the menu following, looks really great. As with La Cloche in July we are looking to provide the Bistro with an indication of how many dishes of each item they will need to cater for. If you are going to the dinner please indicate your preference for dinner and dessert.
Cuba St Bistro
Brooklyn Bakery Bread, Homemade Dips, Antipasto
Fish of the day with crispy capers, salsa verde (g.f) Char -grilled Sirloin Steak with marrow jus (g.f) Pumpkin Risotto with basil, walnut, topped with parmesan cheese (veg) Free Range Pork Fillet wrapped in bacon and with port wine jus Ricotta Stuffed Chicken Breast with tarragon sauce
All mains served with creamy mash potato plus vegetables and salad to share
Warm Christmas pudding with cream anglaise sauce and Kapiti ice-cream Sticky Date Pudding with butterscotch and /(apiti vanilla ice -cream Chocolate Mud Coke with triple chocolate ice -cream Pavlova with fruit and whipped cream (g.f)
This dinner is an innovative experience for the club. The school is a non-profit organisation and the dinner is part of supporting the catering school and will help in the student’s learning and training.
From Bistro 107, students gain real work experience working in WelTec’s training kitchen alongside experienced tutors and front of house staff.
The school is working hard to present a menu that takes account of our interest in wine and they have made some suggestions for wine matches alongside their proposed menu.