Saturday, August 15, 2015

Miramar Foodie Trail

It’s the first weekend of Wellington On A Plate, and here we are, up with the lark…OK, sparrow or blackbird, maybe… to participate in the Miramar Foodie Trail. The weather was looking cloudy, but fortunately not rainy, as we parked up by The Roxy (for reasons which will become apparent), then made our way up Park Road to our rendezvous, the Bohemein Chocolate Factory.

This was the first stop on our walk around Miramar. There was a crowd gathering outside. Stephanie and Wilma from Zest introduced themselves, and George, the owner of Bohemein Chocolates. We waited for the final stragglers to arrive, donned our specialist headwear as supplied, then entered the chocolate factory.

The first thing to note about this chocolate factory was the complete absence of oompa-loompas. Apparently, they're not needed. The chocolates are made almost exclusively by George himself. He explained about tempering the chocolate, showed us his chocolate machines, and then demonstrated the process by which chocolates are made, talking to us all the while and answering questions. He's been doing this in Wellington for about 10 years now, and has two shops in Wellington and is just opening another in Auckland. George explained why his chocolates are all the same shape, and also why the shop's name is spelled incorrectly. All jolly interesting, and we tried his salty caramel chocolate and the orange caramel which he was demonstrating to us, as well as giving us a little sample bag to take away with us.

The finished product
We 'd spent about an hour in the factory, and returned outside to the cool of the morning. It had brightened up a bit as we walked down to Miramar Central, where we split up into two groups so as not to overwhelm the remaining businesses that we were to visit. We started with a run into Bongusto, a small business which makes pasta and Roma-style pizza. The ready-made pasta is supplied to Moore Wilson's and other retailers, and the premises are also a café as well as a retail outlet. It's run by Roberto, who meets and greets everyone as if they're an old friend. The pasta is the best in Wellington, apparently. Must try it some time. Roberto gave us tastes of his pizza - potato and rosemary - and tiramisu and panna cotta. All were delicious.

Next stop was Rempah, a small Malaysian takeaway that makes the best rotis in Wellington. they're handmade and delivered to Moore Wilson's, New World, Pak'n'Save and some other outlets, as well as being available from the shop. They're all handmade and the roti artists were in the front of the shop, showing off their skills. We tasted the plain and garlic versions, both with peanut sauce, and I was immediately inspired to make another chicken curry and get some of these to go with it. Due to our heavy commitments under WOAP that may be a few weeks off yet, but it's good to know that they're there for us.

We walked past a new restaurant that's opened up this week, Park Kitchen Restaurant, and had a quick peek at the menu, then headed into Miramar Fruit Supply. This is run by father/daughter team Kim and Vanessa, who supply pretty well all the restaurants and cafés in the Miramar and Seatoun areas, including such establishments as The Larder, Polo Café, La Boca Loca and CoCo. This is because they have the best fruit and veg. We tried some lemonade fruit and talked about how to get the best fruit and veg, and why the stuff in the supermarkets is no good.

The final stop on our tour was our destination station, The Roxy cinema. What's a cinema doing on a food tour, I hear you ask? Well, The Roxy is also home to CoCo At The Roxy, which is a restaurant and bar. There we had a quick introduction from one of the co-owners, Valentina, before sitting downstairs for a taste of their sharing platter and their entry into the Capital Cocktail competition, Miramar Fizzy Pop. This was made for us by Wellington's finest mixologist, Ray Letoa (who was runner-up in the New Zealand mixology competition this year, and as the winner was a Jafa, it's official) - a concoction of gin, pomegranate, lemongrass and mango. It was yummy. Fortunately we were only getting a taster otherwise I wouldn't have been able to drive away afterwards!

That was the end of our tour. It was great to taste and try stuff that is literally on our doorstep, but we haven't got round to, or passed by completely (like Rempah). There's also a Greek speciality shop, a sausage maker and a Lebanese bakery that we really ought to get to. Thanks to Stephanie and Wilma at Zest Food Tours for showing us around, we had a great time.

No comments:

Post a Comment