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Ultimate Wellington Menu Revealed

Ultimate Wellington Menu Revealed

Evolving dishes and transforming humble ingredients have seen The White House win top honours in the inaugural Visa Wellington On a Plate Award.

The award – judged by food writers Anna Tait-Jamieson and David Burton – was introduced to the festival this year to recognise the creativity and skill of the region’s chefs, and the way in which they showcase local ingredients through the DINE Wellington programme.

The White House was one of four finalists, with Matterhorn, Martin Bosley’s and Logan Brown all making it through to the final taste test.

While it was “hard enough picking the shortlist”, Ms Tait-Jamieson said The White House stood out in final judging for its confidence and consistency across all courses.

“The dishes themselves were generously flavoured and beautifully presented; Chef Paul Hoather had transformed some quite humble ingredients. The individual rabbit pie was gorgeous in itself, but the supporting act of Ōtaki carrots presented four ways made this dish really special.”

Burton noted the spiced coconut caramel which now complements The White House’s signature Waikanae crab cake, and the gel of crayfish bisque accompanying the fish.

“The White House stays at the top of their game by constantly evolving their repertoire.”

Hoather said the products had come first when designing the winning menu, with the team then looking at how they could incorporate the likes of Smoke & Oakum rum and Waikanae Crab into attractive lunchtime dishes.

He also liked to give people new flavour experiences, poaching carrots in their own juices for the puree and also cooking them in a vacuum for two hours ‘sous vide’ style to intensify flavour.

“Taste is a memory; to me it’s about creating a new memory for people.”

Hoather was “in shock and over the moon” to have taken out the inaugural title.

“Winning the inaugural Visa Wellington On a Plate Award is a great way to celebrate The White House’s 20th anniversary year.”

As well as terrific chefs and quality artisan producers, Ms Tait-Jamieson said Wellingtonians themselves play a part in the quality of the culinary capital’s hospitality scene.

“I think the city in general has a well developed palate. Wellingtonians travel a lot and are interested in food; the customers are demanding and that keeps standards really high.”

Diners can book in for their taste of the inaugural Visa Wellington On a Plate Award winning menu at The White House now. Choose any two courses plus a glass of regional Wellington wine for $45. View the full menu here and phone the restaurant on 04 385 8555 to make your booking. Visa Wellington On a Plate runs until Sunday 26 August.

About Visa Wellington On a Plate

New Zealand’s largest and tastiest culinary festival, Visa Wellington On a Plate, is serving good times and great deals from August 10-26. Get your knives and forks out for a feast of experiences to please every palate and budget.

The festival centrepiece is DINE Wellington, a fortnight where over 100 of the region's finest eateries offer lunchtime set menus and delectable dinner deals. This year will also see the return of the popular ‘battle of the Burger’, Burger Wellington, and a bevy of 111 events including Beervana, the New Zealand Chocolate Festival and Wellington Fisher & Paykel MasterClass.

Visit to book events and browse the selection of DINE Wellington menus.


Positively Wellington Tourism (regional tourism organisation) and Grow Wellington (regional economic development agency) established the Visa Wellington On a Plate festival in 2009 to showcase the region’s food and beverage sector, and to develop culinary tourism in the region. The two organisations plan and market the event in liaison with the food sector and hospitality industry.

Visa Wellington On a Plate 2012 runs from August 10-26. For more information visit

Visa is the naming rights sponsor of Visa Wellington On a Plate. Visa Entertainment gives Visa Credit, Debit or Pre-paid cardholders access to concert pre-sales, added value offers and competitions. There is no cost to join the programme. By registering your email address you'll be sent emails about the hottest pre-sales and offers.


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