What do Salt n Pepa and the WLG Wellington Pop-up Restaurant in Fitzroy have in common?
Here I go, here I go, here I go again (again!)
Fellas, what’s my weakness? (Chocolate pavi!)
Why did I start this post with Salt n Pepa’s ‘Shoop?’ Well, the meal I had at the WLG Wellington pop-up restaurant on Saturday night had it goin on with something kinda wicked it made me wanna shoop shoop shoop. In fact, my table buddies that night were definitely singing to a chorus by the end of the meal, though, come to think of it, I don’t think they were singing to the tune of a rap song like I was….I guess I’m just too hood. Nonetheless, if you wanna have some fun, kick it with me and keep reading on.
I first read about this pop up wonder when the WLG Wellington pop-up restaurant made its Australian debut in Sydney and was wondering when they would come down to Melbourne. I think the Pop-up restaurant concept is the shizz and experienced it first hand when I visited Greenhouse by Joost Bakker last year and WLG is no exception given that the ingredients like the unbelievable lamb were brought in from New Zealand that included litres upon litres of beer my friends. The whole idea behind this genius concept, is to pamper taste buds around the globe by showcasing some of the best NZ produce cooked by renowned chefs from Wellington.
The beloved white baits
As soon as the WLG pop up in my hometown was confirmed, I immediately turned to my NZ food lover colleague and we both went absolutely bizerk. We were both beside ourselves. She’s quite an avid fan of the chefs that were coming down and the restaurants that they represent so she quickly ran through what I should order. Let’s just say that white baits was brought up repeatedly during the conversation- apparently they are considered gold. I was like“For realz, white baits. Really?!” The value of NZ white baits was then later reiterated on Saturday night when my fellow diners proclaimed that they were indeed…the bomb.
The launch of the WLG Wellington pop-up restaurant has caused so much frenzy that according to The Age, 1000 tickets were sold within 4 hours so I was lucky to score an invite – coincidentally, minutes before I was actually going to buy some tickets. Freaky…
As we were about to walk in, there was a sign at the door stating that they weren’t accepting any walk ins that night – most likely due to the never ending rain pour that day which meant that inside, it was super cramped. To start things off, I tried out the super refreshing Lavenders Green Lime cordial.
I want to start by saying that $35 for a 3 course meal packed with high quality NZ produce and cooked by some of the best chefs NZ has to offer is almost criminal – not that I’m complaining. Amazing value. Woah.
We start with the MEGA Taste of Wellington sharing plate fit with a snapshot of various nibbles from the region: nicely grilled Marlborough scallops on a smooth celeriac puree, manuka salt cured lamb shortloin with beetroot (first time I’d eaten cured lamb!), maple syrup smoked Regal King Salmon (award winning and is free of antibiotics and chemicals – loved this) with horseradish creme fraiche and little capers, Pig’s cheek ‘schnitzel’ with roast lemon chutney and some generously sized fried goat’s cheese balls with manuka honey and Kiwi chutney that I used as a spread for the soft bread.
I wanted need another plate!
Now, everyone I’d spoken to couldn’t speak highly enough of the lamb so I had to order this despite the temptation to try out the beef.
The Dukkah-crusted lamb rack with a braised lamb shoulder timbale served with wilted mixed greens just rocked my planet. As soon as our lamb mains arrived, the whole table was fixated on this beautifully presented fish and soon regretted not getting it. It was tender, juicy and perfectly charred and fatty with a slight but welcomed intensity brought on by the dukkah. I ate this thing until all the meat was totally stripped. I felt like taking the bones home so I could keep gnawing on them like a lollypop should be licked.
I love me some panna cotta and normally, I’d order this over any other dessert (except for creme brulee) but on ths poccasion, despite being initially won over by the waitress to try the panna cotta, I later changed my mind as my body was telling me I needed chocolate. I can’t argue with what the tummy wants plus I wanted something a little for sinful that night. *EVIL LAUGH*
A Whittaker’s Dark Chocolate Pavé rap tribute
I love you in your manuka honey creams, you give me nice dreams
You make me wanna scream, “Oooo, oooo, oooo!”
I like what ya do when you do what ya do
You make me wanna shoop.
It was a great experience and was slammin to mingle with our new table buddies where we talked shop, travel and of course, food ending it all with a superb cup of MOJO coffee. WLG…please come back next year!
Ending it with a rap
Thanks to @AngelaMoriarty for her slick rap contribution that sums up the experience:
Fine food packed in a stack,
Cooked up out the back,
Brother want to thank mother nature for a city like that!
UPDATE: And guess who’s coming downunder? None other than SALT N PEPA babay! They’re doing their thang at Palais Theatre this Saturday 3 December. I want tickets! I so wanna come on stage and sing shoop with them LOL
Cnr Gertrude & Napier St Fitzroy 3065
Tuesday 15 November – Sunday 27 November 6pm til late. Closed Mondays
Price: $35 for a 3 course meal
Though tickets have likely sold out at http://www.au.timeout.com/Melbourne they do accept limited walk ins so rock up real early
Food Rehab dined as a guest courtesy of Positively Wellington Tourism
If you’re not already signed up for updates from Food Rehab, get on the list and I’ll do my best to keep us learning about none-other than glorious, GLORIOUS food! Also, follow me on Facebook or Twitter if you have either of those addictive things.