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Rain Check Magazine


Gastronomic Collision – Kiwi Tucker Meets French Finesse

  • Written by Chris Lee

Visa Wellington On a Plate, begins on August 11 this year, with 17 days of 100+ dining establishments presenting 100+ special menus. The city's local restaurants, cafes and catering businesses gather to celebrate the diversity of tastes, talents and showcase food and beverage as a key creative and collaborative outlet in Wellington.

You can fit in 34 meals out across the festival, assuming you're dining daily for both lunch and dinner; we'll save you the trouble of browsing through the programme and hours of scrolling through pages online - look no further than Hippopotamus Restaurant. With signature QT quirk, QT Museum Wellington's Hippopotamus has a culinary odyssey of childhood Kiwi favourites paired with the highest quality French cuisine.

To take part in this culinary extravaganza, establishments must enter with a Dine menu adhering to the festival's theme; celebrating food as part of New Zealand's culture. Executive Chef of Hippopotamus Restaurant, Laurent Loudeac is choosing to celebrate and challenge Kiwi comfort food. A gastronomic collision, of where Kiwi tucker meets French finesse, Loudeac has curated a three course meal inspired by Kiwi favourites, with his touch of fine dining delicacy and quality that Hippopotamus is known for.

Taking Kiwi staples such as Marmite, the humble meat pie and the Jaffa, Loudeac creates to represent the best of each cuisine, incorporating the finesse and quality that Hippopotamus has built its reputation on for the last decade. On his thought process Loudeac recalls, “Back in January, when asking myself 'what is contemporary cuisine New Zealand?' - I thought of the basics. Like getting a meat pie from the petrol station to hokey pokey ice cream from the dairy down the road. In order to interpret New Zealand's food culture, and what it means to me, I approached the unfamiliar with what I found familiar.”

Hippopotamus celebrates the role that food plays alongside other cultural forms that food is malleable to suits a range of dining. Taking the good ol' meat pie put and turning it into fine dining feast. Loudeac's Festival Dish, The Humble Kiwi Pie showcases the best that region has to offer; take Black Dog beer from down the road, braise wild venison leg from over the hill, Wairarapa, and Parkvale mushrooms which isn't far from the farm where the venison came from. In playful QT fashion, finish your festival experience with dessert taking inspiration from two quintessentially Kiwi lollies; Hokey Pokey or orange sensation, the Jaffa. To tease your taste buds, we can tell you the Milk & Honey will be an intricate marriage of hokey pokey, ANZAC biscuit crumbs, with a delicate burnt honey crémeux, buttermilk sorbet finished with a thyme and honey gel.  

Located on the third floor at QT Museum Wellington, Hippopotamus Restaurant has a long-lasting reputation as a place where guests can discover, entice and revel over first-class fare. It's not often you'll find Marmite in a French Onion Soup or the likes of a meat pie in the 5-star kitchen, however 17 days will see it part of regular lunch and Dinner service and hopefully a front runner at the 2017 Visa WOAP Festival Awards.

A collaborative indulgence between France and New Zealand begins Friday 11 August 2017.

For more information on Visa Wellington On Plate and Hippopotamus' Festival Menu, head to: www.VisaWOAP.com 

For more information on QT Hotels & Resorts, head to: www.qtwellington.com

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