My Local Diary – September 2022

Hey my lovely readers, I thought I would get back into doing a monthly round up of what I enjoyed locally, or on my adventures.

August would’ve been a cool month to write about as I went to Queensland, but I think I’ll do a separate post on that, so watch this space.

September was a busy month work wise, as I had a holiday in the second half of August and it’s traditionally a month where people start to look at planning their trips for the year ahead, particularly around school holidays and summer in Europe. I did however have some nice foodie experiences and set some new boundaries to help protect my mental health and work life balance.

If you read my previous post, you would know that the past 8 months or so really rocked me and before I had my trip away I had reach burnout. Which isn’t nice for anyone. My new rules/boundaries were that I stopped working on my weekends, and I wanted to make sure I got out out of the office every day for a walk, even if 15 mins. (That reminds me I’ve stopped that the past couple of weeks!)

One thing I recommend to anyone who is struggling is to talk about it. I can be pretty closed up sometimes with my emotions and I guess I was normalising the stress we were under but talking about it helped me realise that I wasn’t alone and that changes absolutely needed to happen. I came across this quote on my Facebook feed around this time and it really sat with me. It was just what I needed at that point of time.

Onto some foodie stuff, as I had some delicious treats in September. It was a good month. The first Saturday I had off, I went to meet my sistra as we hadn’t caught up since I was away. It was a shite day in Wellington, with sideways rain and intense winds (yep pretty standard), but we got out to try a cafe called Myrtle that we’ve been meaning to get to for ages. Now if you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you’d know that I have not eaten gluten/dairy and sometimes grains due to having gut issues caused by poor diet and likely drinking for a long period of time. Since I have given up drinking, this has improved drastically and I have recently found myself being able to tolerate gluten again in doses which is very exciting! This meant I had to order one of their beautiful looking pies, which was made with Wagyu beef and aged cheddar – just look at it ❤

The place was heaving, despite it being a crappy day there was a constant line of people out the door! We also ordered a cookie and a small donut type thing which was sooo good. I recommend trying Myrtle for coffee (as this was also good) and anything baked! Yum.

Ooooo another delicious place we went to was Chaat street. This is an Indian street food style restaurant which has been around for a little while (as in a year or two) but only in a permanent location since this year. They ran a pop up last year in the LTD space on Dixon street and are now located on Victoria street in the small place that once housed The Ramen Shop amongst other things. In Wellington on a Plate, they had a very popular burger entry that went along and won! It sounded delicious and I had been keen to try it so I was excited that they were serving it for another month. Sistra and I went along one lunchtime to try it out and here it is. Just yum.

The pattie was made from potato and spices, and there were crunchy chickpea noodles, Fix and Fogg Smoke and Fire peanut butter, coriander, onions, and a tamarind chutney in a masala butter brioche bun. The chips were coated in kala masala and the sauce on the side was delish. So good! I am really keen to go back there to try there other menu items as it looks delicious.

Since giving up drinking in 2020, there has been a vast improvement in non-alcoholic options in the market. I wasn’t really a beer drinker when I gave up booze, but I have found the AF beer options rather delicious. My local supermarket is often bringing new ones to the shelf and I tried this one called Fill Yer Boots which was pretty good! It’s quite a fruity but full bodied IPA and definitley best in a glass.

One thing I have enjoyed doing again is spending time in the kitchen on the weekends making things that take too long in the week. Mid September I ended up making kimchi AND lasagne in one day. It was a good day. For my kimchi I use this recipe as it’s super easy and tastes delicious. It is super stinky though so I have to be home alone when I eat it haha.

For the lasagne, I had not made one successfully before, as the pasta was either too hard, the sauce too watery and to be honest I don’t think I used enough cheese. I combined a recipe using a spaghetti sauce from Amy and Jacky who have their own blog where I make a lot of my pressure cooker dishes from, and then a Hairy Bikers recipe where they use ricotta and mozzarella in the place of bechamel which made it nice and easy. Oh my goodness it was AMAZING. You can see by the pic the amount of cheese used. I am happy to make again and post a recipe if you would like. How about if 5 people comment on this post then I will 😉

Where our offices are located in the city is right across the road from a relatively new foodcourt called 18 Willis, it’s like a gourmet food court that has pretty good local foodie names and delicious newcomers too. A new place that has opened is called Manilla Eats which do these amazing Buddha Bowls and I got a little bit hooked on them for awhile there. This photo is a bit poor quality sorry, but will give you an idea. You choose your base of either noodles or rice, have a choice of 2 salads, then they add ‘crunchies’ which include seeds, noodles and something else I can’t remember. They then have a handful of different meat dishes to add, including sisig, lechon kiwali, braised pork etc, so good! You can add a couple of sauces, I love a coconut one they do. For a large it’s $16.50 but will keep you full for the rest of the day you’ll probably only need a small dinner!

Next excellent foodie experience was at Margot – a new addition to the Newtown food scene. It’s a tiny wee restaurant tucked down a side street with a lovely homely feel. It used to house Mason, which was a small plates restaurant serving up unique flavours and great cocktails, so I think a lot of people had high expectations for Margot but are not disappointed. I went with sistra as my birthday dinner, as that’s our thing now, we shout each other to a nice restaurant of our choice for our birthdays as it’s neither of our partner’s ‘thing’. We were seated at the window which is actually nice and spacious, and fun to watch people trying to park in one of the tight carparks across the road. Serving us was one of the owners herself, Juno, who is a familiar face in the Wellington hospitality scene. She was so helpful with her recommendations and we felt we had just the right amount of food. You can see below the pics of the menu and excuse the poor photos of the food etc but it was night time and I wasn’t expecting to be posting them on my blog haha. They do a non-alcoholic soda every day and that day it was a quince shrub which was delicious! All the food is using mainly local vegetables or seafood, with one or two meat dishes and it changes based on what’s available too. I really recommend heading here for a fancy, but homely feel and something different!

Okay bad photo quality alert but this is worth sharing as it was delicious. I felt like making a ramen style dish and I’ve had a lot of chicken bones in the freezer that I needed to use up. I chucked one in the pressure cooker with some freeze dried mushrooms (I just used half a mixed pack I bought from the supermarket) and then some garlic, onion, star anise and peppercorns. Cooked it for an hours and drained and simmered on the stove top a little longer with some miso, tomato paste, sesame oil and soy sauce until it reduced a tiny bit and it was the right richness. We then pan fried some chicken and coriander dumplings from House of Dumplings, added some more freeze dried mushrooms, and served it with soba noodles, beansprouts, and spring onions. We topped it with this incredible crunchy chilli oil that we’re now obsessed with! So good. So here’s a crappy pic 😂

Ooo another delicious thing I made in September was an oyster mushroom curry. A friend of mine has been working on her garden and had a surplus of number of things, including oyster mushrooms! She brought round a container full and I made an Indian style curry which was super delicious. Plant based and super filling/satisfying. Happy to share the recipe if 5 people comment below 😏

Wow okay this is a long post, you can tell I got my food mojo back in September 😂 right last one for you. This place is one of my favs and it’s a little hidden gem in Wellington in my opinion. I met a friend for dinner who’s also a fellow foodie and we shared a meat and veggie platter as you’ll see in the photo below. The place is called Mother Of Earth Coffee and it’s a family run Ethiopian restaurant. The breads around the side are gluten free and they do a full vegan platter too which is also delicious. You can choose from a range of dishes, but I love the platters as you get to try a bit of everything! They’re only $45 too, and you could easily share between 3 or even 4 of you 😊

Alright massive respect if you got this far, thanks for reading and I promise I won’t waffle on so much in future posts 🥰 I’m off to Fiji now so I’ll be reporting back on my return!

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