#navbar-iframe { display: none; }

« Home | Wellington pop-up restaurant in Sydney » | Efendy, Balmain » | Matterhorn, Wellington » | Rockpool Bar and Grill, Sydney » | Logan Brown, Wellington » | Interview with sake master Toshi Maeda + win a cho... » | Masuya, Sydney » | Wellington on a Plate 2010 » | Ocean Room, Sydney » | Win movie tickets to The Kids Are All Right »

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Boulcott Street Bistro, Wellington

Rex Morgan, head chef of Boulcott Street Bistro, will be the final chef rattling at the pans at the Wellington pop-up restaurant in Sydney. We were fortunate to visit his restaurant, a charming gothic cottage wedged amongst office blocks and cement buildings, during last month's trip to Wellington,

Nestled behind a white picket fence, the cottage is a surprise but welcome sight in the inner city jungle. The house was originally built in the late 1870s, a wedding gift from a well-heeled Wellington lad to his lucky bride. In 1991 it opened as Boulcott Street Bistro, and has attracted a legion of loyal diners ever since.

We hang our coats on the coat rack under the stairs, feeling like we've just entered a family home for dinner. Copper pots hang gleaming in the open kitchen, and after unwinding with locally brewed Tuatara pilsners at the bar (the wine selection is particularly impressive), we're escorted to our table, a French bistro style dining room that feels straight out of Paris. Lighting is soft, romantic and decidedly photo-unfriendly.

Anchovies in puff pastry

We all marvel at the amuse bouche, not for its complexity but its simple elegance that would translate so easily for home dinner parties. Fillets of anchovy have been sandwiches between layers of puff pastry and then sliced and baked to create gorgeous anchovy-studded straws that are flaky and salty.

Gremolata crumbed calamari, sauce tartare and lemon
(WOAP set menu - entree)

Some of us opt for the special Wellington on a Plate set menu whilst others order a la carte. Gremolata-crumbed calamari is one of Boulcott's signature dishes and we can see why, the fresh calamari pieces soft and tender beneath the light crumb coating.

Pork rillette macaroni $17
with gruyere, crumbed free range egg, parmesan and thyme sauce

I'm less keen on John's pork rillette macaroni, which isn't as stringy with cheese as I'd expected, and the texture of this comfort food dish seems interrupted by shreds of pork. The crumbed free range egg is quite a marvel on the other hand, a deep-fried parcel that bursts forth with runny egg yolk upon piercing with a fork.

Lamb shanks with minted peas and pomme puree
(WOAP set menu - main option 1)

It's raining outside during dinner which makes the arrival of lamb shanks even more alluring. The meat has been slow cooked so it falls off the bone, served on a bed of mashed potato with green peas and lentils.

Wairarapa wild mushroom risotto
(WOAP set menu - main option 2)

Wild mushroom risotto is just what the comfort food doctor ordered, plump gains of rice and chunky mushrooms cooked in a rich stock with a watercress garnish. I sample a spoonful and then go back for more!

Venison and boudin noir $37
with chestnut ravioli, vincotto reduction and white bean cassoulet

My slices of venison are a little on the chewy side with sinew, but I'm more interested in the boudin noir, a blood pudding that is deliciously earthy in flavour. The chestnut ravioli is also a winner - another dinner party idea I may have to borrow!

Citron tart and candied zest ice cream with mandarin jelly $16

We conclude with trio of fruit-based desserts. Citrus tart is zingy and the candied zest ice cream has quite an alcoholic kick to it.

Creme brulee with poached seasonal fruit $16

Can you ever have too much creme brulee? This one is a traditional version, a sweet silky custard protected by a rink of thick golden toffee. Poached quinces to the side offer a counterbalancing tartness.

Rhubarb crumble with nut brown butter ice cream $16

I've chosen the rhubarb crumble, hidden beneath a dense layer of sweet oat crumble. The offer of nut brown butter ice cream had ultimately swayed my decision and I find the flavours in this intriguing, alternating between sweet, bitter and rich.

Keen to try Rex Morgan's food?

Enter the Freebie Friday competition to win dinner for two at the Wellington pop-restaurant in Sydney on Friday September 24, 2010 when Rex himself will be heading up the kitchen.

This event is currently sold out so make sure you enter now. Entries close on Thursday September 16. -> More info on the pop-up restaurant (limited walk-up seats are available).

Boulcott Street Bistro
99 Boulcott Street
Wellington, New Zealand
Tel: +64 (04) 499 4199

Opening hours:
Lunch Monday to Friday from 12 noon
Dinner Monday to Sunday from 6pm

Grab Your Fork dined at Boulcott Street Bistro as a guest of Positively Wellington Tourism for Wellington on a Plate. Wellington on a Plate ran from August 14-29, 2010.
Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Wellington on a Plate 2010 - Devour Gala Dinner
Wellington on a Plate 2010 - Logan Brown

Wellington on a Plate 2010 - Matterhorn
Wellington on a Plate 2010 - Osteria Del Toro
Wellington on a Plate 2010 - Petone Food Tour
Wellington on a Plate 2010 - Te Papa Museum
Wellington on a Plate 2010 - Wellington Pop-Up Restaurant

8 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 9/04/2010 01:58:00 am


  • At 9/04/2010 11:24 am, Anonymous Anna Johnston said…

    Beautiful, love these places nestled in amongst modern citylife. Food looks incredible. Have really enjoyed the NZ trip. Thanks for sharing.

  • At 9/04/2010 12:20 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Oh, my heart pounded at the very first photo with all those gorgeous gleaming copper(?) pots and pans!

    And then I want anchovy straws, chestnut ravioli, and brown butter ice cream served in those pans, thanks :)

  • At 9/04/2010 2:26 pm, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    Anchovy straws - what a brilliant yet simple idea. Bet they'd be perfect as a snack with cold beer...and I don't even drink beer!

  • At 9/04/2010 5:22 pm, Anonymous john@heneedsfood said…

    Oh those anchovy straws were beautiful weren't they? Shame my macaroni was a little more 'home-style' than I expected but that egg was brilliantly constructed

  • At 9/05/2010 12:26 pm, Anonymous billy@atablefortwo said…

    I loved the anchovy straws, what a clever idea, definitely will be in the repository for my next dinner party. I also loved the grand marnier ice cream with the lemon tart.

  • At 9/05/2010 7:44 pm, Blogger Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said…

    Oh yes, the venue was challenging on a photography front. But the food was so good. The anchovies in puff pastry were fun and that tart were memorable!

  • At 9/09/2010 1:22 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Anna - Glad you've been enjoying the posts. There's more to come!

    Hi Hannah - Copper pots are always impressive, and yes, I loved all of those things too :)

    Hi mademoiselle delicieuse - It's a great idea. I'm totally stealing that as a canape idea for my next dinner party!

    Hi John - Your egg did look intriguing - I'm still not sure how they did it.

    Hi Billy - The grand marnier ice cream was pretty alcoholic! No wonder we had so much fun. lol

    Hi Peter G - Challenging is an appropriate one word for it! The tart was lovely and yes, I think everyone is stealing that anchovy idea!

  • At 1/08/2012 6:42 pm, Anonymous Martin said…

    I ate there recently and found the food to be the best I've ever had. This establishment is run by geniuses with food! It's exactly what you want for a meal you cannot get out of your mind for weeks later - because it was just that great that you will swim in its elegance for long after you've reluctantly left this great establishment. If you go to Wellington, as I did from Australia, and don't eat here, you've wasted your trip. I kid you not - the place is unbelievable - I've never eaten anywhere like it!!! Five star at a minimum, because there is no six.


Post a Comment

<< Home

      << Read Older Posts       |       >> Read Newer Posts