For all those who are convinced that no-one ever wins those in-store “be in the draw to win” things, I’m here to tell you that people do, because I did. Win, that is. Although winning sort of implies some effort on my part, which was no more than the arduous task of filling out my name and number, but still…I like to think of it as winning, because it was my name that was pulled out of the hat. Whose hat, you may ask? What did you win? I’ll tell you.
The hat belonged to On Tray’s Food Emporium (this will give you a clue as to the kind of prize it might be), On Tray’s being the foodie pit stop for all things yummy, in Petone, Wellington, NZ. I swear that I can never go into On Tray’s to pick up “one or two things” without coming out with about seventeen other things one simply must have in one’s pantry.
This isn’t an advertisement for them, so I’ll simply say that they specialise in gourmet yummies (crayfish oil! wagyu bundnerfleisch! so many cheeses!), and recommend a visit when you’re next in Petone. They also make you a coffee while you’re wandering around, so plan to spend some time there.
On to the prize…two luncheon vouchers to (wait for it)…Martin Bosleys! Hurrah! On Trays rang to tell me I’d been one of two lucky winners, and I did a happy dance and spent the rest of the day feeling very special. I’d been to His Bosleyness’s restaurant before, so knew I was in for a divine meal.
I decided to go with my Aunt, who had also been before, so we met and toddled off to the restaurant with tongues hanging out ever so slightly in anticipation. We went on a fairly quiet day, as they had only just opened up again for lunches after Christmas, and were thrilled to see the man himself in the restaurant – deep in consultation with people whom we hoped might be crayfish suppliers, and then striding in and out of the kitchen like a good restaurateur should. Perhaps we should have said hullo, but we didn’t like to bother a Kitchen God in his kitchen.
Although the vouchers entitled us to the Bistro menu, we decided to avail ourselves of the a la carte menu, and MB’s kindly said we could and they’d deduct the value of the vouchers – so all good. A little rhapsody is now coming about the starter we had – Stewart Island oysters, battered.
For those of you who have read other blogs of mine, you’ll know my views about the divinely perfect Bluff Oyster. I have now discovered (thank you, Martin) the bliss of the Stewart Island oyster. From the same part of the world, but not, it seems, subject to the seasonal quota which leaves Bluff Oyster afficionados sobbing outside their seafood shops. In other words, available all the time! The reason I’m so excited about this is the taste…they are definitely related to our dear friends the Bluffies. I promise I’ll stop talking about oysters in a minute – all that remains to be said is that not only were MB’s oysters beautifully, lightly battered, but they were served in a minature version of the frying basket you see in fish and chip shops. Perfect.
I won’t take you, dear long-suffering readers, through the entire meal – I will simply say that the amuse bouche definitely got the tastebuds going, the “Steakhouse Fish” with buttermilk fried onion rings was a classic, and the cardamon brulee (shared) with sorbet, popcorn and liquorice was a fragrant taste sensation.
So all in all a lovely experience, from the winning to the wining and the dining, and I would heartily recommend both OnTrays and Martin Bosleys, even without a voucher clutched in hand.