The Playmaker
Let's play
PLAYMAKER
  • It's Monday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Wellington
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?
  • LET'S PLAY
18° & CLEAR SKY ON MONDAY 17 DECEMBER IN WELLINGTON
FOOD & DRINK

Hippopotamus' New Menu Features Venison Like You've Never Had It Before

The restaurant's new executive chef is breaking new ground with combinations like venison, raspberry meringue and kelp.
By John Son
December 04, 2018
  shares

Hippopotamus' New Menu Features Venison Like You've Never Had It Before

The restaurant's new executive chef is breaking new ground with combinations like venison, raspberry meringue and kelp.
By John Son
December 04, 2018
  shares

Venison, raspberry meringue and kelp might seem an unusual trio of flavours, but it's just one example of the bold new paths being forged by the new executive chef at QT Wellington's Hippopotamus.

Jiwon Do returns to Hippopotamus, where he formerly spent over five years as senior sous chef. Having also honed his craft at the likes of Martin Bosley's and Portlander, Do is now focused on taking Hippopotamus to exciting new territories.

Do's signature dish is the Le Chevreuil Sauvage. The 46-degree Wairarapa venison short loin comes wrapped in East Coast kelp and complemented by horopito, wild spinach, wood-ear mushroom, juniper berry jus, raspberry meringue, dry figs and gipsy bacon. The medley of textures and flavours is wickedly irresistible, beautifully presented and almost looks like a dessert that's too pretty to eat.

Do says his vision at Hippopotamus is to revive the nostalgia that surrounds fine dining. One look at his dishes and it's easy to see his game plan — they boast a hyperlocal element, focusing on foraged ingredients that lend a real earthy, homely feel to the food. It works superbly as a tribute to farm-to-plate dining, yet at the same time, Do manages to make the dishes jump out with playful flavour profiles and daring sweet versus savoury combinations.

It's an ethos that Do imbues in everything on the menu, from the starters to the mains and beyond. Le Saumon is another example — the seared Ora King salmon brings a welcome familiarity to the dish, which is complemented by touches such as the soy mirin cured egg yolk, pickled piko-piko and salmon roe on the side. Do is as meticulous as they come and makes sure the little things are looked after too. Even the palate cleanser sorbet presented before the mains, for instance, has been designed to be vegan-friendly. 

Do says that at the end of the day, he just wants to make people happy through food. And judging from the new menu at Hippopotamus, he's already doing an incredibly fine job.

Hippopotamus can be found inside QT Wellington, 90 Cable Street, Te Aro.

Published on December 04, 2018 by John Son

Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x