Eating & Drinking

Here’s the inside word on Christchurch restaurants, cafés and bars. Whether you’re looking for a casual neighbourhood eatery or fine dining, a chilled-out café for Sunday brunch or a fast caffeine fix on the way to work, a cool wine bar or a happening bar where you can dance all night, we’ve got it (along with recipes, tips and the latest new gourmet foods to fill your pantry).

Cityscape Eating & Drinking
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Category Eating & Drinking

Maddison’s Restaurant’s inaugural seasonal Paddock to Plate dinner on July 14th is set to be a very special occasion for Christchurch foodies. The seven-course dinner showcases Canterbury's best produce, as well as offering palate cleansers and wine-matching from Pegasus Bay Wines, and is set to be an outstanding showcase for both the Maddison’s team and Canterbury’s fantastic produce, with every ingredient sourced as locally as possible.A representative from Pegasus Bay Winery will talk guests through the wine and why it’s so perfectly matched with the food, and chef Simo Abbari will also elaborate on the special dishes on offer during the evening. Take a look at this menu and get excited in a mouth-watering way:On Arrival Whole roasted shoulder of lamb, with pancakes, pickles, hoisin sauce and chilli. Entrée Courses Fresh Market Fish Tartar with corn curd, popped corn, miso butter, and seaweed. Duck and Quail Pastilla with pear, orange and...
Cityscape Eating @
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Orleans is the kind of place the word “moody” was invented for. When we open the big door in Strange’s Lane and head in (in the early evening; such is the popularity of the place that it’s the only booking we can get!) we’re greeted by the soft glow of candles amidst the dimly-lit, darkly stained interior. Voodoo-esque figurines and photographs of jazz musicians look down on us from up near the high ceiling, and the neon behind the bar (the brightest thing in the room) beckons with a warm yellow glow. It all feels rather like we’ve stumbled through a portal to a laidback jazz club haunt on the Louisiana bayou somewhere.Perusing the fierce new winter menu and deciding we’re hungry, we back ourselves to tackle the whole pound rump steak, chargrilled and served with heaping helpings of dirty black rice and béarnaise sauce, also opting for the Caesar...
Cityscape Eating @
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There’s an element of New York cool to our very own Belgian Beer Café Torenhof – specifically, it recalls the Big Apple’s penchant for tucking killer watering holes and dining hot spots in unusual and unassuming locales. You can’t help but be reminded of this as you enter Christchurch’s hallowed ground of fine Belgian ales and European cuisine mastery via The Colombo’s car park. If there’s an additional sense of déjà vu once you’re inside the reinstated Belgian Beer Café Torenhof’s 1920s-hip time capsule, too, it’s on account of the entire fit-out (sans a few broken glasses) being relocated from their old central city venue and repurposed into its current digs following the quakes.The establishment expresses its anachronistic Belgian ‘brown bar’ bent via the familiar dark wood panelling and bevelled edge mirrors, sturdy dark-wood furniture, leather booth seating, deco lighting and vintage maps, paintings, and retro Belgian beer paraphernalia decorating the walls...
Cityscape Eating @
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With the sun streaking through the canopy of trees, the chorus of birdsong and the glittering Heathcote River silently snaking its way below, The Brickworks’ beer garden is channelling some serious urban oasis action. It’s a mid-winter day, but in this stunning location perched at the foot of the Cashmere Hills in the full afternoon sun we find ourselves, incredulously, having to remove the protective layers hurriedly thrown on earlier in the day between sips of frosty beer. Nearby, some industrial outdoor heating is ready to keep things toasty when the temperature drops, but we won't be needing it today. Inside, owner Angela Spyve has spruced up the iconic local, imbibing it with a cosy, rustic aesthetic and a relaxed, casual vibe. At its heart sits a killer, double sided-brick fireplace, perfect for those cooler evenings, which separates the bar (complete with enormous, curved screened TVs for serious sport hounds)...
Cityscape Eating & Drinking
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Category Eating & Drinking

Cityscape checks out Mexico's new Winter menu. Mexico launched its new winter menu recently, turning up the heat just in time for the chilly (or should that be chilli?) season with new dishes such as the new Pipian Chicken and Ancho Dry Rubbed Prawn (pictured below) Tacos and Crab Albondigas, as well as bringing back old favourites like the Lime Curd and Vanilla Cheesecake, Fried Chicken and Esquites. The Cityscape crew dropped in to their Manchester Street operation to check the new goodies out for ourselves – just for scientific purposes, you understand – and had soon ordered ourselves up a well-laden table of the new hotness. Most found it difficult to go past the deliciousness of the new pork cheek barbacoa taco with chilli and pineapple salsa, plantain chips, and pickled pineapple, but the beef arrachera taco with whipped garlic, grapes, saffron stained apple, almond crumbs and bursting with fiery pink...
Cityscape Eating & Drinking
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Category Eating & Drinking

Down at the Belgian Beer Cafe Torenhof (more commonly known as The ‘Hof to their friends) they know you love beer, but also know you love a good wine and food match too, which is why they're stoked to be able to bring you the Belgian Beer Café Torenhof’s Winemakers’ Dinner Series, which kicks off on Wednesday, June 22 with an extravagant food-and-wine showcase for the top drops Martinborough Vineyard. With a new dinner each month until September, each delectable dining experience over the four months of the series will combine a specially-created four-course menu perfectly paired to a flight of fantastic wines from some of the country’s (and Australia’s!) best wineries – including national favourites Pegasus Bay Winery, Marisco Vineyards and Wither Hills – for just $85 per person (or $75 pre-registration for those organised enough to get in early!). BBC executive chef Friedrich and his crew will be slacing...
Cityscape Foodie File
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Category Foodie File

With the resurgence of making things yourself and the added pressure reality television cooking shows are piling onto even the most basic concept of hosting a dinner party, there’s never been a better time to take charge in the kitchen and upskill your at-home gourmet game. Read on for the lowdown on where and how to learn to make your own cheese, pasta and preserves and through to doling out delicious desserts, the satisfaction of baking your own bread, curing your own meats and pulling off an epic, multi-course dinner party for the ages – who says you can’t take the heat? As luck would have it, rather than taking the ‘a magician never reveals his tricks’ approach, many of our city’s top chefs are only too happy to let the rest of us in on their killer kitchen secrets, with a number of Christchurch’s best eateries running associated cooking...
Cityscape Eating @
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The butter-poached free-range egg sits atop the thick, lightly-caramelised slices of dry-aged sirloin, its startlingly orange yolk glistening like a rare jewel. Yielding under the knife before breaking, its molten gold contents spill over the steak and cascade down the deep crevices of tender, rare beef in a display of next-level gastro porn. It’s a sight likely to elicit a signature gasp and saucy superlative from domestic goddess/temptress Nigella Lawson, but it has me hurriedly reaching for the chunky, hand-cut golden fries to mop up the sprawling goodness. Ensconced in the swank surrounds of the Heritage Christchurch Hotel’s Old Government Building, the culinary maestros at Continental have breathed new life into Maddison’s Restaurant, the former breakfast-only venue now also rocking fierce lunch and dinner menus. Sustainable, locally-sourced and in-season fare is the order of the day, in alignment with the hotel chain’s Good Food Project. Don’t let the words ‘hotel...
Cityscape Recipes
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Category Recipes

Up your gourmet game with Dragons Den Social Lounge’s international award-winning chef. CHICKEN, CHORIZO & PRAWN PAELLA (SERVES 4 – 6) Shopping List 2 cloves of garlic (peeled and finely diced)1 onion (peeled and finely diced)70g Spanish-style chorizo (sliced)100g pancetta (thinly sliced)2 skinless, boneless free-range chicken thighs (cubed)100g prawns100ml olive oil1 tspn sweet smoked paprikaPinch of saffron1 red capsicum (deseeded and roughly chopped)6 green beans (sliced)6 cherry tomatoes (halved) 1/2 broccoli head (cut into 1cm pieces) 150ml tomato purée1.1L chicken stock300g paella riceFresh flat-leaf parsley (roughly chopped)1 lemonMaking It Happen In a separate saucepan heat the chicken stock. Pour oil into a paella pan on a medium heat, add the garlic, onion, chorizo, chicken, prawns and paprika, and fry for around 5 minutes, stirring regularly. As the chorizo, chicken and prawns reach the point of just being cooked through, remove and place on a tray or plate until the final...
Cityscape Parties & Venues
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Category Parties & Venues

In a super funky hybrid of exclusive function space and killer shrine to all that’s holy in the world of Jim Beam, new Victoria Street addition Beam Gallery is the country’s undisputed mothership for bourbon aficionados. Showcasing Christchurch bourbon kingpin Frank van Schaijik’s epic, more-than-four-decade-spanning (and world-leading!) collection of Jim Beam decanters, memorabilia and collectibles, this is one jaw-droppin’ space to rock your next soirée, launch or corporate event. Passing through its unassuming entrance via near-life-size statues of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, visitors are greeted by glittering floor-to-ceiling glass cabinets running the length of the space along either wall. These proudly display more than 1,800 pieces of Jim Beam paraphernalia from sports cars, sporting heroes, wild animal and iconic effigy decanters through to super-exclusive limited edition bottles, World Fair one-offs and three each of the ridiculously-rare silver cowboy and cowgirl decanters (there are only four of each in the world!)....