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 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!)....
Cityscape Eating & Drinking
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Category Eating & Drinking

The first thing that hits you when you walk into new-look The Asiatique is the mouth-watering, multi-layered aromas of made-from-scratch traditional Thai and Peranakan Malaysian Nyonya street food. Hanging heavy in the air and rich with the promise of deliciousness to come, the fragrance is an intoxicating blend of fresh lemon grass, chilli, limes, coriander, garlic and ginger, and one that’s bound to have you reaching for the menu stat. Formerly Fusion @ The Asiatique, the Sydenham Asian-themed oasis has switched up the menu and décor, narrowing their once diverse offering to focus on tricked-up Malay and Thai (with a nod to Vietnam via their fresh rolls). You’ll find a retro French-Asian aesthetic; an old cooker in the corner and jars of palm sugar alongside fresh limes, chillies and an old Imperial typewriter, vintage suitcases piled high above the bar, an intriguing wall of conical hats as art and, rounding out...
Cityscape Eating & Drinking
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Category Eating & Drinking

  The prohibition is over with the opening of the slinky, speakeasy cool of O.G.B Bar & Café resplendently housed in the grand, sandstone glory of the iconic, heritage-listed Old Government Building (see what they did there?) that’s perched on the corner of Cathedral Square. Welcoming you with the mint, Bugsy Malone-style Austin out front, O.G.B is perfectly-placed and tricked out for a sophisticated snifter, late night bite, brekkie (from 6.30am) or bowling up to the Square’s only window bar, where retro-hip bar staff rocking suspenders and bowlers dispense classic cocktails, an international round-up of tap beers (Japan, Denmark, Czech Republic and, a little closer to home, Amberley) and bottled craft beers, Kiwi wines (alongside a few Aussie imports), French bubbles, and an intriguing selection of ‘interesting reds’ ideal for exploring over the colder months. Resplendent in retro-cool with swag for days, the dark wood interior beyond the funky green...
Cityscape Eating @
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Category Eating @

With 80s tunes rocking the sound system, a funky new interior created after a rustic revamp and a fine menu of epically-honed gastropub fare, the reborn Merrin Street Brewery Bar has swag in spades. The venue formerly known as the Monteith’s Brew Bar located in Avonhead Mall might have changed its name, but its signature legendary West Coast hospitality, and famed line-up of Monteith’s craft beers and Kiwi wines, continues the legacy of this neighbourhood fave. It’s a crackin’ autumn afternoon when we roll up with some serious hunger pangs and, after walking through the sun-drenched outdoor area, are welcomed by huge friendly grins from the staff and the slick new aesthetic, where righteous multi-coloured rough-cut coloured feature walls meet the industrial edge of chunky wooden copper-nailed tables. In a nod to the bar’s West Coast roots, a boar’s head lords over proceedings from over the fireplace. Behind a well-stocked...
Cityscape Eating & Drinking
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Category Eating & Drinking

You might, like The Boomtown Rats, not be too fond of Mondays, but (trust us) you’re gonna love the all-new, revamped The Monday Room. The former post-quake party palace which endeared itself to the city after seeing Christchurch through some dark times has undergone a remarkable transformation. Fittingly, and reflecting the city’s own spirits, the mood has been lifted with a brighter, earthier makeover in line with its new, seasonally-driven food focus. The once dark wood panelling has been white-washed and the science lab element switched out for a more chilled vibe courtesy of the crackle and pop of vinyl and a herb garden feature wall. Adding a retractable roof to the outdoor back area has extended the restaurant space, truer to the venue’s new focus, and has created a cosy and well-lit dining space. Thankfully, the slick cocktail aesthetic remains: pressed ceiling, exposed brick and encyclopaedia-lined bar (hey, if...
Cityscape Eating & Drinking
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Category Eating & Drinking

The Dirty Land’s new bar manager Jack Moloney puts an exotic spin on the classic Mai Tai for autumn. FIXIN’S 30ml Pussers Overproof Rum15ml Grand Marnier15ml Kraken Black Spiced Rum15ml Orgeat syrup15ml fresh lime juice45ml pineapple juice METHOD Chill a 12oz short glass with ice. Add all the ingredients apart from the Kraken Black Spiced Rum to an ice-filled shaker. Shake until frothy, tip ice out of glass and double strain over fresh ice. Layer Kraken Black Spiced Rum over top by pouring down a bar spoon. Garnish with a mint sprig and a wedge of lime....
Cityscape Eating & Drinking
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Category Eating & Drinking

With entry via off-the-hook samurai sword door handles, you just know that what’s behind Empire’s spanking new doors is going to be on the razor’s edge of cool. Having mercilessly teased us for months with its classy exterior of grey stone, darkened windows and molten neon signage, last night’s VIP reveal could have registered on the Richter scale with the number of jaws hitting the floor as guests entered what is destined to become one of the city’s favourite after dark haunts. Completing their trifecta of St Asaph Street hotspots, the team behind Baretta and The Cuban bring us a classic, regal taste of Japan with their scorching new entry into the hospo scene. Precision pimped with Geisha elegance, Empire is dark and cavernous with nods to Japanese refinement through well-appointed artefacts. A series of intimate booths flank the wall, jewelled with an inferno of glistening red tiles. Behind the...
Cityscape Eating & Drinking
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Oi! Stir up the crew and get you and them down to Dux Central stat as the central city venue celebrates the world's most beloved bivalve mollusc with its grand Oyster Shuck Off today and tomorrow (Saturday 19th March) from 12 noon and onto the evening. With help from Theo's Fisheries they've ordered in a mighty big, mighty fresh shipment of every gourmet's favourite shellfish, the Bluff Oyster, and are popping 'em out in front of your eyes and firing them out to enthusiasts either natural, Kilpatrick style, or deep fried in beer batter by the half-dozen and dozen – or rocked in a shot solo with vodka and spiced tomato juice.  We've given these bad boys a crack and trust us, they’re seriously easy to plough through! Plus, of course, you're at the Dux, so you can wash those wee suckers down with something from their selection of nearly...
Cityscape Eating & Drinking
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Category Eating & Drinking

Posing one of the city's most delicious dilemmas, the crew at Orleans have put three bodacious shakes to the vote (Banoffee, Oreo and Maple Bacon) to combo with their famous monthly (and possibly world famous) Chicken Waffles on Wednesday for a Shakes & Waffles extravaganza on 30 March. For just $12 you’ll get a killer serving for their legendarily fierce Orleans Waffle & Fried Chicken, along with the most popular shake in the vote! We road-tested these bad boys and immediately booked a table, hankering for another taste of their life-changing Maple Bacon creation. Cast your vote (wisely) at their Facebook page ... and we'll see you down there at the end of the month! OrleansStrange’s Lane89 Lichfield Street03 365 7312www.orleans.co.nz  ...
Cityscape Foodie File
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Category Foodie File

Revving up for another big year – maybe its biggest ever – The Christchurch Food Show is once again all set to have us salivating and rushing home eagerly to try new ideas in the kitchen. Held from the 8th to the 10th of April 2016, at Horncastle Arena, it’s got some exciting new features in store this year in the forms of the Artisan Village and Street Food Alley. The Artisan Village will be a specialist area at the show devoted to all things handmade, traditional and small-batch, with local producers and famers’ market faves such as Lovat Venison, Chorizo Garcia, Be Nourished and The Sausage Shed showcasing their lovingly produced and delicious wares. Over at the new Street Food Alley meanwhile, you’ll find a place to satisfy the hunger that looking at and sampling all the delicious food at the show can work up, with primo ready-to-eat street...