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 @
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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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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...
Cityscape Gourmet Food
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Category Gourmet Food

Longing for a Euro-vacay but don’t have the time? Swing by the taste-makers extraordinaire at the Mediterranean Food Company and the delicious aromas and shelves piled high with delectable European deli-style goodies will have you thinking you’ve just stepped into a Tuscan market. To visit is to immediately long to cram as much of their premium product range as you can into your car for the trip home and start reaping the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. As a family business importing from other family businesses, the team at Mediterranean Food Company has the ability to source unique, authentic and hard to find boutique lines of exceptional coffees, very fine wines (including labels you’ll only find in store), Italian cheeses (including real parmigiano reggiano), 70 different shapes of pasta, salumi and genuine Parma ham (actually hailing from Parma!), an extensive range of extra-virgin olive oils from Spain, Greece, Italy and...
Cityscape Recipes
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Category Recipes

Up your gourmet game with Dragons Den Social Lounge’s international award-winning chef. Chilli Soy Dipping Sauce This multi-tasking Japanese-based dipping sauce is the perfect accompaniment to dumplings, gyoza, yum cha, most fried foods and could be sparingly used as a dressing in a Thai beef salad. At Dragons Den we pair it with our New Zealand King Salmon Tempura Noir Rolls (pictured). If you’re new to dashi (a broth made from water, kombu [dried kelp], and bonito fish flakes) and mirin (a sweet rice wine) you can pick up some dashi powder and a bottle of mirin from your local Asian Supermarket. SHOPPING LIST 1 cup dashi soup stock (or ¼ tsp dashi powder to 1 cup of water) ¼ cup mirin ¼ cup soy sauce ½ tbsp sugar ½ chilli (red with medium heat) sliced with seeds Fresh coriander leaves to taste. MAKING IT HAPPEN Put dashi, mirin, soy sauce,...
Cityscape Drinking @
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Category Drinking @

It’s an air of urban sophistication that awaits you at Mish Mash, the new central city eatery and bar that’s opened its doors at the corner of Manchester and St Asaph. Head in under the yellow sign and you’ll find yourself in a slick, relaxed lounge atmosphere, flanked on either side by post-quake Christchurch cool – on one wall a vibrant street art-style mural, and on the other an stylish arrangement of wooden pallets. The name’s not just random – Mish Mash blends a variety of influences from around the world in a unique, heady mix. The menu is an international smorgasbord, and the tempting cocktail list follows suit; keep it Snoop-Dogg-simple with Gin & Juice, a sharp combo of fresh orange, grapefruit cordial and Martin Millers gin snazzed up with Cloudy Bay Pelorus sparkling, go troppo with Loco For The Coco and its blend of Matusalem White rum, pressed...
Cityscape Eating & Drinking
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Category Eating & Drinking

The earthquakes shook more than the ground five years ago; social lives also took a hit as many of the city’s beloved watering holes and slinky restaurants and bars lay ruined. Fast forward five years and the Christchurch hospo scene has seen a massive resurgence transitioning from container bars and pop ups through to swanky post-quake affairs of old. With bar and restaurant levels in the city higher than before the earthquakes and more venues on the horizon, Cityscape caught up with some of Christchurch’s renowned hospitality operators and some new faces on how the city’s nightlife scene has changed, how to create a desirable venue and what we can expect in the future. TONY ASTLE, STEALTH HOSPITALITY The driving force behind some of the city’s most beloved and highly regarded dining and drinking spots dating back to popular underground Lichfield Street haunt The Licker Lounge back in the mid-90s,...