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).

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Bringing some Victorian grandeur back to the city (hurray!) after an all-too-long quake-enforced absence, Riccarton House is now fully restored, which means Riccarton House Bistro has re-opened to serve up delectable delights for both lunch and dinner in magnificent surroundings. Recent offerings on the regularly-updated menu include the angus rib eye steak with fondant potatoes, pickled vegetables, and rosemary jus – please, try not to drool on your keyboard – while if you’re looking for a fantastic lunch option on a weekend afternoon, it’s tough to go past the pulled pork sandwich with slaw and smoked capsicum aoli.Christchurch colonial history never tasted so delicious! www.riccartonhousebistro.co.nz...
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With sunny weekend arvos beckoning, it’s a great time to get out into the hinterland and discover some of our region’s spectacular food and wine offerings – all pretty much on our doorstep. Pegasus Bay WineryNamed the country’s best winery restaurant by Cuisine magazine for five consecutive years, this is a tough spot to beat for a long, languorous lunch. Enjoy the 2012 Chardonnay alongside the market fish, blood orange, fennel, green olives and homegrown globe artichoke purée. www.pegasusbay.comWaipara HillsThe rolling hills make for some spectacular views as you tuck into the Waipara Hills Café’s waldorf salad with chicken breast – it’s a great match to a glass or two of their Equinox Waipara Valley Riesling 2013, which recently picked up a Gold Medal in the 2014 Canterbury Wine Awards. www.waiparahillswines.co.nzHinton’sHinton's sneaks  a bit of Central Otago into our local wine scene, with a Christchurch-based restaurant/cellar door for their primarily Otago-based...
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Food and wine match experts Cloudy Bay are turning their expert eyes towards one of the world’s most quintessential culinary pairings this month with  the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc & Seafood Trail. More than 20 of New Zealand’s top restaurants around the country are participating in the trail, which follows up on the success of Cloudy Bay's similarly-premised duck-and-pinot trail earlier in the year. They join restaurants in a number of countries  around the world also particpating, including Australia, Singapore, Japan, China, and Hong Kong. Christchurch restaurants particpating include local faves JDV, Aikmans, Baretta, King of Snake and Chinwag, each of which will in offer up a signature seafood dish paired with a glass of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc for a set price.  Foodies are invited to share their trail experience through the Cloudy Bay Facebook app. The app invites people to create and organise their very own tasting events. People...
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After an all-too-long absence, Christchurchs' perennial Thai-fusion fave Chinwag Eathai is back! Keeping a cosy local feel to his eatery empire, city hospitality maven Tony Astle has re-opened Chinwag at 104 Victoria Street (where it sits close to exisitng venues Mexicanos and King of Snake). Lurking subtly behind street front greenery, the spacious new Chinwag rocks a slick new look. It's all about the food though really, and one of the hot new features (literally) is the made-to-order street grill, where the likes of spiced lamb ribs, Udon pork sausages and charred beef sirloin with "crying tiger" chilli sauce are whipped up before your eyes. The main menu offers a wide selection of both popular Thai favourites (such as Massamun chicken curry) as well as the more exotic, including the caramelised pork hock with chilli vinegar, and you can go lighter with a tasy Thai salad or tuck into a whole...
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Looking to get your Flintstones on, cooking a slab of meat to your liking on a scorching hunk of rock? Then you can’t go past spending a winter’s afternoon or evening stone-grilling your heart out fireside in the comfy surrounds of Belfast’s Styx and Stone. Think leather couches and a cosy/moody ambience, peppered with antiques (ramping up the nostalgic funk), while Monteiths on tap and stellar Kiwi wines are available alongside a glittering display of top shelf tipples. Hit them up on the weekend when the tables are moved after the dinner service to make way for the dance floor and the party really gets started – yabba dabba doo! www.styxandstone.co.nz...
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A pleasant wee culinary ripple has hit the city throughout July as Cloudy Bay Wines works with five top chefs in Christchurch for the 4th international Cloudy Bay Pinot & Duck Tasting Trail, giving gourmands the chance to feast on fowl. Local favourites King of Snake (local Canter Valley duck leg, marinated, steamed, boned, pressed, crisp-fried and served with wok fried greens and plum sauce), The Monday Room (their entry is still under wraps), JDV (Sichuan spiced crispy duck, steamed bread, daikon, cucumber and hoisin, pictured above) Baretta (duo of roast Canterbury duck breast and orange anise braised duck leg with hazelnut gnocchi, pomegranate molasses and apple, pictured below), Bloody Mary’s (duo of Canterbury duck with pickled mushrooms, pomme sauté and cherry jus) and Aikmans (two choices: confit duck with tamarillo and chocolate ravioli and a wild mushroom medley and smoked duck breast supreme on a bed of spinach, roasted carrot...
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Sick of not being able to source the fancy ingredients to pull off a slick cocktail or jazz up your dinner party? Swing by the epicureans at Decant in Riccarton where a huge range of French and European wines sits alongside more than 20 varieties of French cheese (think Bleau d'Auvergne and Comte) and escargots, foie gras, caviar, and Confit de Canard (duck in a can). This gourmand’s go-to not only takes the ‘hard to get’ out of ‘hard to get wine’, but also stocks a tastebud-tickling selection of exotic liqueurs and spirits the likes of Calvados, Armagnac, Martin Millers, Pineau de Charentes, Pommeau, Ratafia, Pastis and Gentiane while an on-site café supplies instant gratification. Decant 61 Mandeville Street, Riccarton 03 343 1945 www.decantwine.co.nz...
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Cityscape taps into the so-hot-right-now paleo/cave man diet with Mint Health & Fitness’ Clinical Nutritionist Di McCauley. What’s the deal with paleo? The research and theory behind the paleo diet is based on the presumed diet of Paleolithic humans which existed prior to the dawn of agriculture around 15,000 years ago. Given that human genetics have scarcely changed since that time, we remain adapted to the diets of this period. The paleo diet therefore fits with our genetic make-up keeping us lean, strong and energetic. This is in stark contrast to our modern diet full of refined foods, trans fats and sugars, proving to be the root of degenerative diseases such as; obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression and infertility. Archaeological and anthropological data indicate our pre-agricultural ancestors were largely free from these modern afflictions of Westernised cultures. What’s on the menu? The paleo diet consists mainly of fish,...
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Cityscape does the truffle shuffle with Limestone Hills’ Gareth Renowden. How did you become a truffle farmer? Back in the mid-90s I saw a real estate ad for a property outside Christchurch that came with 450 truffle oaks. I hadn’t realised until then that truffles might be something you could grow in NZ, so I started doing some research... How important is location and how long from plant to plate? We came up to Waipara and bought our small farm because the valley was one of the first places in New Zealand where truffle trees were planted in the late 80s. You need limestone-rich, high pH soil and a warm climate, and Limestone Hills has all that – and is a great place to live. We now grow three kinds of truffles, olives and have a small vineyard producing very drinkable pinot noir and syrah wines. We planted our first truffle...
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Cityscape twists the arms of The Dragon’s Den Social Lounge’s owner Andrew Brown and mixologist Jamie Andrew Lawton for the recipe for their bodacious Figural Effect cocktail which they matched to killer nibbles honey roasted figs with soft feta, toasted macadamia and Serrano ham – you’re welcome! FIXIN’S 30mls London Dry Gin 1/2 a honey roasted fig* chopped 20mls lemon juice 10mls Beach Tree Honey ¼ Rosemary sprig 30mls Pink grapefruit juice 1 Egg white Soda to top Rosemary sprig for garnish METHOD Take your roasted fig and honey and muddle in a shaker till pulp. Add gin, rosemary, lemon, grapefruit and egg white. Shake without ice, then add ice and shake hard. Double strain into long glass filled with ice and top with soda and Rosemary garnish. *FOR THE HONEY ROASTED FIGS 450g figs 2 tbsp red wine 1 tbsp brown sugar 2 tbsp honey 2 tsp lemon zest Preheat...