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Hoon Hay Thai

Best kept oriental secret: Hoon Hay Thai is a must visit for lovers of thai cuisine

Hoon Hay Thai is one of the city’s best kept oriental secrets. Tucked away amongst the bustling shops of Coppell Place, it is the place to be for those after the definitive Thai dining experience.

Hoon Hay Thai

It’s become a local favourite since inception back in 2013, with many regular customers dropping by for lunch or dinner. The restaurant offers takeaway and can deliver, plus if the weather is truly atrocious, the delivery is free.
Their menu is made up of an exciting range of dishes, expertly prepared by Hoon Hay Thai’s team of experienced chefs. Delicious delicacies like Panang Curry and Peanut Sauce with Rice have proved to be the most popular with locals. The staff also create their own entrees which include spring rolls, curry puffs and Thai fish cakes.
Hoon Hay Thai is fully licenced, with a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages on offer and BYO is also catered for. The restaurant can also serve as the ideal venue for special occasions and private or business functions.
For more information or to view Hoon Hay Thai’s complete menu visit the Facebook page www.facebook.com/hoonhaythai or call 03-339 0320 to place an order.

Pink Ribbon High Tea at The george

High tea temptations: stick your pinkies out for the Pink Ribbon high teas at The George

The new Executive Chef of The George, Antony Page, recently filled us in on the new 50 Bistro winter menu heading our way, when the discussion moved to a charity function that runs close to Metropol’s heart – the Pink Ribbon Breakfast, supporting the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ.

Pink Ribbon High Tea at The george

The George is getting behind this very worthy cause by throwing a Pink Ribbon High Tea until 15 June. Now you’ll be able to have the opportunity to enjoy something as decadent and delicious as a high tea at The George, while supporting research into breast cancer, with the goal of getting zero deaths from the disease.
You can start your High Tea with a Nautilus Rosé, or tea and coffee. Culinary options on offer include chicken, cranberry and brie sandwiches, carpaccio of beef and horseradish, and smoked salmon and herb cream cheese rolls. Or perhaps you’ll be tempted by the sweet treats like raspberry macaroons, strawberry custard tart or cherry chocolate brownie.
The choices on the menu are extensive yet, with one of Canterbury’s top chefs, Kelly Te Mete, behind the menu design, how could it possibly be anything but stunning? Why not get your BFFs together and make a date from mid-morning till late afternoon by calling The George to book your table?
Any time is a good time for that convivial catch up with the ladies over high tea when you can join with the George in supporting the wonderful endeavour that is the Pink Ribbon Breakfast.

Hanmer Bakery Cafe

Culinary heaven in Hanmer: The Hanmer Bakery Cafe is a culinary hotspot

Chances are, if you’ve been to Hanmer, you would have been to Hanmer Bakery Café. If not, you’re missing out on some of the best quality eats and drinks in town.

Hanmer Bakery Cafe

Located in the heart of Hanmer Village, Hanmer Bakery Café is the definitive culinary hotspot for locals and holiday makers alike.
Open seven days from 6am to 4pm, customers are served delicious food and provided with comfortable indoor and outdoor seating, together with warm and friendly service. It’s the perfect destination for people before or after heading to Hanmer’s thermal pools.
An extensive range of affordable savoury items made on-site means all tastes are catered for and appetites are spoilt for choice. Gourmet pies with flavours like venison and redcurrant; steak, egg, cheese and onion; and even potato-topped beef, mushroom and red wine pies are a good place to start. You can even get a winter warm-up of pumpkin soup and a crusty roll.
Kiwi favourites like lolly cake, ginger crunch and custard squares are on offer too. Plus, a big selection of freshly baked bread, rolls, pastries, homemade donuts, scones and mega chocolate chip cookies are certain to satisfy any craving.
Hot drinks are also a passion and Hanmer Bakery Café serves up Grinders Coffee, alongside a selection of other drinks.
For more information visit
www.hanmerbakery.co.nz or find the café at the Village Shopping Mall, Hanmer Springs.

Riverside Reinvention

Riverside reinvention: Oxford Terrace comes alive again

Few developments signify the greater rebuild in the way the bars opening up along the Avon River in the central city do.

Riverside Reinvention

Although the post-quake incarnation of ‘The Strip’ was conceptualised by Antony Gough, it was the building alongside on the corner of Oxford Terrace and Hereford Street purchased and developed by Richard Peebles and Max Bremner which was first off the starting block, with three businesses now raising the bar for nightlife in the city – both in the figurative and literal sense of the expression.

Riverside Reinvention Fat Eddie’s, a popular jazz and blues bar in Sol Square before the tremors, while downstairs two new businesses – upscale restaurant Original Sin and 1930s-themed cocktail bar Kong are taking a big bite out of the hospitality market.
With extensive experience running clubs in both Sydney and New York, Manager Stuart Black is charged with the running of all three venues, while Executive Chef David Nicol utilising ideas from his 20 years working in Europe, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean and the Middle East. As such, cuisine is at the heart of this hospitality trifecta, with pizzas the piece de resistance upstairs at Fat Eddies.

Riverside Reinvention Architectural Designer John Ayers and the clever hand responsible for translating his vision into the art and theming, Dean Johnstone, have created a space of many faces.
Twice the size of its former incarnation, Fat Eddies can accommodate 320 customers within its confines, that feature a dark interior, velvet-covered booth seats, wrought iron, high ceilings and chandeliers all tying this Christchurch institution to American jazz legends and prohibition-era rebellion, layered with slices of New York and New Orleans.
Although original Fat Eddies style pays homage to the scarfie flat, its latest incarnation has given this concept an upmarket makeover, with the use of fabric and colour, hand-blown neon, poster originals, and a 1960s television cabinet, all designed and made by Dean and his Dream It team.
Meanwhile, taking its name from the 1933 movie King Kong, Kong is a swanky cocktail bar, with an art deco feel designed to reflect the glamour of the 1930s. Purposing an escape from the 21st century mundane, John and Dean lose you in a glamourous age when style and panache peaked.

Riverside Reinvention The back of the bar is designed as a radiogram, and the lobby doors are the doors to a 1930’s lift, complete with lit floor indicator dial. Brass beading on furniture, authentic lighting and the general essence of luxe will have you screaming like Fay Wray at closing time.
Seating 140 people, inside and out, Original Sin is a powerful temptation, offering a fine dining experience in the heart of the city, with an immaculate fit out and menu to match.
Although the Christchurch earthquakes dealt the city’s nightlife a serious blow, with iconic hotspot affectionately known as ‘The Strip’ perhaps the biggest casualty, the riverside reinvention is reinvigorating the city’s social scene in no small part.

The Good Home

Where everybody knows your name: making yourself comfortable at The Good Home in Ferrymead

Since Cheers first aired in 1982 we’ve been in search of that elusive break from all our worries, wanting to get away. We want go where everybody knows our name.

The Good Home

Finally, thanks to Andy Laloli, owner and hands-on host of The Good Home Ferrymead, we’ve found the holy grail. Open for nine weeks, the restaurant and bar already have a loyal following of regulars and there is plenty of room for more.
Eleven of the individually owned gastropubs are dotted around New Zealand, and each one features a unique fitout. The Good Home Ferrymead celebrates Christchurch’s botanical heritage with living plants oxygenating the central bar area. The spacious interior is separated into individual zones including The Johnnie Walker Whisky Lounge, library area, children’s play section and sheltered courtyard, all united by a common theme reflecting well-appointed batch meets kiwi quarter acre dream, while the Joel Hart mural brings iconic kiwi art to the party.
Andy says there is something new to see every visit, and the library exchanges books. However, the upright piano minus keys always stores the cutlery, and Andy’s favourite spot – the leather chairs by the open fire – won’t be going anywhere soon.
Its bespoke menu of gastropub food is comforting with an interesting twist on children’s specials too, and the drinks range includes classic premium beers, craft beers, fine wines, cocktails, and a fine whisky range to sample. Essentials quiz night, rib night, happy hour and live music are all catered for. So, what are you waiting for? Pass the beernuts Norm!

Villa 23 Cafe

A rare city treasure: Villa 23 Cafe is the bright pink, Dutch, vegetarian cafe you didn’t know you needed but won’t want to live without (and it’s for sale!)

The secret is out about Villa 23 Café, New Zealand’s first and only Dutch vegetarian café with the ambient charm of a rare city treasure. Hedwig Dunbar-Keek and family have infused creativity into this gorgeous stand-alone villa. It’s now seeking a new owner, with new passions.

Villa 23 Cafe

“It’s a central location, with little competition, between Blenheim and Riccarton Road. It would be perfect for any restaurant, culinary dream, or a combined office space,” she says.
An interior designer from Amsterdam, Hedwig wishes to move on to her next project spending precious time with her gorgeous new granddaughter while concentrating solely on her Dutch-style catering business.
The landlord let Hedwig recreate the once drab, unnoticeable villa with colourful imagination. Amazing Dutch-designed wallpapers add delightful difference to the disco-glam ‘Arabian nights’ room, the light-filled ‘colour room’ and the must-see optical illusion bathroom. Husband Gregory restored its soft-pink exterior, polished floors and sturdy structure to its 1911 glory.
Her son and barista Quentin greets customers, while Hedwig conjures no-nonsense-great food from the spacious new kitchen. The café oasis serves Peruvian-origin coffee to the lucky customers working in the area – and many pop in for Dutch grocery items. The healthy award-winning smoothies, little Dutch poffertjes and oliebollen are delectable and specialties which are also sold at their Dutch stall at Deans Bush market on Saturdays.
Hedwig is off to Amsterdam this winter for her annual inspirational research. However, for interested parties, she can be contacted at mandeville23a@gmail.com, anytime.
Villa 23 Café, 23 Mandeville Street, Riccarton (next to Flow Hot Yoga). Phone 03-343 3375. See Facebook/Instagram for details.

Caesars Restaurant and Bar

A special mothers’ menu: Caesars Restaurant and Bar for Mother’s day dining

We owe our existence to mothers. If it weren’t for them, we would not be here today. That is why Caesars Restaurant and Bar in Northwood Supa Centa puts all its effort into making mothers feel extra special on Mother’s Day, including a complimentary drink.

Caesars Restaurant and Bar
If she isn’t a ‘Breakfast in bed’ type of woman, why not pop down to Caesars to sample the Mother’s Day Brunch menu. Available from 10am until 12, the dishes are all classics and she’ll find her favourite amongst Pancakes, Eggs Bene, Omelette and Feast selections.
Or, if sleeping in is mum’s treat, a special Mother’s Day menu is available from 11am until late that is sure to suit all tastes and budgets, with favourites like Roast Pork or Turkey, Sirloin Steak, Stuffed Chicken Breast and Fish of the day. Caesars even caters for kids, with a special Mother’s Day kids’ menu, including a free ice cream cone with sprinkles and children’s play area to keep them entertained while you enjoy your meal.
Making you feel welcome is the modus operandi at Caesars, and specials offers enhance the atmosphere at the joyous Family feast. Friday’s bring the well- deserved Friday Shout – a complimentary beverage with main meals. A Birthday boy or girl receives the Birthday Shout – a free main meal with reservations of 6 adults or more. (Conditions apply to all Caesars promotions.)
Don’t forget to check Caesars’ Facebook page and website for conditions and more information about various specials available daily.

First Table

First in first served: we talk to Mat Weir founder of (now international) table booking service with a twist First Table

The media is not always kind to millennials in this country, but the vision and expertise of Mat Weir of First Table will see them eating their words, as well as some very delicious dinners around the world.

First Table

This innovative and actually useful (because let’s face it, not all of them are) Kiwi start-up is now in three countries and both hemispheres, while working hard on opening in its fourth country this year.
The term win-win is overused, but the First Table concept is genuinely that. It’s like an awesome game of ping pong – the benefits just keep bouncing back between restaurant and diner.
It works like this: participating restaurants release bookable dates on the First Table website. Nabbing the actual first table in the restaurant for that date online enables diners in a party of two to four to eat for half price. The restaurant gets diners into the restaurant early; this encourages other diners into the restaurant.

First Table First Table diners usually get the window seats; the restaurant gets the visual advertising. First Table diners get unhurried service and the food as it should be; the restaurant receives a very positive review. The diner gets to try somewhere new in a cost-effective way; the restaurant is likely to get happy repeat customers paying full price at peak times.
Obtaining a login from the website in New Zealand means you can book First Tables throughout New Zealand, in Australia, London, Bristol and Bath and London in the UK, and Singapore restaurants are soon to be added. There is no membership fee, just an upfront $10 (in New Zealand) when you put your stamp on that First Table online. Mat has aimed for few restrictions, the main one being you can’t book the First Table in the same restaurant twice in row, to spread the opportunities a little wider.
A Queenstown local, Mat started with Queenstown restaurants, followed quickly by Christchurch, where there has been very enthusiastic sign-on both by restaurants and diners. A software developer by trade, he put the concept online himself, as well as doing the sales.

First Table There are now customer and restaurant support and business development managers in New Zealand and Australia and a creative writer in Wellington, plus Mat passed his software development duties onto a new team member. The company employs ten people in Australasia and a mix of locals and Kiwis in the UK.
The First Table philosophy is to be lean and smart: you’ll be smart to join in and lean over your First Table.
Visit www.firsttable.co.nz

Coco Expresso

A culinary hotspot: get yourself to Coco Espresso and find out why everyone is raving about it

Back in 2016, keen culinary connoisseur Nick set up shop in a section of Designspace’s building at 400 Barbadoes Street, with the intention of providing customers with great coffee, sandwiches and other delectable eats.

Coco Expresso

Two years on and now accompanied by good friend Caitlyn, Coco Espresso is going from strength to strength, with many making it their definitive café of choice.
Nick and Caitlyn’s vision of a niche, chilled café hang-out has certainly become a reality. Comfortable indoor seating will accommodate your nearest and dearest, and outdoor Montreaux designer furniture sits plenty in chic comfort. Plus, unlike some cafés, there is no shortage of on-site parking.
The major attraction of Coco Espresso, is not just the smooth rich coffee or the outstanding customer service from Nick and Caitlyn, but the sandwiches. Available in a variety of fillings and styles, it pays to get in quick, as they do not hang around uneaten for long.
All sweet and savoury delicacies are made by Nick and Caitlyn’s friend Sarah from Blueberry Kitchen and arrive fresh each day. Nick and Caitlyn also love their music, so whether you are into Demi Lovato or Duran Duran, chances are you will be humming away during your stay.
For more information, visit the Facebook page, facebook.com/cocoespressonz.