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.
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org, anytime.
Villa 23 Café, 23 Mandeville Street, Riccarton (next to Flow Hot Yoga). Phone 03-343 3375. See Facebook/Instagram for details.
I recently joined Richard Sinke and Lisa O’Brien Sinke, owners of the Dux De Lux Group, for a chat – and a taste – of the new Terrace Tavern at 134 Oxford Terrace, the area once known as ‘the strip’.
The style of TT reminded me of a great mid-west bar and restaurant. Straying far from the standard restaurant fare, the menu features the likes of crayfish ravioli, Kaikoura octopus, crispy zucchini, Wakanui beef short rib and truffle fries.
The Dux Deluxe brought fresh vegetarian food to Christchurch, but the TT has extended its range of vegetarian and fish to include meat. “That was then, this is now,” Richard says. “We don’t want to exclude anyone now. Even though Lisa and I are vegetarian, we want to provide an all round great place to eat.”
BBQ Chef extraordinaire Tristan Anderson is creating something pretty special in the kitchen with ‘Beatrice’, the real wood BBQ which uses pure oak. “We’re keeping it real in the kitchen and bringing fire to the food with a great range of fresh steak and meat options every day. I’m always looking for opportunities to challenge the customers but keep them happy.”
‘South Pacific bistro, from the sea, plains and alps. It’s local food with a twist’, the menu states. With the true BBQ flavour Beatrice brings and the team’s eye for food, beverage and service, it’s so good to see some heart retuning to such an iconic area of the Garden City.
The Sinke family have added a “Barsterant” – their word not mine – to the central city’s ‘must-trys’.
Where do you find fresh food, fantastic coffee, great service and a warm and friendly atmosphere like no other? Why Café PJ of course.
Located at 205A Hills Road since September 2017, Café PJ is the result of Pam Jones (hence the PJ) vision to create a café where fresh is best and a smile goes a long way.
Café PJ, open seven days, contains plenty of seating for you and your nearest and dearest, not to mention plenty of parking on and off site. All sweet and savoury eats, from scones to gingerbread figures, are made fresh each day, along with delicious gluten free and vegetarian options.
Café PJ’s popular all-day breakfast menu contains a mouth-watering selection of dishes including French Toast, Eggs Benedict and PJ’s Big Breakfast, giving you sausages, bacon, egg, hash browns and toast. Also, a five dollar kids menu is sure to keep the little ones entertained.
If the day is a hot one, a cool milkshake, iced coffee or chocolate, or even a beautifully prepared cup of coffee or tea makes for an enjoyable break. With the combination of friendly staff, delicious treats and quality surroundings, this is one spot not to be missed.
Bookings for large groups are taken regularly. For more
information, have a chat with Pam on 03-386 1372 or visit the website cafepj.co.nz or Facebook page, facebook.com/cafepj.