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For the culinary connoisseur: Woodley’s Restaurant and Wine Bar

Located just 40 minutes from Christchurch, Woodley’s Restaurant and Wine Bar is Darfield’s best kept culinary secret.



With three outdoor dining areas, a newly landscaped beer garden, under-cover and heated dining area and the front terrace that has a stunning picturesque view of the Southern Alps, Woodley’s is easily Darfield’s cosiest and most stylish restaurant and bar.

Talking of restaurants and bars, Woodley’s has a delightful range of beautifully prepared, reasonably priced meals and desserts to satisfy every culinary connoisseur. Lunch/brunch is served from Wednesdays to Sundays 11am until 3pm, and Dinner from Tuesdays to Sundays from 5pm till late. Woodley’s also sports Darfield’s biggest range of craft beers; a good IPA, pilsner or lager from Boundary Road is never far away.

Woodley’s can also cater for your function and can take large bookings on request. For more information on Darfield’s dining hotspot, check out




Culverden’s culinary oasis: Red Post Cafe

With the days getting longer and the nights shorter, now is as good a time as any to enjoy some spring dining and quality eats with your nearest and dearest at Culverden’s Red Post Café.


Situated on Highfield Street and facing onto SH7, Red Post Café, in its beautiful restored villa, has been the cornerstone of Culverden’s culinary community for many a moon. Red Post Café is a fully licensed family eatery, able to offer you a stunning selection of delectable delights including muffins and scones, cakes and slices.

You and yours can also relax in Red Post Café’s garden dining area. Here you can soak up the sun while feasting on either a light lunch or an evening meal. Vegetarian, gluten-free options and a children’s menu are also available.

Plus, the addition of West Coast Whitebait to Red Post Café’s new menu really gets the taste-buds excited. Red Post Café also has a wide range of hot and cold beverages on hand to quench your thirst.

Open from 8am–4:30pm Monday to Thursday, Friday until 8pm and weekends until 5:30pm, what are you waiting for? Red Post Café is waiting.




Breakfast of kings: Universo

Breakfast is of course the most important meal of the day on Canterbury’s most highly anticipated race day of the year, and beautiful Universo will set you up in style.



Tuesday 12 November launches the Christmas and summer social season and we must start as we mean to go on!

A glass of French champagne, a free transfer by bus to Addington Raceway and breakfast à la carte, or canapé-style while you mix and mingle with your squad in the bar area or al fresco, is yours for just $50 per person at Universo from 9am.

You will be transported from Universo just after 11am, arriving in plenty of time for the first race – the perfectly stylish, delicious and hassle-free start to a glorious day of fashion and racing. Reservations are essential – so phone Universo on 03 379 5214 to reserve your place.




A taste of India: Coriander’s Indian Restaurant

What do a former Bollywood actor and a chain of Canterbury ethnic restaurants have in common? No, it’s not a trick question. The answer is Amardeep Singh (Amar to his friends), the one-time Bollywood actor and model in India and now the owner of the Coriander’s Indian restaurant chain.



Established in 2006, Corianders’ take on Indian food has now been a popular favourite for some thirteen years, expanding to three locations – Rolleston, Christchurch CBD and Bush Inn – and serving hundreds of thousands of Cantabrians from all parts of the area. Visit any of the restaurants and delight in the delicious aromas wafting from the kitchens where the chefs expertly handle long skewers and tandoor ovens.

“I’m passionate about my restaurants and their food,” Amar says. “What our customers can be assured of wherever they dine at a Coriander’s Ethnic restaurant is the consistent quality of the dishes. I take a very personal role in ensuring that quality by visiting all the restaurants and sampling the food on a regular basis.”


Coriander’s restaurants not only offer the wonderful variety and taste of their authentic Northern India-inspired dishes, but also a relaxed dining experience with surroundings that are warm, traditional and inviting. The flagship colonial-style St Asaph Street restaurant is especially sophisticated and impressive, after Coriander’s breathed new life into the old Occidental and its beautiful veranda.

Two special banquets – silver and gold – are just the way to experience everything that Coriander’s has to offer. An exclusive chef’s selection with two courses of sure-fire favourites, this wonderful feast offers incredible value for money at $85 for a couple, including house wines. The banquet consists of: Starters — two vegetable samosas, two onion bhajis and two Coriander Special Chicken Tikka; Mains — Butter Chicken, Lamb Rogan Josh, mixed vegetables, rice and two naan breads. There’s an exquisite cocktail and beverage list and, with their ‘specials of the day’, there’s always new items to try.


Coriander’s St Asaph Street has a private function space – the Bollywood Room – ideal for pre-Christmas parties. Although it’s right in the CBD, there is a carpark available off Welles Street behind the restaurant. That’s also where you can pick up your takeaways. Check out Corianders’ mobile app for weekly specials and earn points on every visit to the St Asaph Street restaurant.




Authentic Thai dining

Since 2013, Hoon Hay Thai Restaurant has been offering an authentic Thai dining experience right here in Christchurch, and has quickly become a popular local favourite.



Conveniently located at 9 Coppell Place, it’s handy to meet family and friends for lunch or dinner, or opt for a takeaway and relax at home.

All dishes are made on-site by skilled chefs who serve up an extensive menu featuring Thai classics, such as Tom Yum Soup, luxurious Red, Green and Massaman Curries, Satay and Larb. The entrées – think mouth-watering Thai Fish Cakes, Money Bags, Wontons and Curry Puffs – are all homemade by the skilled team.

Also included on the menu are the Hoon Hay Thai customer favourites, like the Pad Thai prepared with their own style sauce, Spicy Duck Red Curry, Garlic and Black Pepper Crispy Pork, and the popular Peanut Sauce Stir Fry.

To sample these varied and delicious options, the restaurant is open Tuesdays to Sundays, offering $10 lunch specials, and can also be hired for special occasions and private or business functions.

Hoon Hay Thai is fully licensed, with a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and BYO is also available. For more information, call 03 339 0320.




Forefront of sustainability: The Belgian Beer Cafe Torenhof

The Belgian Beer Café Torenhof is one of Christchurch’s best longstanding establishments.



Based in the Sydenham Quarter at The Colombo, which is fast becoming a mecca for Christchurch Hospitality, Torenhof is proud to be at the forefront of the sustainability field. All their menus are focused on this, with a new spring menu, lunch (Tuesday to Friday 12-3pm) and dinner menus (Tuesday to Saturday from 5pm).

Using Canterbury and South Island produce from paddock to plate where possible, Torenhof is all about food that is fresh, free-range and supports local businesses. Furthermore, with assistance from its suppliers, the café has reduced its plastic usage by 85 percent, and switched its consumables to fully recyclable and, where possible, compostable.

The team has also undertaken an energy and waste audit with the help of Christchurch City Council and True North Consulting. While this is a very interesting journey, they are always pleased to receive suggestions from their customers on the in-house feedback forms.

Torenhof is an ideal place for your function or corporate event. They have an exclusive Oktoberfest German-style menu with beer matches coming up on 18 October – $68 per person for a table of four (usually $136) and don’t forget to book your Christmas function now. There’s a great array of set menus available for Christmas, email or check out




A trip for your tastebuds: Formosa Restaurant

Take your tastebuds on a trip to Asia with Formosa, Ashburton’s favourite Asian-fusion restaurant offering delicious dishes, an events venue, catering services – and soon, a new fine-dining afternoon tea menu.



The experience starts from the moment you walk in the door; a vibrant red brick wall emblazoned with flowers and ‘FORMOSA’ is sure to catch your eye, along with the cluster of red parasols floating above. With beautiful, polished décor in a spacious setting, Formosa is the perfect place for an intimate dinner date, a birthday celebration, or a company event in the VIP room. The hospitable team can cater to functions and events of up to 120 people, providing a customised menu that works with your budget and any dietary requirements.

Beautifully presented, authentically Asian dishes – mainly of the Taiwanese variety – and delightful wines and cocktails come together for a dinner or event like no other. With a fabulous variety of dishes available for dine in or takeaway, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, all diners will find something to suit their taste. Manager Amber Huang’s personal recommendation is Braised Pork Belly hot out of the wok and she says the Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup is a popular choice with the locals.

A new fine dessert menu has recently been launched – and keep an eye out for their upcoming afternoon tea menu; share a special dessert and coffee with a loved one or grab a group of friends for some Asian-fusion sweet treats.




Raise a glass

We’re quickly heading into entertaining season, so it’s time to raise a glass to the exciting new bevvies that are being made right here, in our own Kiwi backyard.


1. The Fermentist
Christchurch-based craft brewery, The Fermentist, is bringing the nation its first carboNZero certified beer, following product certification by Enviro-Mark Solutions for its Kiwi Pale Ale (KPA). The official certification forms part of the craft beer brand’s wider goal to be the first fully carbon neutral brewery in New Zealand by 2020.



2. The Mountaineer
From the makers of Mount Michael Wines, The Mountaineer is launching an inaugural Pinot Rosé and Pinot Gris alongside a beautiful second vintage Pinot Noir, to form its first-ever collection of quality, artisan wines.

Made by Jody Pagey, talented head winemaker at Mount Michael Wines, each drop in the new range has been carefully handcrafted to provide wine-loving Kiwis with an exquisite variety of Central Otago boutique wines at affordable prices, for all to enjoy.



3. Happy Booch
The Premium Liquor Co. and Good Buzz have partnered together to launch New Zealand’s first ever 100 percent natural, kombucha-infused, clean vodka, Happy Booch.

Available now from liquor stores nationwide, Happy Booch has been crafted to offer Kiwis an alternative alcoholic beverage that’s made from 100 percent natural ingredients, is naturally low in sugar and contains the added goodness of Good Buzz Kombucha.




Sweet & Sour Pork – Recipe

Preparation Time: 20 minutes + 1 hour to marinate Cooking Time: 30 minutes Recipe and photo supplied by NZ Pork




500g NZ pork shoulder, cut into 2cm cubes
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp white sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 egg white
2 green onions, finely sliced
½ cup cornflour
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 green pepper, cubed
1 red onion, cut into wedges
1 cup water
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup white sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup ketchup
½ tsp soy sauce
Juice and contents 1 can pineapple chunks (225g)
To fry
3 cups vegetable oil
To thicken
2 tbsp cornstarch
¼ cup water




  1. Place cubed pork in a medium bowl and season with salt, sugar and soy sauce before mixing in egg white and green onions. Cover and place in the fridge for one hour.
  2. In a large deep pan or deep-fryer, heat the vegetable oil to 185°C. Remove the pork from the fridge and coat in cornflour. Fry the pork in the hot oil for about 10 minutes – until evenly browned. Drain pork on paper towel and set aside.
  3. In a wok over medium heat, heat a little oil and stir in celery, pepper and onion. Cook until the vegetables are tender then remove from heat and set aside.
  4. To make the sauce, mix the water, salt, sugar, apple cider vinegar, ketchup and soy sauce in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil then stir in the cooked pork, vegetable mixture and contents of pineapple can.
  5. Bring sauce to a boil before stirring in cornflour and water mixture to thicken. Cook for a further 5-10 minutes until shiny and thick.
  6. Serve with steamed rice.




A Culinary Queen

Annabel Langbein has personally penned more than 10,000 recipes.



I could almost tell you them all too; it’s like this huge computer in my head that would drive anyone else mad, but I love it,” she laughs.

It was her dad that was the engineer by trade and, although Annabel had always thought the “clever engineer gene” had missed her, the penny dropped when she was asked recently ‘how do you engineer a recipe?’

Cooking wasn’t a fashionable thing to do when Annabel first started dipping her fingers in the baking bowl, but she discovered an incredible sense of achievement being able to give others pleasure through her baking. “I would feel useful and successful and have a lot of fun,” she says. “And as I went through life subconsciously, without realising it, I was always cooking.”

It was ironically food poisoning rather than the food itself that paved the first step in her career path. During her OE, she got food poisoning in South America and ended up staying in a village in Brazil, renting a room with an Argentinian couple. “All I wanted to do was cook!” she says. “It made me feel anchored and good.”

When that couple asked if she could make croissants, she wasn’t going to let the fact that she had never made them before in her life hold her back. Soon, she had her own croissant business! When she eventually found her way back home she started a catering business and writing for The Listener. Not knowing where to go next, she did what all good fan girls do and she wrote to Julia Child, who invited her to America to introduce her to the world of cuisine. She spent the late 80s and early 90s learning everything she possibly could about cuisine.

“I found while travelling that food is the bridge between us all. It can help you discover cultures, ingredients, nature, community, and also this wonderful idea of creativity,” Annabel says.

“The idea of a recipe being written down is a reasonably recent invention; in places like India and China, the language of cooking is handed down. People can have nothing and yet make these amazing foods; feeling part of this world is very nourishing.”

It’s this travel that formed the basis for her understanding of ‘food families’ and ‘flavour profiles’. “Food is like music; you learn a few chords and before long you can riff. When you understand the different flavour profiles and how they go together, it opens up your world.”

What this means is that the core ingredients of a salad may be the same, but it’s the understanding of flavours that enable you to transform those vegetables into a South East Asian salad or a Middle Eastern salad.

A lot of what Annabel turns her award-winning hand to these days is driven by ingredients and what’s available – particularly in her own Wanaka garden. It’s 12 minutes from her place to the shop, so if she doesn’t have to go, she won’t, learning instead to be resourceful with what she has. Her Essential cookbooks were written on this basis – the idea of giving people a basic toolkit of basics that can form the basis of just about anything.

“I’ve always been interested in helping people to feel empowered and confident with cooking. This isn’t MasterChef; it’s home. Most people are tired at the end of the day, so dinner doesn’t need to be an enormous amount of work and palaver; it’s about taking something fresh and knowing the easiest way to make it yummy.”

She’s an “old hippy at heart”, or, more formally, a founding member of the Sustainability Council, so sustainability is pretty close to her heart.

While a key aspect of this role is keeping GMOs out of the food in New Zealand, even the basics of ‘reuse and recycle’ are important.

“I’m a big believer in getting things when they’re in season, like tomatoes, and freezing them so I’ve always got it.” She’ll cook spinach in olive oil and freeze handfuls of it so it’s always available as a meal addition.

Another top tip is when you get to the end of the week and your salad greens have gone limp, or your rocket has wilted in the hot sun before you’ve made it back to the house, put them in a big bowl of water and ice cubes, and the water will pump the cells up again, bringing them back to life.

Treat protein as a treat and have a meatless meal each week, she says. Although most New Zealand meat is freefarmed, so it’s not as bad for the planet, cutting back can certainly make a difference.

“I’m a big composter and worm farmer, in the same way we understand our gut microbes are important to keep healthy, the soil is as well, so having compost and creating worm farms is a fantastic thing.”

And trying to avoid plastic is a biggie. So why not put a plate over food in the fridge instead? After all, as Annabel says, “If we all just do one little thing…”