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Dipping into spring

A universal joy of warmer seasons is the vibrant and flavoursome fresh produce yields – and using the ingredients in creative ways. As the weather heats up, our preferred snacks tend to cool down, and one way to embrace the colour and crispness of fresh seasonal produce is to create refreshing savoury dips in the colours of the rainbow.


Going rogue
Create a vivid red hummus by roasting cored red capsicum with sirarcha until the skin wrinkles and the body collapses. Add to a food processer with a standard hummus base of chickpeas, fresh lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt and olive oil.

Green with envy
It is hard to disappoint with modern menu staple, avocado. And when it comes to a refreshing, colourful condiment – avo is a go-to. Diverge from old favourite guacamole with an uplifting avocado, yoghurt, mint and fresh lime juice number.

Lovely lilac
Known for its earthy flavour, beetroot can become revitalised with a sprinkle of chilli and cumin. Again, add to a hummus base. Or, for something a bit different, choose some purple kumara and omit the chickpeas.

Got the blues
Blue is an infrequent savoury food hue. Flip that stereotype on its head with a blue spirulina and feta hummus. Roast a whole head of garlic in tinfoil for this recipe and stir in the spirulina last for an addition sure to make your platter pop.


Elegant year end events: The George

Commemorate the end of an unforgettable year with an elegant soiree at The George, a Christchurch destination for those who appreciate the finer things. Here, the range of world-class hospitality offerings can be tailored to suit any corporate or social get together.

Overlooking the picturesque Hagley Park, The George is an award-winning boutique hotel on the banks of the Avon River known for its immersive sophistication spread across an award-winning restaurant, five conference spaces and the private and stately The Residence.

Capitalise on this accessibly luxurious city setting for your end of year client or social function – whether that is a cocktail party, board lunch, classy high tea, sit down dinner or guided wine tasting.

The beauty of The George not only lies in its stunning setting, esteemed cuisine and grand interior décor, but the flexibility of its offerings to elevate your function or event – from canapé to digestif.

This light-filled space overlooks the Avon River and the sprawling Hagley Park, resplendent in its springtime glory.
Parkview can host up to 90 people for a seated, multi-course banquet or 150 for a cocktail affair.
Enjoy a bespoke, wine-matched menu crafted by the team behind two coveted Cuisine Good Food Award hats and two international Wine Spectator wine glasses.

Elevate an end of year board meeting, or host an intimate cocktail, lunch, high tea or dinner party at the stately three-bedroom private villa adjacent to The George hotel.
Home to a private board-cum-dining room bookended by a display of cellared salmanazars and French bay windows, and a sitting room which opens onto the charming private lawn and rose gardens.
Welcome guests with a champagne on the manicured lawn, before coming inside for an intimate cocktail party for up to 35.

Step into the triple threat of 50 Bistro for stylishly casual all-day neo-bistro dining befitting long lunches, special-occasion dinners as well as refreshing breakfasts the morning after.
Divided across a restaurant, conservatory and lounge bar, the secluded yet light-filled conservatory can seat guests in one long table of 22, or enjoy a more casual, multi-table set up for up to 30. As with the other options, tailored menus can be developed to suit the mood and occasion of your special event.
A resident sommelier can also guide a wine flight through the world class wine list, and ever-expanding gin and whisky menus.

ELEVATED EVENTS: An array of spaces and customisable offerings for any size corporate or social meeting, cocktail party, dinner, high tea, brunch or breakfast.
BESPOKE MENUS: Award-winning chefs and sommeliers can design bespoke cuisine and beverage offerings.
(03) 371 0255

Pass the pasta, please!

Versatile in form and flavours, pasta is a classic staple on high rotation for many household menus for very good reasons.


But don’t make the mistake of relegating this ultimate comfort food to winter. Instead, impress your guests (or even just yourself) with these refreshing springtime pasta suggestions that will make anyone say, “Mama mia that is good!”.

The creamy no cream pasta:
Hear us out – for those of you that are dairy-free or vegan, this is the substitute for you. Make like top tier New Zealand chef Nadia Lim who uses a creamy cashew cream sauce in place of dairy alternatives to ensure creamy cravings are satisfied, but dietary requirements are not compromised.

The no fuss fancy pasta:
Instagram foodie favourite @alexskitchenstory makes using highbrow ingredients look easy (and ‘grammable). Alex shows us how sometimes all it takes is one gourmet ingredient like truffle oil to elevate any dish from ooh la nah to ooh la la. She pairs such luxe components with fresh, nutritious partners like fresh mushrooms and herbs.

The non-pasta pasta:
If you were wanting to mix it up, try creating a pasta dish… without the pasta. Scandalo, as the Italians would say. Opt for courgette spaghetti, like that pictured, using the refreshing vegetable in season from October until May. You can also try using kumara or broccoli stems, or purchase readymade options fashioned from lentils and pulses.


Dinner party delights: Salmon Heaven

It’s a beautiful and tranquil space that Salmon Heaven now occupies in the recently opened Provedore, a gourmet lover’s paradise situated in the Bush Inn Centre.


What a joy it is to find a fishmongers that thinks outside the square, for alongside the extensive cabinets of salmon – which stocks hot and cold smoked, as well as raw salmon, in a variety of cuts and packages – there are a vast array of other gourmet products that make entertaining a breeze for the host or hostess wanting to access everything for their dinner menu at a convenient one-stop shop.

Consider the canapé as your ultimate appetizer. A selection of deluxe homemade crackers from Totara Cottage, delicately smeared with a delicious gourmet preserve from Buoni Sapori, topped with a divine black truffle brie or triple cream brie (aptly called OMG) from award winning cheesemakers Over the Moon, will give your guests something to exclaim about while you’re preparing the salmon.

Deborah and Lisa are the lovely ladies behind the counter; having both been involved with the salmon industry for a number of years, what they don’t know about salmon isn’t worth knowing!

Gift hampers can be ordered either instore or online. Salmon Heaven have a superb and sophisticated website. Free shipping within New Zealand makes ordering a gift hamper as simple as choosing the contents to go in it then placing your order.

Do try to resist the temptation to send it to yourself!


New venture adventure: Salt n Pepper Cafe

Buying a hospitality business during the Covid-19 lockdown could be seen as a risky venture. That is, however, exactly what Dharambir Judge did when the opportunity arose to purchase the Salt n Pepper Café in Hanmer Springs.


“Certainly, I had some sleepless nights about it,” says Dharambir. “But I concentrated on the positives of the situation I had been presented with.

“My friend Amandeep worked in the café as a manager and knew what a wonderful location it is in and how it could be a thriving enterprise once again when restaurants were able to open.

“Above all I have always wanted to have my own business, and this was too good a chance to throw away.”

Salt n Pepper occupies a superb position in the Boulder Point retail development, with stunning views of Conical Hill and surrounding countryside so diners can treat their eyes and recharge their souls as they enjoy the delicious and varied range of food.

“I was lucky a friend agreed to support my bid to buy the café. We opened to the public again the day before the July school holidays started and since then we have had a great response from patrons.”

Dharambir and his team are now looking to the future and to making Salt n Pepper Café the place everyone wants to dine at in Hanmer Springs.

Open seven days for breakfast and lunch, and dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings for now, extending to every night with the warmer weather.



Calling all sushi lovers: Nori Table

Nori Table is Christchurch’s very own home of high-quality sushi and an excellent hangout spot – a must visit for all sushi lovers. First opening in 2019, Nori Table now has two locations: The Tannery in Woolston, and Williams Street, Kaiapoi.


Nori Table is the creation of owners and operators Jini and Ted who pride themselves on making sushi of the utmost quality, with all sushi being made fresh throughout the day using top quality ingredients delivered that morning.

Their range of rolls and nigiri are designed to have maximum flavour and visual impact with generous filling in each piece.

Couple that with an array of options, including vegetarian alternatives, and there’s something for every taste.

Enter Nori Table and you’ll find a beautifully modern restaurant with a stunning glass cabinet meticulously filled with expertly crafted sushi.

Fill your own plate with those pieces that call out to you, or grab an eco-friendly takeaway box for lunch on the go.

No pre-packed plastic trays here! Plus, children love being able to pick their favourites.

“It’s not only our customers that eat our sushi,” Jini says, “We eat it and our family eat it…which means it needs to be perfect.”

Nori Table is open seven days from 10am to 5pm, stop in to discover your new favourite sushi shop.


Dual cool on Rotherham: Rogues of Rotherham

Recently recognised with a Travellers’ Choice 2020 award from Tripadvisor, Rogues of Rotherham just keeps building on its reputation as one of the top eating establishments in Christchurch.


Dedicated to delivering a dining experience second-to-none, the key to Rogues’ success is in its commitment to providing the ultimate in food, beverages, ambience and customer service.

With Riccarton being one of the most densely populated residential and business sectors in Christchurch, it’s not easy for a restaurant to stand out from the crowd, but since opening in 2016, this eatery’s popularity has consistently scored high.

Undoubtedly, the all-day menu is one of its biggest drawcards. Current hours provide weekend brunch (from 9am), lunch (Thursdays and Fridays) and dinner (Tuesday to Saturday), with plans to extend hours in spring.

Nor can variety be underestimated. The mouth-watering menu truly is a feast for the eyes. The choice of fare embraces all tastes – and all dietary requirements.

But there’s something else about Rogues that not everybody knows. Concealed behind a covert door is a somewhat rare and fabulous find – a genuine speakeasy.

The aptly called Sneaky’s Bar pays homage to the original speakeasy – a secreted room in which glamour, sophistication and intrigue ruled supreme.

With hours the same as Rogues’, a rendezvous at Sneaky’s Bar reminds you that life should be a celebration – of all that’s the best and the best that’s yet to come.

Rogues: 42 Rotherham Street, Riccarton
Phone: 03 341 5142


Dining for dad

There’s nothing quite like spoiling the important father figure in your life with a homemade breakfast or brunch for Father’s Day. This year, we’re serving up a contemporary take on breakfast classics to help inspire your gastronomical gifts.


If dad or someone in your family is gluten-free, try some no-wheat waffles. Mixing buckwheat with a nut flour gives the traditionally sweet treat a more earthy, wholesome flavour. Top with fruit and coconut yoghurt for easy instant freshness.

Build your own breakfast burrito by loading lightly pan-fried wraps with scrambled eggs; avocado, tomato and corn salsa; spinach; bacon; coriander; some chipotle mayo – and a squeeze of fresh lime to zest things up.

Get some serious chef cred for whipping up some runny eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce, like those pictured. Team your Middle Eastern feast with some seedy sourdough, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of paprika.

Toast dad with a slice of the good stuff – some fresh loaf topped with a buffet of options. Start with a trusty smashed avocado base and introduce fruits like strawberries or figs; nuts and seeds; smoky roasted chickpeas; smoked salmon; red onion and cheeses like feta, haloumi or mozzarella.

For those father figures with a sweet tooth, why not put your baking skills to the test with some cinnamon scrolls, custard donuts, or banana bread. If baking doesn’t take your fancy, why not sample the goods from your local bakery – we won’t tell it’s not homemade if you don’t.

Team your chosen cuisine with some hot coffee, fresh juice, or perhaps even a cheeky cocktail. Try classic brunchtime libations like a Bloody Mary, mimosa, or Pimms. Or, sample something new like a chilli margarita or espresso martini.


Bring on the scones: Gorgeous Food

When it comes to the perfect morning tea, specialist bakery Gorgeous Food’s JoAnne Fryer says the humble scone is right up there in the popularity stakes. One that is frequently asked for is the cheese and chive scone.


“If you’re lucky enough to be passing by our doors around 6am, you can get them straight from the oven,” JoAnne says.

Other firm favourites with customers are tasty savouries from the pie warmer; freshly cut sandwiches; slices cut into dainty bite sized pieces to pop in the mouth; and there’s a posse of muffin-mad folk out there who can’t get enough of the Texan muffin with plump blueberries or raspberry and white chocolate.

If you can’t make it to Gorgeous Food for the most scrumptious morning tea ever, don’t despair, for JoAnne has very kindly shared her recipe of Cheese and Chive scones with us. Yay!

Cheese & Chive Scones

• 560g flour
(season with salt, pepper and paprika)
• 8tsp baking powder
• Sift the above together.
• Add 150g grated cheese
• 50g shredded parmesan
• ¼ cup chopped chives
(or other fresh herbs)

Mix together and add enough milk (approx. 2 cups) to make a firm batter. Drop large spoonfuls close together onto an oven tray lined with baking paper.
Sprinkle with paprika, parmesan and grated cheese. Bake in preheated oven at 200°C for 10 to 15 minutse until golden brown and cooked through.

Find Gorgeous Food at 66-68 Springs Road, Christchurch
Phone: 03 344-6044
Hours: Monday to Friday 6am to 3.30pm


A travelling feast: Twenty Four Catering

Have kit, will travel” is the mantra of Twentyfour Catering. Weddings all over the South Island are a speciality, and owner and chef Chantelle Quinn can conjure the feast of your dreams anywhere, often with just two ovens and a barbeque. “We are very versatile and we have said yes to every location so far.”


Chantelle works closely with couples to ensure logistics work and menus are personalised to each wedding.

Chantelle remembers a groom who asked for his grandmother’s adored salted caramel and pistachio cheesecake, so she created it in minis for his guests.

The food is classic French with Kiwi flavours, rustic, often with a lot of protein. Six different meats could feature throughout the reception, which goes down extremely well with rural weddings. “I love seeing a wedding guest in an exquisite dress and fascinator tucking into a lamb cutlet and going back for more.”