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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.


 

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.


 

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
Information: info@roguesbar.co.nz
Phone: 03 341 5142


 

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.”


 

Setting the scene: Amuri Estate


If wowing the crowd is on the conference and events cards for you, then Amuri Estate in the Hanmer countryside can help you do it.

Photo by Karl Van Beek

 

Just 10 minutes out of the village and 90-minutes from Christchurch, Amuri Estate’s supreme views set the scene for perfection, while the luscious variety of spaces ensures events of all shapes, sizes and styles can be catered for.

The new modern barn style building has a large reception hall with capacity for 200 and a small meeting room with capacity for 20 to 60, including bathroom, kitchen and bar facilities, and breakout spaces.

On-site accommodation includes a lodge sleeping six within three king rooms with ensuites, and a kitchen-living area, while the Wallace Peak Cottage sleeps two in a king room and has a kitchen-living area and log fire.

Photo by Karl Van Beek

When it comes to catering, Amuri works with three catering companies, ensuring you can get the cuisine and drinks of your choice in buffet, plated and shared styles from the fully-equipped kitchen and bar.

Amuri Estate has a hire catalogue and equipment packages available including AV, styling, table settings and more – which make organising your event a breeze.

Photo by Bethany Howarth

A qualified event manager, Vanessa Orr is on hand to help co-ordinate as little or as much as required; organising meetings, the run sheet, and event plan, and liaising with the entertainment, photographer and caterer – if you so wish.

“I love seeing events come together; our stunning views ensure a picture-perfect backdrop to any event, from product launches to conferences,” she says.

www.amuriestate.co.nz | Ph: 03 3155 351 | amuriestate@gmail.com


 

Flavours of the World: World Cuisine


Planning a corporate event, function or in-home party? Chef Liz M and her team at World Cuisine create designer menus influenced from her world travels.

 

With vast international catering experience as a private chef, she has worked on exclusive dinner parties and events like Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix, and also ran a cooking school in the south of France.

Liz’s passion for cuisine and experience is available in Christchurch for your event at a home or venue – World Cuisine can cater the entire event including any specialty dietary requirements.

Taking influence from her international travels and work around the world, Liz is happy to design the menu or work alongside the client to create more bespoke options.

With a sustainably operated mobile kitchen, World Cuisine can cater your event or function, on location, including platters for children and adults, canapes, fine dining or casual meals, high teas and cooking lessons.

For enquiries call 021 544 029 or email enquiries@worldcuisine.co.nz


 

Platters to impress: Hanmer Four Square


The team at Four Square Hanmer Springs has a passion for creating beautiful, bespoke grazing platters – just perfect for outdoor summer eating to give you so much more time to relax and enjoy being with friends and family.

 

The platters are available for every occasion, from large corporate events and family celebrations, right through to delicious platters for two. You might like to pick one up after your visit to the Hanmer Springs Fête.

That would certainly be a fitting end to the day.

Renowned for being generous, the platters contain a variety of seasonal ingredients, beautiful specialty cheeses and cured meats, along with fresh fruits, beautiful chutneys, hummus and pâté. Vegetarian and vegan platters are available, as are hot grazing options. And they look as good as they taste!

Contact the team today on 03 315 7190 to discuss how they can assist you with your culinary requirements.

Find Four Square Hanmer Springs at 12 Conical Hill Road and on Facebook.


 

Vibrancy in Ashburton: Formosa


Ashburton’s vibrant and delicious Asian Fusion restaurant Formosa is the brainchild of husband and wife team Chef Dondon Chen and Creative Designer Amber Huang.

 

 

With no business experience – but armed with enthusiasm, a lot of inspiration and a passion for food and culture, Formosa will celebrate its third year this November with a fabulous new summer menu and a gorgeous dessert display, while plans for high tea are well under way.

Lockdown saw Amber and Dondon introduce their delivery service which served many happy customers and ongoing additions to the dine-in and takeaway options.

The fitout includes an open kitchen so you can witness the creation of your food and engage with the friendly chefs while they are in action.

The restaurant has three roomy and uniquely themed spaces: The VIP Room, Chinese Lantern Area and the Red Parasol Area that are perfect for an intimate date night, a family lunch or even a company function for up to 120 guests.

With the success of Formosa and great feedback from customers over the years, a plan to open a branch in Christchurch is something the team is considering.

“Formosa Restaurant aims to always provide excellent quality food and services,” Amber says. “We are considering opening seven days, to make our delectable dishes and mouth-watering desserts available every single day of the week.”

Open Monday to Saturday, 11.30am to 2pm and 4.30pm to 8.30pm.

Phone 03-308 7874 or email info@formosainash.com to make a booking.