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More magic to come!: The Monday Room

Picture this: you’re dressed to impress in a flirty frock and killer heels, you’ve a poppy pout on your mouth, and you’re feeling fantastic because you and your girls have had an unforgettable theatre experience.



You swing down the street, arms linked, singing songs from the show you’ve just left; you feel so happy, you don’t want the night to end – there has to be more magic to come… Across the street you notice something – a white rabbit, and it’s beckoning with an elegant paw. You nudge your friends and make for the doorway the rabbit has just bolted through. There he is! He doffs his hat, bows and bids you enter The Monday Room, where he directs you to your table and invites you to be seated.

It seems the girls in your party desire something delectably sweet to enhance the hedonistic mood that has ensnared you all since you tumbled into this curious place where anything seems possible. You note the menu’s autumn inspired theme, from which you can choose either your own sweet dishes, or you can Trust the Chef by partaking in a degustation of tempting treats created by Finnish culinary artists of The Monday Room, head chef Eeva Torvinen, and sous chef, Annika Kiviniemi.



Your taste buds start to tingle as you read the menu item, A Taste of the Sweet Life. Here’s a tasting board to share that would make the Cheshire Cat’s grin grow even broader. But should you want to keep your pudding all to yourself, then Memory of Granny, a scrumptious composition of buttermilk cake, apple jam, and caramelised apple ice-cream; Blueberry Forest, a thyme sponge cake, blueberry gel and liquorice ice-cream; Snowman’s Nose, a tantalising concoction of carrot cake, cashew cheese, carrot sorbet and hazelnut; Beet It, a glorious gourmand of dark chocolate cake, yoghurt crème, beetroot ice-cream and hazelnut; and oh so wickedly last but not least, Red Riding Hood, a mouth-watering vegan meringue, coconut and red currant sorbet, provide oodles of wonderfully wicked options.

But of course, no sweet supper is complete without a glass of something divinely decadent to ramp up happiness levels. Why not try the Trust the Sommelier option whereby Master of Wine, Stephen Wong, will prescribe the perfect match to accompany your degustation of dainty desserts? For the boys of your party, who might fancy savoury over sweet, the Pegasus Bay Five Course Degustation Pairing guarantees to transform any boy into a man faster than you can say White Rabbit.
There now, things may’ve become curiouser and curiouser, but falling through the wall of The Monday Room has given you, undoubtedly, the most magical night of your life!



Find The Monday Room at 161 High Street or visit


The Monday Room

Escape from reality: The Monday Room

The most fabulous thing about dining at The Monday Room is that diners can revel in expecting the unexpected. With its raison d’être firmly focused on a shared degustation of food and wine, and featuring Trust the Chef and Trust the Somm options, patrons are assured of a gastronomic feast guaranteed to inspire conversation that would rival even the Mad Hatter at his most eloquent best.


The Monday Room



So, without further ado, let us meet the Trust the Chef(s) conjuring their culinary magic in this wonderland restaurant. Head Chef Eeva Torvinen and Sous Chef Annika Kiviniemi both hail from Finland, and it’s thanks to this dynamic duo, with their youth and passion for creating dishes that shake us out of our dining complacency, that we’re finally getting to experience food that excites and astounds.


The Monday Room

Torvinen says it was due to foraging in the forest for berries and mushrooms, and fishing with her father and grandfather that set her on her cooking career. A word Torvinen frequently uses is ‘technique’, such as in the techniques of curing, brining, pickling, smoking and sous vide (low temperature cooking, container cooking and pressurised enclosure cooking). “We seldom use spices other than salt because we believe the techniques we use add more flavour into ingredients.”


The Monday Room

Torvinen’s desire is to make The Monday Room the best eating establishment that she can; beyond that her want is simple: “I want to cook, create, learn more and explore, and maybe one day have a restaurant of my own.”  Now we turn to greet our Trust the Somm.

Malaysian-born Kiwi, Stephen Wong, was reading law at the University of Otago and, while working part time in cafés and as a DJ, was introduced to New Zealand wines. A move to Central Otago in 2000 found Stephen working in vineyards and rapidly progressing into hospitality.


The Monday Room

He began his first sommelier role after qualifying as a barrister and learnt on the job. Seven years on and Stephen had moved into consulting; Wine Sentience is his wine education and support business – it has been instrumental in keeping Wellington wine lists at the top of their game.

Stephen was recently made a Master of Wine, taking the number of MW’s in New Zealand to 12. When not educating or judging wine shows throughout Australasia, Stephen tutors Master of Wine students in the IMW Australasian Educational Seminar. Stephen says his greatest passion will always be around wine communication and training our future sommeliers to be the best they can possibly be.


These, then, are the trusted trio rocking The Monday Room; Alice begs you to bring along your Mad Hatter mates, and join her for a night of unrivalled revelry.

Location: 161 High Street


The Monday Room

A partnership of perfection: The Monday Room

Creating the perfect marriage between cuisine and wine is a unique art and one which local institution The Monday Room has up its culinary sleeve.


The Monday Room


With Head Chef Eeva Torvinen turning her talented hand to creating a menu that utilises the techniques and flavours of her Finnish background to bring flavour to the table, the central city hotspot is a dining destination not to be missed.  “I want to create dishes that make people talk while they dine,” Eeva says.

Metropol catches up with Eeva about popular dish Three Little Pigs, while renowned Wine Consultant at Wine Sentience, Stephen Wong finds its perfect partnership in a local Waipara tipple that offers an exquisite complement.


Meal: Three Little Pigs
Three Little Pigs is a dish that has three different parts of pork, cooked in different ways, Eeva explains.
“Slow-cooked pork cheek, also known as pork jowl, is fatty and rich. It is wrapped in savoy cabbage leaves, which are blanched and glazed with syrup to add sweetness,” she says.
“Pork fillet is cured and then sous vide for four hours, producing a tender, lean fillet which is then pan fried for colour and flavour. Meanwhile, belly bacon is cooked slowly until it is crispy, bringing saltiness and texture to the dish.”
The pork combination is then combined with smooth and buttery parsnip puree and finished with a Nordic inspired tart, while sea buckthorn dressing gives a sweet and sour flavour profile.


The Monday Room


Wine match: Black Estate Damsteep Riesling 2017
According to Wine Consultant at Wine Sentience, Stephen Wong, Riesling which is often overlooked, yet infinitely versatile, could have been purpose built for Three Little Pigs; a dish which delivers rich, fatty sweetness sandwiched between savoury, saline austerity and fresh crunchy astringency.

“It resonates with the kaleidoscope of Riesling’s varied expression in much the same way that a classic chypre perfume is composed of a trinity of interlinked but contrasting vertices.” Thankfully, Canterbury is home to some of New Zealand’s most celebrated expressions of Riesling – with the complex patchwork of soils; from gravel to clay to limestone allowing this noble grape to display its riches fully.

“Black Estate’s minimal-interventionist Damsteep Riesling 2017 hails from an organic vineyard at the foot of the Omihi saddle, planted during the previous millenium.  “Perceptibly dry and racy yet powerfully built and arrestingly perfumed, it is as refreshing as it is profound; weaving a narrative of cloudy skies over bleak rolling hills, yet tinged with a honeyed stonefruit sweetness of nostalgia and finishing on a note of stoic pithiness and chalky resilience.”



The Monday Room

The Perfect Pairing: The Monday Room

At The Monday Room, cuisine is about so much more than food – it’s an experience.


The Perfect Pairing

Heavily influenced by her Finnish background, Head Chef Eeva Torvinen uses techniques that include curing, brining and pickling, while Finnish flavours such as berries, buttermilk, liquorice, rye and malt bring flavour to the ingredients.

“I want to create dishes that make people talk while they dine.”

Metropol talks to Eeva about the dish and Wine Consultant at Wine Sentience, Stephen Wong finds its perfect pairing.

Meal: Into the Woods
“This dish is a story of my childhood. We spent a lot of time in the forest picking mushrooms and berries with my parents. This dish is an enchanted reminder of my childhood.”

An earthy umami flavour from the forest floor, it features a creamy mushroom pate and curded egg yolk; salty, rich and unctuous, intensifying the flavour of the yolk.

The raisin almond oil adds a sweet, dense crunchy texture. The cranberry pearls are sour; exploding with a burst of flavour in your mouth. All is set on the soft and buttery richness of the brioche.



The Monday RoomWine Match: Bellbird Spring Home Block White 2015 – Waipara, North Canterbury

According to Wine Consultant at Wine Sentience, Stephen Wong, the earthy, yet sweet flavours are an interesting combination. “At first glance, they suggest a red wine, but for the summer season, exaggerating a dry, earthy and dense flavour profile doesn’t make sense.”

He has opted instead to frame the earthiness through contrast, choosing to complement the acidity, the almonds, brioche and the curded yolk with something fruity, sweet, slightly chilled and white. Inspired by the concept of forest foraging, Wong has selected Guy Porter’s field blended white, the Bellbird Spring Home Block White 2015.


Four aromatic varieties come together in this wine – Pinot Gris, Riesling, Muscat and Gewürztraminer. Together they combine the lifted floral scented smells of summer with the savoury richness and texture derived from Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer.

“The honeyed character it displays works perfectly with a buttery brioche and the intensity of egg yolk. The savoury, aged characters resonate with the mushroomy base of the dish and highlight its inherent sweetness through contrast (think of how salted caramel and savoury desserts work).”




The Monday Room

Seasonal Sensations: The Monday Room

In mid-winter, sharing comfort food with great friends can be a wonderful experience. There’s no better place to do that than at The Monday Room at 161 High Street.

The Monday Room

A destination for any food and beverage lover, the new winter menu has some great options to tempt you in out of the cold, including Slow Roasted Beef Cheeks, Canterbury Duck and the seriously decadent 12-hour Braised Lamb shoulder – an incredibly succulent dish that must be tried to be appreciated. The restaurant doesn’t shy away from the hearty meat dishes, but there is something for everyone in this comprehensive new menu.

For fancy home cooked sharing plates, ‘Trust the Chef’ is an amazing concept. Chef Hannah has devised an amazing selection of plates to be shared for every type of palate for only $45 a head. What better way to celebrate together and create memories to last a lifetime than a banquet-style buffet from the centre of the table that is designed especially for group gatherings?
The Monday Room offers quality traditional food with a modern twist, amongst convivial surroundings, with the service and beverage to back it up. So why not sit back with a quality cocktail or boutique wine and enjoy the company of your best and closest friends? The Monday Room is comfort food at its finest.