Despite the shocks of the past year Cantabrians' appetite for a top notch meal is undiminished and thankfully a number of the Garden City’s best establishments are still open for business. Let’s have a look at some of them.
Rotherhams of Riccarton
Cuisine Type: Classic European/New Zealand. Average Main Price: A La Carte $39
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, evening dining from 6pm
Rotherhams, owned by chef Martin Weiss and his wife Cindy, offers elegant European cuisine in stylish surroundings. In addition to the a la carte menu, there are also set menu and five and eight course degustation options available. Highlights of the degustation menu include cervena carpaccio in rocket oil, aged balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts and wild berry sorbet and the citrus cheesecake. Rotherhams boasts an extensive wine list of more than 500 labels from Europe, New Zealand and Australia and can match wines with menu offerings. It won the Fonterra Foodservices Outstanding Canterbury Restaurant Award in 2009 and has won the Lamb and Beef Hallmark of Excellence Award for the past 10 years running. Bookings highly recommended.
The Old Vicarage Café
Cuisine Type: European. Average Main Price: $32
Opening Hours: open from 9am daily with dinner served from 5:30pm to 9:30pm
Situated in a lovingly restored historic villa, in Halswell, six kilometres from the city centre, The Old Vicarage is a great place to catch up with family and friends at any time. Its menu consists of a seasonally changing range of New Zealand and European-inspired dishes made from quality, fresh ingredients. Most offerings are gluten-free. Come and sample the Old Vicarage's new summer dinner menu. It includes, among other delights, entree of gravlax, main of Murellen pork belly with a kumara, lemon and thyme galette and, for dessert the house's own cheesecake. Booking strongly advised.
Cuisine Type: French. Average Main Price: $25 – $30
Opening Hours: 10:00am to 10:30pm, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Chantellinis is not in Christchurch City, but in Hanmer Springs. We've included it in this piece because it is very popular and not just with Hurunui locals, but also with visitors. The Chatellinis experience is a quaintly charming one, from the 1930s character building with expansive mountain views, to its courtyard area planted with roses and established trees and not least, its rustic, hearty French-influenced cuisine. There are a number of different menu options – the Summer Classics Menu, Three Course Set Menu and the Tour de France Menu – made up of French bistro classics such as goats cheese tart, Provencale Tart, Fish Parmentier and tart tatin. The wine list is substantial and has regional Canterbury focus and the bar also offers a range of digestif cocktails.
Cuisine Type: Seafood. Average Main Price: $35 and over
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 6:00pm to late
Pescatore is the signature restaurant at The George hotel. It has garnered an international reputation for serving the finest Pacific Rim cuisine and seafood of the highest quality. Pescatore's menu combines classical dining concepts with modern cooking techniques to create innovative and elegant seasonal menus. Diners can choose from four different menus and enviable wine list that has been honoured by the illustrious US-based Wine Spectator Magazine.
Cuisine Type: Contemporary New Zealand. Average Main Price: $35
Opening Hours: lunch Monday to Friday 11:30am to 3:00pm, dinner Monday to Saturday from 5:30pm
Edesia is inspired by the Roman Goddess of food, from whom it takes its name, with a menu that presents classic flavours in a modern manner. As well as extensive lunch and dinner menus a set menu is offered for groups of 15 or more people, priced at $75. Sample mains include duck confit with braised red cabbage, kumara fondant, clementine and black pepper coulis with juniper jus and quail with green lentil, Jerusalem artichoke, pickled apple, pineapple and sherry vinegar caramel. Edesia’s cellar contains 200 wines from around the world and there is also a range of whiskies and armagnacs and cognacs to round off your meal.
Cuisine Type: European. Average Main Price: $25 – $35
Opening Hours: breakfast, lunch and dinner, open from 7:00am to 11:00pm
The Garden Court Brasserie is located at the heart of the Chateau on the Park hotel and offers quality European-style dishes in a charming, convivial setting overlooking the extensive gardens with their moat. In the warmer weather you can dine on the terrace in true al fresco style. The menu is an eclectic mix of hearty fare made from top quality produce and features creations such as manuka fumed blue cod with clams and bacon set on spinach potatoes and eggs Benedict, the chef’s chicken and coconut curry with rice noodles and Asian greens and beef fillet steak wrapped in streaky bacon with green olive and mushroom crust on scalloped potatoes and a grappa glaze sauce.
Editorial by Nick Chidley
14 November 2011