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Cityscape Eating & Drinking
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Cityscape checks out Mexico's new Winter menu. Mexico launched its new winter menu recently, turning up the heat just in time for the chilly (or should that be chilli?) season with new dishes such as the new Pipian Chicken and Ancho Dry Rubbed Prawn (pictured below) Tacos and Crab Albondigas, as well as bringing back old favourites like the Lime Curd and Vanilla Cheesecake, Fried Chicken and Esquites. The Cityscape crew dropped in to their Manchester Street operation to check the new goodies out for ourselves – just for scientific purposes, you understand – and had soon ordered ourselves up a well-laden table of the new hotness. Most found it difficult to go past the deliciousness of the new pork cheek barbacoa taco with chilli and pineapple salsa, plantain chips, and pickled pineapple, but the beef arrachera taco with whipped garlic, grapes, saffron stained apple, almond crumbs and bursting with fiery pink...
Cityscape Foodie File
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Category Foodie File

With the resurgence of making things yourself and the added pressure reality television cooking shows are piling onto even the most basic concept of hosting a dinner party, there’s never been a better time to take charge in the kitchen and upskill your at-home gourmet game. Read on for the lowdown on where and how to learn to make your own cheese, pasta and preserves and through to doling out delicious desserts, the satisfaction of baking your own bread, curing your own meats and pulling off an epic, multi-course dinner party for the ages – who says you can’t take the heat? As luck would have it, rather than taking the ‘a magician never reveals his tricks’ approach, many of our city’s top chefs are only too happy to let the rest of us in on their killer kitchen secrets, with a number of Christchurch’s best eateries running associated cooking...
Cityscape Eating @
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Category Eating @

The butter-poached free-range egg sits atop the thick, lightly-caramelised slices of dry-aged sirloin, its startlingly orange yolk glistening like a rare jewel. Yielding under the knife before breaking, its molten gold contents spill over the steak and cascade down the deep crevices of tender, rare beef in a display of next-level gastro porn. It’s a sight likely to elicit a signature gasp and saucy superlative from domestic goddess/temptress Nigella Lawson, but it has me hurriedly reaching for the chunky, hand-cut golden fries to mop up the sprawling goodness. Ensconced in the swank surrounds of the Heritage Christchurch Hotel’s Old Government Building, the culinary maestros at Continental have breathed new life into Maddison’s Restaurant, the former breakfast-only venue now also rocking fierce lunch and dinner menus. Sustainable, locally-sourced and in-season fare is the order of the day, in alignment with the hotel chain’s Good Food Project. Don’t let the words ‘hotel...
Cityscape Eating & Drinking
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Category Eating & Drinking

The first thing that hits you when you walk into new-look The Asiatique is the mouth-watering, multi-layered aromas of made-from-scratch traditional Thai and Peranakan Malaysian Nyonya street food. Hanging heavy in the air and rich with the promise of deliciousness to come, the fragrance is an intoxicating blend of fresh lemon grass, chilli, limes, coriander, garlic and ginger, and one that’s bound to have you reaching for the menu stat. Formerly Fusion @ The Asiatique, the Sydenham Asian-themed oasis has switched up the menu and décor, narrowing their once diverse offering to focus on tricked-up Malay and Thai (with a nod to Vietnam via their fresh rolls). You’ll find a retro French-Asian aesthetic; an old cooker in the corner and jars of palm sugar alongside fresh limes, chillies and an old Imperial typewriter, vintage suitcases piled high above the bar, an intriguing wall of conical hats as art and, rounding out...
Cityscape Eating @
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With 80s tunes rocking the sound system, a funky new interior created after a rustic revamp and a fine menu of epically-honed gastropub fare, the reborn Merrin Street Brewery Bar has swag in spades. The venue formerly known as the Monteith’s Brew Bar located in Avonhead Mall might have changed its name, but its signature legendary West Coast hospitality, and famed line-up of Monteith’s craft beers and Kiwi wines, continues the legacy of this neighbourhood fave. It’s a crackin’ autumn afternoon when we roll up with some serious hunger pangs and, after walking through the sun-drenched outdoor area, are welcomed by huge friendly grins from the staff and the slick new aesthetic, where righteous multi-coloured rough-cut coloured feature walls meet the industrial edge of chunky wooden copper-nailed tables. In a nod to the bar’s West Coast roots, a boar’s head lords over proceedings from over the fireplace. Behind a well-stocked...
Cityscape Eating & Drinking
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Category Eating & Drinking

You might, like The Boomtown Rats, not be too fond of Mondays, but (trust us) you’re gonna love the all-new, revamped The Monday Room. The former post-quake party palace which endeared itself to the city after seeing Christchurch through some dark times has undergone a remarkable transformation. Fittingly, and reflecting the city’s own spirits, the mood has been lifted with a brighter, earthier makeover in line with its new, seasonally-driven food focus. The once dark wood panelling has been white-washed and the science lab element switched out for a more chilled vibe courtesy of the crackle and pop of vinyl and a herb garden feature wall. Adding a retractable roof to the outdoor back area has extended the restaurant space, truer to the venue’s new focus, and has created a cosy and well-lit dining space. Thankfully, the slick cocktail aesthetic remains: pressed ceiling, exposed brick and encyclopaedia-lined bar (hey, if...
Cityscape Eating @
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With a nearby car park in busy Victoria Street secured, the Cityscape team heads into Aroy Thai on a grey afternoon to find several tables full of people already enjoyably munching away. We park up with a table in the quiet, relaxed environment and eye up the menu of traditional Thai classics including curries, noodle dishes and soups – there’s a good range on offer on the $12 lunch menu. We kick off with hot, crunchy spring rolls, fish cakes and chicken satay sticks, with a creamy peanut sauce that positively screams out for the slight impropriety of at-table finger-licking. A choice of rice or egg noodles is offered with each dish; important for connoisseurs of classic noodle dishes such as Pad Thai, which at Aroy can unusually also be ordered with a delicious crispy pork, and the Drunken Noodles, brim-full of generous servings of juicy chicken and coated in...
Cityscape Eating & Drinking
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Category Eating & Drinking

One of the best things about going on holiday is getting to try exotic new foods, but for the owners of passports gathering dust this summer, Cityscape is charting an international culinary adventure without leaving the city. Join us for an intercontinental tour to treat the taste buds as we traverse through Christchurch’s finest examples of international cuisine. EUROPE From bangers and mash in the West to the thousand-year-old tradition of shchi (Russian cabbage soup) in the East, European cuisine is as diverse as the different cultures of the more than 50 countries in the continent. While countless French and Italian staples in particular have, of course, become favourites all over the world, a host of other European nations have given one or more famously and epically tasty gifts to the globe. ITALY Baretta Describing itself as “a little piece of Italy in Christchurch”, Baretta offers an air of European...
Cityscape Eating @
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A tram rattles past, revealing the Wizard reverse parking (though we can’t be sure, given his pushmi-pullyu double-fronted Volkswagen Beetle), as I reach for another heavenly smoked pork rib sticky with chancaca.We’re lunching at Casa Publica, James ‘Carlton’ Murdoch’s love letter to all things South American – including the mysterious Señor Hugo Chile – and it’s a perfect spring day in the city. Sitting in the sun at the Armagh Street end of the always buzzing New Regent Street, it’s the perfect spot to withdraw from (but still keep an eye on) the city’s hustle and bustle, kick back, and enjoy sensational sipper Casa Luana – a premium, smooth rum infused in-house with a heady mix of cardamom, orange and brown sugar – while grazing on exotic fare.With a theme based around the legend of the aforementioned Señor Chile, who became a rum runner during prohibition, then switched to cocaine...
Cityscape Eating @
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  It feels like we’ve stumbled on one of Christchurch’s best kept foodie secrets – our table is littered with brightly-coloured plates of stunning, ‘modern Asian’ deliciousness and it’s just too close a race to call a favourite. What’s more, we can’t even adopt the tried and true ‘whittle them down from the least favourite’ scenario, such are the dishes’ across-the-board excellence. Sitting within the YMCA, with killer street frontage on Rolleston Avenue serving up epic views of the Botanic Gardens from a sun-drenched al fresco area, DUO Dining Room & Bar fuses a funky, en-pointe hip vibe with some seriously boundary-pushing Asian fare. Inside it’s all smiles from super-friendly, on game staff and industrial cool by way of a black pressed ceiling, slick black-tiled bar, naked black wire lamp shades and some edgy urban street art-style muralage. Hit the bar and grab a frosty glass of Asahi or Somersby Cider...