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Orleans is the kind of place the word “moody” was invented for. When we open the big door in Strange’s Lane and head in (in the early evening; such is the popularity of the place that it’s the only booking we can get!) we’re greeted by the soft glow of candles amidst the dimly-lit, darkly stained interior. Voodoo-esque figurines and photographs of jazz musicians look down on us from up near the high ceiling, and the neon behind the bar (the brightest thing in the room) beckons with a warm yellow glow. It all feels rather like we’ve stumbled through a portal to a laidback jazz club haunt on the Louisiana bayou somewhere.Perusing the fierce new winter menu and deciding we’re hungry, we back ourselves to tackle the whole pound rump steak, chargrilled and served with heaping helpings of dirty black rice and béarnaise sauce, also opting for the Caesar...
Cityscape Eating @
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There’s an element of New York cool to our very own Belgian Beer Café Torenhof – specifically, it recalls the Big Apple’s penchant for tucking killer watering holes and dining hot spots in unusual and unassuming locales. You can’t help but be reminded of this as you enter Christchurch’s hallowed ground of fine Belgian ales and European cuisine mastery via The Colombo’s car park. If there’s an additional sense of déjà vu once you’re inside the reinstated Belgian Beer Café Torenhof’s 1920s-hip time capsule, too, it’s on account of the entire fit-out (sans a few broken glasses) being relocated from their old central city venue and repurposed into its current digs following the quakes.The establishment expresses its anachronistic Belgian ‘brown bar’ bent via the familiar dark wood panelling and bevelled edge mirrors, sturdy dark-wood furniture, leather booth seating, deco lighting and vintage maps, paintings, and retro Belgian beer paraphernalia decorating the walls...
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 & 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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  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...
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The world needs more welcoming haunts to catch up with friends for a cheeky mid-week pint, weekend cocktail and a hearty feed. Fortunately One Good Horse (technically a two-horse race – with locations in both Parklands and Avonhead) delivers on all three.Unpretentious and welcoming, the Parklands location rocks the vibe of a bygone era; you'll feel like you're spending a day at the races in the early 1900s in an environment where rustic reclaimed woods join perfectly stuffed mahogany-button-tufted booth seating, and repurposed saddles and various equine paraphernalia pay homage to the legendary track stars of yesteryear.The surroundings may echo the times when the great horses had gussied up folk flocking to the races, taking their chances on the big names, but tonight it seems everyone is placing their bets on dinner here. Spotting two dishes piled high with finger-licking ribs, fries, salad and coleslaw enroute to an eager table ignites...
Cityscape Events
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Need some more toe-tapping in your weekend? Mashina Lounge is riding to the rescue with The Hop, a Rockabilly Show / dine & dance on the the 30th of August, headlined by Cry Baby Jo, who are sure to get you up and moving.30 bucks will get you dinner with the show, and there's prizes for Best Dressed as well as a dance demo from the Christchurch Rock n’ Roll Club. Action kicks off at 6pm – grab tickets from the Christchurch Casino website. ...
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“The menu is made for sharing and you’ll want to take a little taste from each of the Sumthin’s,” enthuses our waitress over the toe-tappingly raucous strains of Seth Hamilton and the Jimmy Rainy Quartet, which are saxing their way up to Orleans’ suitably broody mezzanine level.Strange's Lane’s first birthday is in full swing and Christchurch’s ragin’ Cajun quarter is channelling some serious Bourbon Street swagger. Tucked up an unassuming High Street alley, strings of hundreds of fairy lights lead to the balloon-strewn bohemian bricked courtyard, where a bangin’ DJ set is firing up revellers not adverse to the intermittent showers, while those who are swill killer prohibition-cool cocktails in the pimped-up industrial chic of neighbouring watering hole Strange & Co.We get our own party started with a round of Orleans’ cocktails; the classic Red Snapper ups the ante with a Creole spin on the classic Bloody Mary by adding...
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We peruse the carefully-curated menu under the watchful gaze of a Bengal Tiger prowling the jungle undergrowth. The impressive mural features a stunning jewel-green tiled ceiling, just part of the stunning package at this excellent addition to St Asaph Street’s buzzing restaurant and bar scene that offers some of the city’s finest Indian cuisine.A love song to all things Bombay, local curry legend Amar Singh’s Coriander’s Ethnic Indian Restaurants’ mothership is housed in a beautiful, colonial-style building, resplendent in white. Ornate decorating and fancy murals join a movie-poster clad Bollywood room and sunny, undercover outdoor area perfect for lazy weekend lunches and early evening dining.Inside, a slick bar setup is a great place to grab a pre-dinner tipple if you’re waiting on your table (FYI: if you haven’t booked for dinner, a wait is pretty much a given), while well-placed kitchen windows allow diners to not only check out the...
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Bringing some Victorian grandeur back to the city (hurray!) after an all-too-long quake-enforced absence, Riccarton House is now fully restored, which means Riccarton House Bistro has re-opened to serve up delectable delights for both lunch and dinner in magnificent surroundings. Recent offerings on the regularly-updated menu include the angus rib eye steak with fondant potatoes, pickled vegetables, and rosemary jus – please, try not to drool on your keyboard – while if you’re looking for a fantastic lunch option on a weekend afternoon, it’s tough to go past the pulled pork sandwich with slaw and smoked capsicum aoli.Christchurch colonial history never tasted so delicious! www.riccartonhousebistro.co.nz...