Cafe chat: Combined forces open new cafe
Merging their skills in coffee and food, Christchurch couple Sophie Dewar and Jonny Gudsell have opened a new cafe in the city centre, a stone's throw from Ara Institute of Canterbury.
Grain Coffee and Eatery at 19 Southwark St opened early last month. It's based in the lobby of Qb Studios.
Gudsell previously worked at Allpress Espresso for seven years in the training and sales departments. Dewar inherited her mother's foodie roots. "My mum is a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef. I'd often help out with her catering business so I learnt a lot from her."
Constructed within the shell of a reinforced 1960s brick warehouse the cafe has a modern, industrial atmosphere. There's exposed brick walls and a gantry crane suspended above the coffee bar – a relic from the building's past as an engineer's workshop.
"We had talked about combining our skills for a long time. The opportunity arose so we jumped at it," Gudsell says. Approached by Qb Studios a week prior to Christmas the business came together quickly, opening just over two months later.
Grain offers cabinet food that changes daily and a seasonal menu. The food is made by Dewar in its tiny kitchen. "I make everything myself including the mayonnaise and sauces. We buy very little produce in pre-made," she says.
There are a few finishing touches still to be made with shelving, a sound system, signage and a menu board yet to be installed. Open Monday to Friday 7.30am to 4pm.
Cafe takes on the night
Having proven its popularity with daytime cafe goers, the 2015 Zest cafe of the year is taking on the evening scene. Dose Diner is now open nights, Wednesday to Sunday. New hours mean new dinner, dessert and cocktail menus to match. Co-owner Andy Shiau says it's relaxed food while still being top of the line. Think gourmet pizzas, shared plates, burgers and killer drinks. You'll find Dose at 295 Blenheim Rd.
A duo of food and jazz
French and Latin flavour fusions will be paired with smooth sounds from top jazz performers at Jazz Dine, part of Christchurch's New Zealand Jazz and Blues Festival. The annual festival returns in May with two nights of Jazz Dine, giving groovers the chance to match music, food and wine in one evening. Hotel Montreal will host a Latin menu with music by Dr Sanchez on Wednesday, May 24. The following night The George hosts an evening of French fare and entertainment from Bob Heinz and Keith Petch. Included is a four-course meal matched with Black Estate wines.
Warm up with Torenhof
Timed just for winter the guys at Belgian Beer Cafe Torenhof have launched a new menu, packed with hearty comfort food to get customers through the cold months ahead. The defining dish of steamed Green Lip Mussels still holds its place, but the rest of its European-style cuisine is different. The likes of Belgian sausage with potato mash and mushroom and spinach pasta spirals now make up the inviting lineup. There's also a new four-course beer or wine matched degustation menu on Friday and Saturday nights. 13 Stanley St, in The Colombo car park.
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