Even before mounting the steps and entering the double doors, the beautiful mural on the side of the building, filigree balcony and lights on the verandah welcome us with open Indian arms, in modern, Bollywood-style.
"We're so happy you're back" is the comment George Taylor and his wife, Raewyn, hear most often since their Vanilla Ice cart returned to Victoria Square.
Christmas cake recipe divides the whole family
We have a festive problem in our household - or rather, the wider family group.
It's that time of the year when we look back on the best meals we have sampled in 2014.
REVIEW: Lush green surrounds and perfect portion sizes make Ilex Cafe a top spot for lunch.
This Halswell restaurant is set well back from a busy arterial road, in a two-storey, 1880s homestead with an impressive fit-out.
To start the day the right way, Avenues searched the city for some brunch favourites.
Spice Paragon has branched out from its popular Bush Inn base to extend owners Bundit and Bo's upmarket Asian cuisine empire to the city centre.
Avenues discovers the best luxe fast food places.
When you are busy about town, but food cannot wait, it pays to know the best pit stops.
The pre-quake Victoria and High streets favourite is back. Grab a park where Victoria meets Salisbury St, then follow the garlic, galangal and lemongrass aromas.
Take a culinary journey through The Americas and Europe without leaving Christchurch city limits.
A generous smoked chicken salad at The Carlton was the dish to beat.
Hachi Hachi, Victoria St, is reminiscent of pre-quake Japanese eatery Wagamamas, with communal tables, served-when-ready dishes and wallet-friendly prices.
Forget chefs and business owners. Meet some of Christchurch's hospitality stars - the ones going the extra mile to get our orders just right.
Who's baking the best pies?
It's the pastry you smell first, then the filling. Both reeling you in. And one every now and again is fine, right? But, who's baking the best?
Dinner gets a perfect score at Addington's newest restaurant, where an open kitchen reveals the kitchen's secrets.
We entered carnivore mode to discover dishes primed for meat lovers.
One Good Horse served up the ultimate ribeye steak when Avenues decided to embrace the carnivore within.
The vegetable samosas and breads were among the best, but the curries lacked real spice.
On cool winter days, there's nothing better than a bowl of piping hot soup. Avenues trials some of the city's best brews.
Hot pots might be a novel restaurant accessory, but when dining out offers a DIY option, expect stray ladles, splashing and an inevitable mess.
Offering protein smoothies and paleo-approved foods, Pure Cafe Co strikes us as a health-conscious cafe we'd expect to find in a trendy New York City neighbourhood. Imagine our surprise when we stumbled upon it in Birmingham Dr.
Avenues searches the city for the dishes worth waking up for.
Some weekdays, a slab of chocolate goodness is all that is required to get over the 3pm hump. Which chocolate dessert satiated the cravings? We tried a few of the favourites.
This petite Japanese tapas-style restaurant is bringing life to the Cathedral Junction precinct.
Every month, we scour the city for the best cafes. This time, it was dining among potted flowers and antiques that made us feel this lunchtime haunt was a little bit fancy.
A grand feast
This Riccarton restaurant brings new meaning to going out for Chinese. Its large banquet room definitely has the wow factor and its menu has more than 200 options.
Expecting sweet, sour and spicy dishes, we explored the city for the tastes of Thailand.
We all have our local fish and chip shop, but are some worth crossing town for? We cast our net wide to see which chip shop would reel us in.
Jax Hamilton decides Tony Astle's latest venture is worthy of becoming her new local.
Jax Hamilton can't remember a time when she lived in London that wasn't an occasion for a curry and a pint.
Margaret Agnew is impressed by the English-Kiwi granny style dishes served up at Gustav's.
We put hotel lunch menus through their paces
Dining in the city.
In search of the healthy choice, we found a salad with grunt.
This 1920s-style cocktail lounge is innovative and inviting.
A mystery dining experience
There's no menu at Roots, so expect the unexpected.
We couldn't go past these cabinets
We tracked down cafés with look-at-me cabinets that could not be resisted.
In search of the city's top meat
We found a cut above the rest.
An old favourite is back
It's been a while, but Winnies is back in the CBD.
The hunt for the most satisfying pub lunch
Nothing says "winter" quite like a pub meal. We scoped out the best ones in town.
An old favourite lives up to its past
The return of Sala Sala to Christchurch is a morale booster like no other.
Fend off winter with something warming for lunch
The Avenues team went searching for spicy dishes to warm the core and lift spirits.
A new restaurant in Hereford St
Kamala finds new restaurant Duo to be rather uninspiring.
Proving you can get quality at a low cost
It wasn't easy, and many didn't make the cut, but we found some great $10 lunches in the end.
The city's newest Italian restaurant
The owners Portofino have a opened a new Italian restaurant.
Where to go before the Italian restaurants open
Finding a good dish of pasta to enjoy at lunch wasn't as easy as we expected.
More than just a restaurant
Chef Darren Wright's new restaurant offers a fine-dining experience in Cranford St.
New to St Asaph St
Cafe Valentino is back, now on St Asaph St. Is it living up to its Colombo St days?
Enjoy, or fight over, these delicious dishes
We found the perfect combination of delectable ingredients, all on one plate.
The latest reincarnation of Dux de Lux, Dux Dine is drawing vegetarians to Riccarton.
Looking for an alternative to a hot caffeine-filled drink this summer?