Cafe chat: Cheap and cheerful
The best of the best
The countdown has started for this year's Steak of Origin contest. Farmers who think they have the country's most tender, tasty steak can send their entries to Beef and Lamb New Zealand (see beeflambnz.co.nz for an entry form). All entries go through tenderness and quality testing, including tests for colour and succulence, before the final taste test and crowning at the Beef Expo in Feilding on May 13.
You'll need to book for this one because Tomi Japanese restaurant at 76 Edgeware Rd (on the corner of Cranford St) has become increasingly popular in the short time that it has been open. The dishes are reasonably priced and the atmosphere is friendly and inviting.
Watch this space
The tide of change has swept over Scarborough Fare Restaurant and Cafe in Sumner. New owners, and longtime Sumner residents, Wal and Jules Pritchard (who own the Rose and Thistle in Papanui) have renamed the site the Ocean Bar and Cafe and are serving up a new menu. Steve Patterson stays on as head chef in a role he took up 14 months ago. Jules Pritchard says the renovation plans include evening dining to start later this year, and creating a winter-friendly environment.
Cheap and cheerful
A sisterly spat has spawned a branch of Colombo St's Vietnamese restaurant, Little Saigon, in Richmond Village on the corner of Stanmore and North Avon roads. Called Little Star 1, the restaurant has the same good value and tasty food and although the dishes are the same, the sisters decided to have different names for the restaurants. Try the fresh Vietnamese spring rolls ($7.50 for three) for an authentic and excellent value for money taste experience.
Winners of tickets to the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival were G Cooper of Mairehau, Tracy Blackwood of Redcliffs, and Terry Thompson of Kaikoura.