Cafe Chat: Gastro pub for St Asaph St

Last updated 10:44 04/12/2013
Carys Monteath
FESTIVE SALAD: Crayfish and pink grapefuit salad at Saggio.

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Cafe Chat

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Christchurch has a lot to look forward to in the New Year thanks to Cook Bros Bars (from Dunedin) who have confirmed a new gastro pub next to Baretta in St Asaph St. The gastro pub will be set up in the Engineers and Merchants building to the left of Baretta. The old brick building has loads of character which chief executive James Arnott says will be preserved for a bar on the ground floor and restaurant above complete with rooftop bar. Plans are in the design phase and consent is in. Opening expected March/April next year.


Another Cook Bros venture is the new gourmet burger joint opening in Riccarton - Velvet Burger. The brand already has two outlets in Dunedin (the home of Cook Bros) and one in Auckland. The shop will open in the new building being constructed on the corner of Rotherham St and Riccarton Rd.. Find Velvet Burger at Expected to open in early January.


Christchurch favourite and The Press Zest Restaurant of the Year 2013, Saggio di Vino, is offering a festive treat for those seeking a restaurant lunch during the week. Pop by between midday and 3pm Monday-Friday for a 2 course lunch $39, 3 courses $55. The menu includes dishes such as citrus-cured salmon, bocconcini salad, and rib eye steak. Only available during December. A great treat for business associates or staff. To book phone 379 4006.


Villa Maria Estate has once again taken the top award at the Australian Winestate awards in Auckland. This is the 13th year they have taken home the prize. Villa Maria has vineyards around New Zealand including three in Marlborough. Senior Auckland winemaker Nick Picone received the award.


Dunedin pie makers Who Ate All The Pies have released a free- range turkey pie just in time for Christmas. In partnership with Croziers Free-Range Turkeys in Ashburton, the pie has been made with secret recipe pastry and a traditional roux for the turkey. The brand also has wild venison, beef, pork and steak pies already on offer. The turkey pie will be on shelves in December, see for outlets near you.


The South Island Wine and Food Festival is in Hagley Park on Saturday, 11.30am-7.30pm. Over 40 wineries are visiting alongside a pile of foodies and celebrity chefs. Tickets at

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Big plans are afoot in Welles St (Winnie Bagoes is there) in the central city. Talk is of a new bar/ restaurant opening next year, as well as a second outlet from Riccarton Asian fusion restaurant, Spice Paragon (Bush Inn). Zest will have details as they emerge. Watch this space!


Things have been rearranged in Akaroa over the winter and much has changed. The Stables have moved and are now operating from the converted ex- Jade Gallery (57 Rue Lavaud). Owner Janine Slagter has set up the reinvented Stables as a cafe/ restaurant/bakery. At the moment it's open 8am-4.30pm 7 days, with evening dining expected soon (03 304 8039). Janine also owns Akaroa Fish and Chips, and the bakery part of The Stables is a great replacement for Akaroa Bakery, which burned down this year. The old Stables premises at 41 Rue Lavaud is now operated by Carlos Clements, who formerly worked as head chef at Bully Hayes. Carlos has turned the old Stables into The Brasserie - an a la carte French-Euro restaurant (03 304 8585).


Well-known to Christchurch coffee lovers Caffeine Laboratory (formerly of Shades Arcade) is getting set to open their New Regent St site. The CL signature pickup truck has been stopping by for weeks, and the newspaper covered windows now bear the CL logo, but no word yet on opening date. Owner James Bagrie said he had his fingers crossed for a pre- Christmas open. CL already has outlets in Re:Start and on Montreal, but this new venture promises to be even better - a cafe with full kitchen and menu, and in time, and upstairs bar space. The perfect fit for Isaac Theatre Royal patrons. Find The Caffeine Laboratory on Facebook for an opening update.

- © Fairfax NZ News


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