Cafe chat: Rice and Paper promises no more 'boring' sushi

Rice and Paper owner Wonkyn Yang wakes early to individually decorate sushi with flower petals.
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/STUFF

Rice and Paper owner Wonkyn Yang wakes early to individually decorate sushi with flower petals.

Designer sushi store Rice and Paper opened its doors in Christchurch last week, almost a year later than planned.

It has set up shop in the Boxed Quarter complex, corner of St Asaph and Madras streets, making it the second eatery for owner Wonkyn Yang. 

Yang opened the neighbouring Steampunk Laboratory in October last year. At the time, he signalled Rice and Paper was just a few weeks away. 

Flavors include Korean-style marinated beef and Korean-spiced pork.

Flavors include Korean-style marinated beef and Korean-spiced pork.

Relieved to now be open, the 32-year-old admits it has been a "very long journey" held up by council consents, but he's excited to finally be open.

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The price range is "definitely higher" averaging $2 per piece.

The price range is "definitely higher" averaging $2 per piece.

Yang starts rolling "unique, beautifully decorated" sushi and nigiri at 6am, decorating each piece with flower petals.

The Korean-born Kiwi was motivated to open Rice and Paper after feeling "sick and tired with pre-packed sushi".

"I loved sushi, but many of the options are very boring."

The price range is "definitely higher" than chain stores, but "we don't have ordinary sushi", Yang says. Pieces cost an average of $2 each.

Incorporating a taste of Korea was important to Yang and so Korean-style marinated beef and Korean-spiced pork flavours feature on the menu. 

Rice and Paper is a "little, cosy space, but is also stylish and modern", with a handful of bar leaners to perch at. 

It plans to expand its menu over the summer by adding dumplings, Japanese beer and sake. 

Business at its sister eatery, Steampunk Laboratory, is "really pumping". Its signature offering of cup-bop, a Korean dish with barbecue meat, rice and vegetables, has found found popularity with nearby Ara Polytechnic students. 

Yang will open a third eatery at the $80 million farmers market complex, planned for the site that now holds the container mall. 

Pinot to flow at vino festival 

​Pinot noir fans, brace yourself for Christchurch's inaugural Pinot Palooza festival, poised to hit Woolston's the Tannery this weekend. A whopping 70 pinots will be flowing for enthusiasts to taste test, all included in the $60 general admission fee. The country's largest pinot party stars a line-up of reds made in Australia and New Zealand, plus a select range of Burgundies from France (at an additional cost). Soak up the vino with eats crafted by Jonny Schwass. The well-known chef will be serving free-range fried chicken and wood-fired whole hog to hungry festival-goers. Saturday, September 16. The Tannery 3 Garlands Rd, Woolston. Purchase tickets from pinotpalooza.com.au.

Get hip deep in pinot noir at Christchurch's first Pinot Palooza.

Get hip deep in pinot noir at Christchurch's first Pinot Palooza.

Little slice of Rangiora​ in town

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Rangiora's The Good Street Deli has relocated to the big smoke, opening in the central city late last month. The North Canterbury cafe shut in March after a decade in business. It was forced out by the demolition and rebuild of its building. Owners Sophie Wang and Michael Lau are now focusing on their fresh start in a modern, light-filled location opposite Hagley Park. Wang hopes its cakes and desserts, which were much-loved in North Canterbury, will find similar favour in the city. Good Street Deli,12 Moorhouse Ave.

Fresh focaccia at Mediterranean Co

Loaves of warm focaccia, brioche and French-style baguette are now being pulled from the oven at The Mediterranean Food Company. The importer and retailer of speciality European produce has expanded its operations and is now baking its own European-style breads, pastries and tarts. Co-owner Andrew Brady says the focaccia is its biggest hit so far and often sells out early in the day. The Mediterranean Food Co, 322 Tuam St and 188 High St, Rangiora. 

Do you have a food or beverage tip to share? Email laura.baker@fairfaxmedia.co.nz​​

 - Stuff

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