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Posts Tagged ‘restaurants’

An old friend from Auckland was in town briefly, so four of us had dinner at the Carlton.

This pub, which has been completely rebuilt since the earthquakes, was the first in New Zealand to serve beer on tap and the first to have a beer garden.  Almost all the other diners were men.  Is this because the Carlton specialises in steaks?

Di and I have been friends since the early 1970s, and it’s very rarely I spend time with someone I’ve known that long.

“It’s great when an old friend appears
someone I’ve known for forty years.”

 

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Last night we dined at Clink in Sumner.  The building with its old stone walls is reputed to have been a prison for mutineers early in the 19th century – hence the restaurant name.

We had the five course ‘Trust the Chef’ dining experience.  Usually $65 per person, I’d bought a Grab One voucher which gave us two experiences for $65.  I liked the idea of surprises and not having to make decisions.  The five small courses were superb, and beautifully presented.  Paying the full price would be beyond our modest budget, and we were delighted with the value we got.  They had Guiness on tap for Stephen, and I enjoyed an Aspall’s cyder.  This is certainly somewhere we’d come for a special occasion.

“Five luscious courses and a drink
we certainly dined well at Clink.”

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We chose Chopped for breakfast today.   This cafe is a reincarnation of Tequila Mockingbird in Victoria Street.  There was only one other customer in sight when we entered at 8.30am.  The menu has plenty of options and the prices are reasonable.  Stephen chose Eggs Benny and I had the Brisket Hash.

I enjoyed the roast veges, hash, and poached egg, but found the brisket just a little too spicy.  I was later very thirsty, so there must have been too much salt as well.  I’m inclined to be more sensitive to this than most people as I don’t eat much salt.  My preference would have been for more veges and less brisket, but it was a good meal.  The service was attentive.  When Stephen dropped a knife, the waiter was immediately there with a replacement.   He also took the trouble to take our photo twice, trying to avoid the sunshine.  My Earl Grey tea came with a slice of lemon, in a very thick mug.  I do prefer bone china!

One wall has a mural of large knives, illustrating the cafe name.  When we paid I noticed the tip jar was labelled ‘help us to pay our parking fines’.  It must be very difficult for staff in the Victoria Street area to find parking.

As we left we discovered another area out the back with several tables occupied.  This is actually the ‘Staff only’ cafe which I’d read about.  The Montreal Street entrance is quite anonymous, but handy for us as we were parked there.

“To choose the brisket could be dicey
unless you like your food quite spicy.”

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We’d often wondered about Indian Sumner, and now they’ve opened a new restaurant in the central city we were keen to try them.  They’re in Manchester Street, currently in the middle of roadworks, and it was pouring with rain on the evening we chose, but negotiating the obstacle course was worth while.

It was good to find that our favourite Tandoori Mushrooms were offered as an entree, which we shared.  Stephen chose the Lamb Rogan Josh, while I had the Lamb Jalfrezie, both very nicely cooked and presented.

Together with naan, beer, and cider, the cost was $73.50 which seems reasonable.   Himalayas is still our favourite Indian Restaurant but we will probably visit Indian Sumner again.  I hope people will support them, especially while the roadworks make getting there a challenge.

“Good Indian food in CBD
rewards the road’s difficulty.”

 

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Stephen’s birthday called for a special dinner, and we went to Strawberry Fare.  It might have been best to check out parking beforehand, as it’s not the easiest place to approach from Bealey Avenue, but we managed.  The upstairs dining room has a lovely view of trees.

Stephen had Cassoulet, which he loves, and I had a most delicious pan fried groper with slow roasted tomatoes.  Then we needed to choose desserts.  These are what Strawberry Fare was originally famous for, and it wasn’t an easy choice.  Eventually I settled on Warm Raspberry Drenched chocolate cake, and Stephen had Devil’s Dream.  A young boy at a nearby table also had the Devil’s Dream.  It must have been his birthday because his dessert came with a lighted candle.  I offered to ask for this for Stephen, but he declined.

Dessert at Strawberry Fare

Dessert at Strawberry Fare

There were a number of tables filled by young women meeting just for desserts.  In several cases I saw uneaten remains being wrapped for taking home, but we managed to finish all of ours.

“Delicious food at Strawberry Fare.
Desserts are well beyond compare.”

 

 

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We brunched at the new cafe on the corner of Madras and Armagh Streets.  At the bottom of a large apartment block, Table at Monks has an attractive black and white theme, and a view of the top of the Margaret Mahy playground.  I was tempted to choose their crepes (not pancakes – hurrah!) or mushroom bruschetta, and eventually settled for grilled minute steak with roast vegetables.  Stephen had the frittata.

Brunch at Table at Monks

Brunch at Table at Monks

All this was elegantly served in black and white dishes, and very tasty.  I loved the small green teapot (with tea leaves, and weak as requested) on a green trivet.  It looked ideal for a tea ceremony.  There were only two other tables occupied at 10 on a Sunday morning, but I expect it will be popular later on.  They’re open until 4pm seven days.

While we there a car pulled up alongside, and the driver had purple hair.  The car was one of the latest Fiats, with eyelashes on its headlamps.  Obviously this was a woman of excellent taste.

“I loved the little green teapot
and the tea-leaved weak tea I got.”

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The Laboratory in Lincoln was the venue for today’s poetry workshop.  It’s an interesting building, completed earlier this year, using many recycled materials.  There are pedestal porcelain basins in the bathroom (with toilets to match).

Laboratory basins (Small)

Our workshop was held in The Classroom (through the red door).

Laboratory Classroom Door (Small)

On the blackboard was a Beeriodic Table.

Beeriodic Table (Small)

“This new Laboratory is fun
its decor would charm anyone.”

 

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