Mexico | Christchurch

I was so excited when I learnt that Mexico (the uber cool and delicious restaurant chain) was finally going to have their first restaurant in the South Island in Christchurch!

We have been a number of times to the Britomart restaurant when visiting Auckland and have never been disappointed – delicious food in a funky environment that is very well priced, washed down with tasty margaritas.

Eli and I were lucky enough to attend the opening of Mexico Christchurch last night and were suitably impressed with the decor. They have turned a low lying building into a riot of colour and Mexican paraphernalia as you would expect if you have been to any of the other restaurants. It’s a huge restaurant compared with the Britomart one which is great as the only downside to these restaurants is that you can’t book.

We enjoyed a number of margaritas (I was very surprised by my lack of a headache this morning!) along with the amazing food – Mexican fried chicken, pork crackling with guacamole (this may be the best combo ever!!), pulled pork tacos to name but a few of the dishes that were being generously handed around. Word on the street is a new menu rolls out to all the restaurants over the next couple of months so we are looking forward to getting amongst that!

I highly recommend Christchurch punters head on down to Mexico – you won’t be disappointed… Andale andale arriba arriba!!!

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All the staff had amazing Mexican themed face paint!

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I love how that in Christchurch you look out the doors and see an empty lot with porta-loos and a number of road cones!

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Pretty impressive walls in the ladies loos!

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Bloody Mary’s

Hubby and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary last week – time definitely flies by when you’re having fun and throw a baby into the mix!

Eli had wanted to go to Bloody Mary’s to celebrate his birthday (which is the week before Christmas) but we came down with that awful stomach bug literally that morning so I had to cancel the booking.

A month later and we were ready to give it another try!

Bloody Mary’s is a steakhouse and a mighty fine one at that. It is definitely a decadent experience; service is impeccable, the menu and wine list is extensive, and the decor is moody and luxurious, befitting the restaurants name.

For an entree I had the venison liver parfait, bread and butter pickles. The parfait was smooth and creamy, the bread was crispy (I could have done with a couple more slices as the parfait itself was a very generous serving) and the pickles added a bit of zing. Overall it was delicious.

Eli had the seafood chowder. The waitress poured the chowder over the seafood at the table which seems to be a popular way of serving this dish at higher end restaurants at the moment. The seafood was cooked perfectly and the chowder was lovely but we both thought it could have had a little more depth to the flavour, it was a little too creamy.

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For our mains I ordered fillet steak with garlic gratin and port wine and thyme sauce. Eli ordered the NY strip loin (but received the sirloin, the only real disappointment of the evening!) with goose fat roasted potatoes and mushroom & garlic sauce. We shared sides of asparagus and cauliflower cheese which we thought were very generous servings for the price. We both like our steak medium rare and it was cooked beautifully. The sauces were full of flavour and there was plenty to go around. I think my potato gratin won over Eli’s roasted potatoes as they weren’t as crispy on the outside as I would have liked.

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For desert we shared the chocolate tart with salted caramel and pistachio ice cream which was the perfect end to our beautiful dinner. The base carried most of the saltiness which was surprising but in a good way, and the pistachio toffee was so good it resulted in a little haggling between the two of us for who deserved the last piece!

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For a Monday night the restaurant was busy, it is attached to popular hotel Rydges so many diners were definitely tourists, but I can see why it is popular with Christchurch locals as well. If you like a well cooked steak meal where you get a little freedom of choice, then Bloody Mary’s definitely delivers.

All photos taken (quickly!) on my iPhone hence not the best quality!

Chillingworth Road

Hubby and I joined 20 others on Friday night for an amazing dinner at Chillingworth Road.

Head chef and owner Darren Wright prepared 8 courses each as delicious as the first. This was my second time visiting and both times the food has been beautiful. The intimacy of the restaurant (it seats approximately 40) is complemented by a lush, modern interior which encourages an extra-special dining experience.

If you haven’t yet been to Chillingworth Road make sure you head there soon so you too can be treated to a stunning dinner that will leave you feeling completely satisfied.

Baretta

I visited Christchurch’s newest bar and restaurant on Saturday night, Baretta, for a girls dinner and drinks. They don’t have a website yet but you can check out their Facebook page here.

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The owners of cosy, cool, Cartel in Sol Square promised they would bring something a little bit special with their latest offering and they have definitely delivered. The large scale premises with fabulous courtyard (complete with outdoor bar) has something for everyone. I was impressed by the dark, sophisticated, interior – especially the beautiful emerald and gold peacock embellished wallpaper! Stunning!

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The Italian styled food was delish. You can choose to share large plates or smaller tapas, or enjoy a pizza or trio of sliders on your own.

From the steady stream of patrons heading in throughout the evening, this is definitely one of the hottest place to visit in the city at the moment.

Auckland Antics

I had an amazing time in Auckland last weekend that involved lots of eating, drinking and shopping… Perfect!

This week I’ll post a few of my favourite places, starting today with Mexico restaurant in Britomart.

This was my third time dining here and it never disappoints; fresh, interesting flavour combinations, scrumptious margaritas (go for the plum frozen version!) and funky interior. And to top it off it was just awarded ‘Best Value for Money’ restaurant at the Metro Restaurant Awards 2013.

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You can’t book but there are plenty of great bars in the area to go to while you wait and once seated the food is served quickly. There is a second Mexico in Takapuna and another has recently opened in Hamilton – pretty please open a restaurant in Christchurch!!

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Mid-Week Date Night

Hubby and I headed out for a mid-week date night dinner at Gorilla Eatery and Drinking Room last night. We have eaten at this Johnny Schwass establishment a number of times before and so jumped at the chance when grabone Christchurch offered a great deal to basically eat for half price!

We were completely stuffed by the end of the evening as we scoffed every single mouthful. The flavours are delicious and the small plate, tapas style is my favourite way of eating out.

Gorilla is a winner on all fronts for me: amazing food, fabulous service and cool industrial style interior. I highly recommend you check it out!

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