107 Hereford Street
+64 3 3678666
I hope everyone has had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Let’s hope that 2013 will be just as magical as the fireworks that graced Southport, Gold Coast on New Years Eve.
I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions but I’m hoping to blog more consistently this year. That, and to cut down on processed snacks, exercise more (I didn’t do so much of that in 2012) and just be a better person in general.
But anyway, that’s enough of that. Onto my New Zealand chronicles!
Dinner in Christchurch was at our hotel’s restaurant, Oopen for lack of operating restaurants in the still-earthquake ravaged city centre. Hotel restaurants aren’t usually known to be packed to the rafters but this one was pretty happenin’ by the time we arrived for dinner at 8pm sans booking. We were told to come back in half an hour so we ended up doing some much-needed laundry in the hotel’s basement before trying again.
Once seated, we were ordered drinks, an L&P (NZD$4.50/AUD$3.57) for Marty and a glass of Boundary Raparua Road sauv blanc (NZD$11/AUD$8.73) for myself.
Marty went unusually light with the lemon chicken salad (NZD$22/AUD$17.46). Pieces of overcooked chicken breast fillets were coated in a sweet lemon marinade before being tossed in a salad green and cashew mix. It wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t great either.
Oopen is supposedly all about the pastas so I decided to carb it up. Diners are asked to select a pasta type, a serving size, a sauce and a ‘topping.’ I went for went for a medium-sized mussel marinara penne with fresh chilli topping (NZD$22.50/AUD$17.88). Like Marty’s chicken salad, it wasn’t terrible but it didn’t blow my mind. It was something anyone could easily make at home, without the price tag.
You’d think that we’d be done by this stage but Marty decided that he couldn’t leave without trying their crème brûlée (NZD$12/AUD$9.52). Sigh. It really wasn’t good. There was no crunchy topping and the custard inside was bordering on dense. As for all that unnecessary icing sugar on top? No comment.
Having said all that, the service at Oopen was fantastic. The waiters were all super-friendly and the food came out pretty quickly. Hence, while I wanted to enjoy the food, I really couldn’t. That said, the Ibis Hotel in Christchurch had only been open for a week prior to us arriving so perhaps Oopen was going through some teething problems. We’ll most likely stay at the Ibis the next time we’re in Christchurch and if we end up dining at Oopen again, I hope the food matches the service.