paul bingham

Cafe Chat: The Bicycle Thief is back

Black Cat Cruises, 2 Mar 16
Akaroa -

As owner Richard Middleton puts it, The Bicycle Thief building survived the quakes but not the government's blueprint. The Latimer Square building had to be abandoned and five years later, The Bicycle Thief has re-opened in Tai Tapu - about as far from the central city as you can get. The restaurant is offering modern European cuisine, with a nod to the favourites from the Latimer Square days - yes, they will have their famous polenta fries. The former Rossendale has been refitted to reflect TBT's moody eccentricity, offering a country respite from the hustle of the rebuilding city. Richard's three daughters are now involved, making this a real family business. There's even booth seating. The restaurant is open Wednesday to Sunday and a cart will be offering coffee and snacks for passing cyclists wanting a pitstop. Check it out in person on Old Tai Tapu Rd, or on Facebook. Open Wednesday-Friday, 9am-late and weekends, 7.30am-late. Dine in Diamond Harbour Preserved, the Charteris Bay cooking school known for its Pig in a Day workshop, has opened a brand new eatery and cooking school. Preserved Eatery will share the kinds of cooking Preserved loves to do and teach. The menu, local and seasonal Peninsula fare, showcases the area and traditional culinary skills. There's also local wines, craft beers and the option for private events and team building days. The cafe is open seven days for breakfast and lunch and Thursday-Sunday in the evenings. Check out their stall at the Christchurch Farmers Market, find them on Facebook under Preserved Cook School and Eatery or head over to Diamond Harbour, 2 Waipapa Avenue. Indian for the airport All aboard the Northern India Palace on Wheels - a colonial-style train. Little India in Spitfire Square has modelled its interior decor on the famous train, including 'windows', booth seating and art. Owner Jose Pallippat also owns the Merivale Little India outlet and says he wanted to really set the mood at the new restaurant near the airport. "You feel like you're in a train," he says. There's even a boarding platform and dining carriage. The menu is the Little India classic, and the outlet does delivery and takeaway options as well. You can order your meal online. Check it out in Spitfire Square weekdays 11.30am-10pm and weekends 11.30am-2pm and 5pm-10pm. Lagers in Lincoln The Laboratory, Lincoln's newest pub/restaurant, is hosting another awesome community event. The Hop Notch Canterbury Beer Expo is being held on site, West Belt, on March 5. The day will showcase 16 local breweries. There's promise of beer stalls throughout the building and grounds, a beer garden, food and live music. There might even be some of The Lab's excellent pizzas on offer. The event is free, open 12-8pm. You'll find more info on The Laboratory's Facebook page or pop into the pub. Lanterns, lights and good food The Christchurch Lantern Festival is on February 27 and 28 in North Hagley Park and is a great chance to immerse yourself in another culture.