Christchurch: Bluefish Restaurant

Bluefish Restaurant

Address: 111 Worcester Street,
REGION: Canterbury
PHONE: 03-377 2404


Monday to Saturday – noon til late (ideally before 8pm to get good dishes)
Sunday closed

Seeing the sushi train through the window, it tempted me to try this place out. Never really a big fan of Christchurch Japanese food (good Japanese food is hard to come by!), and wanting to introduce “Sushi Train” to my partner, who’s never experienced it before, I thought then was a good time.

The place is cosy, very long (sharp triangular shaped) and the “train” worked well in the environment. We were greeted immediately at the door, and were taken to our seats. Once seated, we could practically start eating! That’s the beauty of sushi train, no waiting to be served, just sit down, see what you like and grab it.

There really were at least 30 varieties on the belt at one time, everything’s different, and not many repeats. It’s a great place for anyone who loves sashimi (raw fish), as their sashimi is very fresh and sweet. There’s also dessert, which can be the traditional coffee tiramisu, or if you are a little more adventurous, the green tea tiramisu. What I notice about their food, apart from the freshness, is that when you see a hot dish (such as fried dishes), you can actually pick them off the belt, put it in your mouth and it’s still warm! I hate it when you see fried dishes, and when you pick it up it’s already cold. The presentation is beautiful, and carefully covered with a transparent cover to prevent dust etc. from getting onto the dishes.

The dishes are colour-coded, starting from the cheapest $2.80 (yellow), to $6.40 (blue)- do watch what you get, the yellow ones really are quite boring and a stack of blue dishes can pile up to a pretty heavty bill!

They have several menus, one for the sushi train (so you know what you’ve just taken off the belt is actually blackfish eggs, and not some unknown black pebbles), which you can also use to order – the chef is happy to make the dishes for you, and they do make it quite promptly.

The second menu is A la carte, and the prices range from $9 to $25-ish, which has the typical Tonkatsu (fried pork on rice), Udon (Japanese noodles, in soup or stir-fried), popular Teriyaki Chicken (or other meat) and sushi sets, just to name a few.

The third menu is the drink menu, and you can always choose from European wine, kiwi-style beer, or Japanese style sake, shoju and plum wine (great choice for the ladies – do let me know if you prefer the Japanese plum wine or the Korean plum wine, as they offer both!). Of course, there are non-alcoholic drinks too, at typical restaurant prices.

I highly recommend their teriyaki salmon (pictured, left) and um..this extravagant Salmon sushi thingy (also pictured, right).

For people who are not very keen on sashimi, they also have calamari, fried chicken nibbles (lovely flavour!), tempura prawn (battered fried prawn), and lots of other fried dishes to tempt you!

By far the best sushi train I’ve had in Christchurch, and even having dined at several places in Wellington, Bluefish is still the best in my opinion!
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Christchurch: Piranha Bar and Cafe

Piranha Bar & Cafe

Address: 35 Riccarton Road,
REGION: Canterbury
PHONE: 03-343 4088


Monday to Saturday – Breakfast to 9pm (last orders)
Sunday closed (Breakfast only?) <—- will check this out and confirm

As I visit another restaurant Ancestral often, I often drive past this cafe without going inside. I stumbled upon it one day when I was nearby with some collegues and thought this would be the closest cafe I know, and we entered.

The decor is quite elegant, recently redone, and comes with outdoor dining. They have soup of the day and fish of the day and meal of the day, and I’ve returned numerous times (for a while I went back once a week).

Lunch menu

Everytime I visited, the menu’s different. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed their soup of the day on many accounts, and compared to other restaurants where the soup serving’s smaller and more watery (and usually more expensive), they’re plenty for a girl’s lunch. Served with a nice spread, mixture of butter and cheese and herbs, the soup is always flavourful and sumptuous, I have never disliked the soup I ordered and most of the flavours were not repeated.
They also serve pork ribs for lunches, and personally I perfer theirs to another franchised restaurant which is famous for their pork ribs. The serving is quite big for lunches, and very flavourful, and for a good price, too.

Breakfast menu

On several occasions I came here for breakfast, and it’s never the same menu. I’ve enjoyed several dishes but as they change everyday, I can’t recall their names! All I remember is that I’ve liked all the dishes I’ve had here.

Dinner menu

I’ve been here for dinner on occasions, lunch is my perferred menu as they have my favourite soup and the price is really good. I’ve had their chicken main, my friends had their venison, open beef sandwich and their vegetarian main, and their dinner pork ribs! So much cheaper than the other place! For the same amount of serving, too!
Their dessert, mmm, I’ve always wanted to try their dessert menu but their main was always enough to fill me. Once I dined here with some friends and we could fit in dessert, so we ordered the lime tart, chocolate mousse with raspberry sauce, and they were amazing. (my bf particularly LOVED the chocolate mousse)

The service is ok, I have to say it’s the only down side, is that if you go in hungry, by the time the food is served, you’d probably past the starvation stage. It does take ages to get the food to your table, lunchtimes around 20-30min wait is usual, and at dinner times, sometimes up to 1 hour of waiting time. It was worth it after the food has arrived, so if you’re keen on coming here, come early so by the time the food arrives, you’d be hungry and will enjoy the dining experience much more than a starving child.

Note: Their coffee and hot chocolate are amazing, too, must try!


Christchurch: Arjee Bhajee

Arjee Bhajee

Address: 13c Riccarton Road,
REGION: Canterbury
PHONE: 03-365 6633
BRANCH: Colombo – 300 Colombo Street, Christchurch city


Wednesday to Sunday – Midday to Midnight
lunch menu till 5pm
late night kerbside curries from 9pm
Monday and Tuesday – 5pm to 9pm

Recommended by many, their Goat curry is THE curry to get, their curry taste better than many other Indian restaurants I’ve been too, especially those franchised ones.

The setting is very social-friendly, all the tables are long and chairs equally, so if you’re expecting a quiet corner just for the two of you then better buying take-outs and eat at home. 🙂

They insist on not adding food colouring, and the serving is plenty, without being too sickly, like some Indian curries I’ve had. The wrap is very interesting, ideal for lunches, you get your curry dose yet you get all the veges you don’t usually get when ordering curry with rice.

Here’s part of the menu that I have experienced:

Chicken Tikka Narni
This is the wrap I was talking about. We shared this.

Chicken Makhani
“Tender marinated chicken, simmered in a sublime masala sauce – Chefs rendition of the world famous Butter Chicken.” We also shared this.

The Chicken Makhani has a symbol of 2 chilis, which made me wonder if I wanted to get this, as it seemed quite spicy. We ended up getting it anyway, and it’s not what I thought. It’s actually not spicy, just a hint of spiciness, didn’t make me go for water every few spoonful of curry, so I’d expect anything with 1 chili symbol means “I’m not chili at all” and 3 would be stronger but should be tolerable.

Queenstown: Luciano’s Restaurant and Bar


Luciano’s Restaurant & Bar

Address: Steamer Wharf, 88 Beach St
PHONE: 03-409 2460
OPENING HOURS: Monday-Sunday (7 days) 5pm-11pm

We went to Queenstown for a few days holiday, and before going, I did a research online for good places to dine at in Queenstown, and this restaurant popped up several times.

I had the impression that this would be an Italian restaurant, probably filled with green decor, lots of pasta and pizzas, until I read the menu.

Here’s part of the menu that I have experienced:

Lucky’s Duck
Twice cooked crispy skinned ½ duckling, candied orange, cranberry and fig sauce, on baked kumara and green beans

Pork Belly
Triple baked crispy skinned pork belly, with creamed celeriac, potato puree and seared scallops with a tart apple glaze

Oven Baked Whole Sole
Whole Otago baby Sole with roasted new potatoes, orange and pine nut salad,
crisp pancetta and grilled king prawns

Baked Alaska
With white chocolate and raspberry ice cream and a kiwi fruit coulis

I had the Duck, which came beautifully presented, with a massive plate. It was amazing, I must say, the sauce wasn’t what I would have liked by the read of it, but it was perfect for the duck. The skin was crispy like it said, and there were just enough, not one of those “huge servings that you’ll have to take away” kind of amount.

My partner had the Pork Belly, which he said to have been the best pork he has ever had. It was sweetly infused, again lovely presentation, and we have a feeling that the chef has a thing for French beans. Again the serving was just enough.

The Sole we did not order, except we saw our next table ordering it. It was a huge serving by the look of it, and the man who ordered it said to the waiter that it was the best meal he’s had for a very long time, which made someone else in the other table ask to have the same.

We had the baked Alaska as we felt it was a pity not to experience their dessert menu. It was a good amount of serving, it wasn’t overly sweet, which was what I liked, and I could feel that it was very well thought-out.

The service was wonderful, the waiters were trained well and it really pushed up the standard. The waiter was well presented, using courteous wording, and remembered orders well. You know you’re being served well when they don’t bring their plate to your table and then call out the name of the dish and hoping the orderer will claim it.

I highly recommend this place to anyone who visits Queenstown, for a fancy night out, or a romantic dinner, it’d be a pity to miss out.

luciano map
(right now their “home” page doesn’t work, but all other links are fine)