It must be spring.

Some new places to tempt your palate:

  • Bureau (the former Liquidate folks) at 120 The Terrace.  The quintessential wine and tapas bar with excellent food and service (would we expect anything less?) – a selection of tasty tapas and a few mains and blackboard desserts (slow roasted tangy pork croquettes with aioli, melt-in-the-mouth pork on couscous anyone?).  Even a couple of local beers on tap (Panhead for one). Monday to Friday lunches and evenings.
  • Red Rabbit coffeeThe Leed Street Bakery and Red Rabbit Roastery (the Ti Kouka folks) now in business Monday to Saturday.  And yes, the famed salted caramel cookies are to die for.  Smooth flavourful coffee along the lines of Baba Brother Boudin in Melbourne (no dark roasting here) and unique Intelligentsia coffee cups.  Funnily enough in Leeds Street, near Pomodoro Pizza and Goldings Dive Bar.
  • Zaida (the former Brooklyn Bagels on College Street) – same delicious cabinet and menu food (and breads), but a pale green décor with light coloured tables and a much lighter brighter sunnier feel. Seven days.
  • Boat Café now at the Top of the Cable Car also – only through summer predominantly to offer something to the cruise visitors until the whole building is renovated next winter.  Cabinet food from the Oriental Boat Café kitchen.  From 9am weekdays and 9.30am weekends (although those opening hours may stretch a little earlier yet).  Plus local art and craft up there fairly regularly through the next few months  – Nov 26, 28, 29, Dec 3, 7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 24, 28, 31 (9am-2pm – suspect cruise boat dates/times)…
  • Laundry bar on Cuba (corner of Cuba and Abel Smith in an old laundry) – laid back beachy-style fun.  Be prepared to eat with your fingers (basic burgers, tacos or toasties) and no credit cards.  Check out the storage cupboard at the top of the ladder, the $5 dia de los muertos skeleton cookies and music most evenings. Surprisingly fewer hipsters than imagined. Wednesday to Sunday (from 4pm Wednesdays, 10am other days).
  • Uncorked flightUncorked Winebar and Tasting Room (upper Cuba in the former Charlotte Steakhouse and once-upon-a-time Orsini’s) – effectively the tasting room for Akaroa wines.  With a handful of other European wines, tasting flights, cheese platters and flatbreads (more like a full on pizza than a flatbread), one could almost feel a bit vineyardy.  A few sunny seats on the front pad and open Wednesday through Sunday (from mid-afternoon weekdays and late morning weekends).
  • The George (on Willis Street near Boulcott where there’s also been a revolving iteration of businesses including Cadillac in more recent times) – haven’t been inside yet, but a look through the window made me think a little of Bangalore’s dark furniture and décor.  From 4pm Tuesday to Saturday apparently.  Even Mr Google couldn’t uncover any more (but SeaMonkey Madness did – here’s their FB link).

And a new craft market in the space between Willis Street and Meow in Edward Street – Capital Market.  Brought to you by the Chow Brothers (love them or not), and so far started with quality stallholders in about half of the approx 40-odd permanent mini shops.  Names like Good Score, Pony Lane, KCT Street Wear, Dynamo Kids Wear, Catwalk Vintage, KD One Skincare, Bears with Attitude, etc.  No food in there yet, but we watch with interest.  Tuesday to Saturday.

Happy sampling.