Located in the old railway station, which I think dates back to the early 1900s, they are only open for dinner Thursday to Saturday. The rest of the week they do coffee, brunch and lunch.
We’d booked an early table at 6.30pm and there was only one other couple eating when we arrived. So it felt a little empty. The cabinet where they display daytime food was covered with a black cloth, which made it a feel slightly as if we’d walked into a closed cafe. But we were given a really, pleasant, friendly greeting and told we could sit wherever we liked by the lady serving.
The dinner menu has seven starters with fish, meat and veggie options and six mains – quite heavy on the meat side, with only one fish dish and one veggie dish. Choice wise I think that’s enough – I’m always slightly suspicious of restaurants that offer tons of dishes – how can they possibly be making that much stuff fresh?
Starters were mostly around the $19 mark and mains $35. I opted for halloumi over Greek salad to start and we both had pork belly with warm potato, pear, walnut and blue cheese salad for mains. My starter was lovely – the halloumi nice and warm and squeaky and the salad providing a crisp contrast.
The pork belly was …well it was okay. It came perched on top of the potato/pear/walnut/blue cheese salad. But the whole thing was in quite a creamy dressing and with the rich pork belly, I found it a little bit sickly. BBQ sauce drizzled round the base of the salad detracted rather than added. Sometimes less is more and I think this might be one of those occasions. I should say I’ve had dinner here before and have always found the food really good, so perhaps this was just a bit of a dud dish.
Dessert however was yummy, we opted for an affogato – vanilla ice cream with espresso coffee and Baileys poured over. One between two was plenty and it was absolutely delicious, the perfect end to a meal.
All in all for 2 starters, 2 mains, dessert and 4 glasses of wine this came in at $160. I thought it was reasonable value and I do like the location. Apart from the mains the meal was really nice and the service was great.
I can’t understand why this place isn’t busier at night. It’s great to have a choice of local restaurants and it’s a pity this doesn’t attract more customers. So next time you’re heading out for a special meal – instead of driving into Christchurch perhaps give the Station Cafe a go. And, if you’ve got an entertainment book then there’s a discount in there for dining.
You can check out opening times, menus, etc at their website here.