Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Crumpet Club - Crumpets by Day, Tapas by Night

We recently had dinner at the Crumpet Club, a local tapas restaurant, and were truly impressed with the fantastic flavors and the relaxed atmosphere. Philip Kraal, owner and head chef, opened the Crumpet Club a few years ago, initially as a catering spin off of Bon Bolli, the long-time popular restaurant at the Arts Centre. Forced to leave the Arts Centre location due to rental hikes, Philip found a new location offering a spacious kitchen in an old warehouse building. Once Bon Bolli Catering was up and running, Philip and his team decided it was time to renovate the old warehouse section of the building for hosting a breakfast and lunch cafe.

They developed a concept around crumpets, inspired by the opportunity to take a common food from NZ culture, make with better ingredients, and give it a creative spin. "Have you ever looked on the back of a crumpet package?" asks Philip? "Unlike, store bought crumpets, ours are made with just flour, free range eggs, and milk". Crumpet Club also shapes its crumpets in triangles, in order to further differentiate them from the round, store-bought variety. These triangular shaped delights are used as a substitute for toast in many dishes. The breakfast menu includes a creative take on french toast - Caramelized Crumpets with fresh mango, mascarpone, and drizzled with mint syrup. For lunch - Field Mushrooms and Hot Griddle Crumpets are served with truffle oil and tangy gruyere. Gourmet pies, such as Venison and Blue Cheese, and Chicken and Brie with Sweet Corn, are also very popular with the local lunch time crowd.

Following the success of breakfast and lunch, Philip extended Crumpet Club's hours for a casual dinner service and culinary adventure that Philip refers to as Tapas Espinasian (Spanish and Asian influences). The Tapas Menu includes a Grilled Venison Burger between two crumpets with a mango and beetroot salsa, an Indian inspired Hoggit Curry served with aubergine chutney, raita, and naan bread, and a Slow Roasted Pork Belly stuffed with garlic, lemon, ginger, and onion, served on a sweet onion crystallized ginger jus.

We ordered several dishes, among them the Hoggit Curry and Slow Roasted Pork Belly. These dishes in particular were amazing, but was all pretty brilliant - absolutely delicious! The atmosphere in the Crumpet Club is cool and relaxed...a great spot for a couples' night out or evening with a group of friends. All in all - a local hot-spot we'll definitely make return visits to.

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The Crumpet Club
218 Durham St. South (corner of Durham and Tuam Streets), Central City, Christchurch
Opening Hours: Mon-Tue 7am-4pm; Wed-Thu 7am-11pm; Fri 7am-11:30pm; Sat 9:00am-11:30pm

1 comment:

  1. Great reading about CH hot spots. Thank you for sharing.