The new Crowne Plaza Christchurch is promising to showcase the best fresh local produce the city and region have to offer in its brand-new café, bar and restaurant.
Conveniently located in the vibrant heart of Christchurch, the hotel will feature the 80-seat Market Place restaurant and bar, its ground-floor Café 1851 and the upmarket Social Wine Bar.
Swiss-born Executive Chef Mirco Turtschi brings to the table a wealth of experience from hotels and restaurants in Switzerland and New Zealand, and said it was a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to set up a new hotel of this size.
“My overall vision for these three outlets is to capture a diverse audience at different times of the day and become known as a popular dining hub, for locals and visitors,” he said.
Chef Mirco’s culinary journey started at the age of 15 when he started his chef apprenticeship in a four-star hotel in Switzerland.
Mirco came to New Zealand at the age of 26 where he honed his skills in cafes in Blenheim and Picton, before making the move to top Auckland hotels and then Queenstown.
And while he loves the simple pleasures of fresh bread, pastries and roasted coffee beans in the morning, a small goods platter in the afternoon or sizzling steak on the barbeque, he names his favourite dish as his Aunty’s lasagne.
“We’re aiming to appeal to everyone, keeping good old-fashioned favourites that are generous in portion but reasonable in price, while offering health conscious guests some lighter options,” said Chef Mirco.
Crowne Plaza Christchurch’s features three premium offers in one inspiring new space. Market Place restaurant and bar takes inspiration from the local markets which once thrived just metres away in Victoria Square. Featuring an interactive marketplace dining concept, diners will be encouraged to pick and choose from a wide range of dishes on offer.
The menu for Market Place restaurant and bar is still under wraps, but Chef Mirco said his vision was to give locals and visitors the opportunity to discover the best fresh produce the city has to offer.
“I’ve been visiting our local farmers’ markets each week to get inspiration for ingredients and dishes and we’re excited to be opening up our very own interactive market inspired dining concept,” he said.
“There will be a live cooking station where guests can choose from a selection of meat, fish or seafood each evening, cooked to order just how they like it.”
Located in the lobby, Café 1851 is set to delight tastebuds and give friends, locals and families a place to connect in a contemporary environment. It will serve expertly brewed Mojo coffee, T2 tea, fresh juices and smoothies, pastries, cakes, sandwiches and salads.
The light-filled café features clean lines and Scandanavian-inspired décor. With free wifi available it will be the perfect spot for meetings, a work break or tasty ‘grab and go’ food.
Social Wine Bar will be the place for get-togethers and drinks over shared plates, an extensive wine list and a selection of NZ craft beers. Chef Mirco said the bar would be an “elegant and comfortable” space with a fireplace adding a cosy vibe.
“The selection of dishes on offer will include small, medium and large plates all designed to be shared by friends, colleagues, couples or groups,” he said.
“It’s sure to be the perfect space for socialising, meetings, a place to grab a quick bite before a show or game, or perhaps a nightcap after a busy day.”
Crowne Plaza Christchurch General Manager Reinier Eulink said he was honoured to be working alongside Mirco once more, after the pair previously worked at IHG’s Crowne Plaza Queenstown.
“Mirco’s strong knowledge of classical and contemporary techniques was perfect for Crowne Plaza Queenstown’s local and international guests and the feedback we received was outstanding,” he said.
“We can’t wait to see our restaurant, café and bar come to life thanks to his expertise at the helm of our food and beverage operation.
“We look forward to inviting Christchurch locals to visit at any time of the day, for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.”