Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bali Fresque

Here the truism of the day: traveling with young kids is different than traveling without.

For young kids novelty is part of their daily life. Everyday new stuffs are being thrown at them like nobody’s business. It’s when adult that novelty become a more difficult experience, since it has to be filtered by all previous experiences to assess the situation or relate to own being. When young, the assessment has been outsourced to all adults around in the hope that the experience will not disturb too much your cognitive experience, and the focus is only on the experience itself without judgement or reservation.

Young Balinese Kids
Watching Sunset Before a Dance Performance

Near Seminyak

Adults on the other hand have to think and understand the experience throw kids’ eyes and their own at the same. This schizophrenia is usually deceptive yet part of the parenting experience. Why young kids don’t like what we think is best for them?

Fishermen  around Nusa Dua beach

On the other hand, kids do not worry too much of what the experience is and also of the others’ experience (actually just enough to not be trigger the unhappy feeling). Tension rises when too much fun is associated with no value in the experience. Why young kids don’t like watching this beautiful sunset?
Sunset Picture Taking near Seminyak

It doesn’t matter in reality whom had experienced what and what were the feeling or passion felt at the time, because for each side of the equation the unknown is constant and the solution is obvious: do without under-appreciating. Young kids should play and parent should have fun. But why young kids don’t like eating this beautiful meal?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Bali New Addresses

Everything has been said about Bali and everything has been (re)view about Bali, but still everybody is going back to it drawn by a hope that something will be identical yet different. 

Sunset Lovebird at Seminyak

Some new places have been discovered, and some have been re-evaluated.

The Buah Bali Villas
Jalan Petitenget Gang Cempaka, Kerobokan, Bali 80361, Indonesia.
[Website] [TripAdvisor] [Map]
A Japanese business fell in love with Bali a long time and made a promise to live on the island of thousand smile. Few years later he bough a piece of land and build a place where a handful of isolated and nicely decorated villas are sitting next to their own private pool. A Japanese trained staff with Balinese smile. This place is too nice to not been mentioned in this blog.

Semara Resort and Spa Seminyak
Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak, Bali 80361, Indonesia, +62 361 8476661.
[Website] [TripAdvisor] [Map]
When luxury is done at it best. These small appartment/unit are here to make you feel at home while having the splurge of what 5 stars can give you. Very nice if you can afford it.

The Westin Resort Nusa Dua Bali
Kawasan Pariwisata Nusa Dua, BTDC Lot N-3, Nusa Dua, Bali 80363, +62 361 771906.
[Website] [TripAdvisor] [Map]
From the kids gift package to the good bye at the door, this resort is a kid paradise. Food, pool, kids' playground and activities the resort was build with one thing in mind: How can we make a family vacation good for everyone? I strongly recommend this place if you want to have a beach vacation with young kids.

285A Crown St Surry Hills, NSW, 2010.
[Website] [TripAdvisor] [Map]
I really don't know what would have happen without Biku at our side to feed the youngster. Not only the food and the atmosphere are great, but the staff was very patient with the all you can eat on the floor attitude.Thank you for being so close to the villa (or was it the other way round?).

Merah Putih Restaurant
Ash Street, Sydney, Australia.
[Website] [TripAdvisor] [Map]
It looks like a movie decor and it was a movie decor: everything looked beautiful before you taste. This is a place to bring a date and not to enjoy food. Who cares what you have in your plate when you look at someone eye?

Teck-O-Coco Showroom

Teck-O-Coco Furniture Design
Jalan Pura Petipenget No.110X, Indonesia. Open 9:00 am – 8:00 pm.
[Website] [Map]
This contemporary showroom focuses on Coco Design furniture. Plus they can ship oversea. A must visit anyway.

Lollipop's Playland and Cafe
Jl Sunset Rd No 902, Seminyak. Phone: 0361 8475987 - 8475992.
[Website] [TripAdvisor]
Recommended by the Buah Bali Villas staff, this kids friendly place should help parents in dispair for indoor fun when time/weather is not on your side. A good address to keep in your back pocket in case of ermergy.

Sunset Picture Framing at Seminyak

Going back again any day.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Beautiful Sydney

I left the place 15 years ago with the convinced idea that Australian Sydney was the best city on the planet to live in. I returned to it with the firm conviction that this is the best city to have lived in and to leave from.

Opera House, Sydney

It sounds hypocritical but it is not. In reality nothing has changed. Sydney is still a great place to live in, on this planet. Who could refuse such a gorgeous spot, with a languid life style, beaches and natural swimming pool on every corner street, and a decent food and music scene. Not to mention the most (de)lightful NYE fire works I ever seen in my life. Since my last trip way back then, many things happened: an Olympic Game, renovations, gentrifications, new harbor, and a new central district.

St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney

In fact the city has improved even more than what I could have imagined. The economic boom of the last decade seems to have benefited the city and its horde of neo “Bobo”. Poverty has been pushed away from the city, and the famous red light district have tainted pale in the colored rainbow.

St. John's Church in Darlinghurst, Sydney

More international and local tourists are embracing the many attractive attractions that the city has to offer, despite the horrible price hikes. Sydney has now moved to a different scale. The city is now in the same category as other interesting destinations in the world such as Amsterdam, Montreal, Buenos Aires and Singapore.

Manly Beach, Sydney

Old trendy places have moved to new spots. Corky and funky restaurants have emerged from residential neighborhoods. Free shuttle buses run for tourists to enjoy the best parts of the city. Everything seems to look even better, cleaner and simpler than before. Sydney is a great place on the planet. Nothing changed except for the better.

Surfer at Mackenzies Bay, Sydney

What has changed in reality is … me. I wish I had chosen to live there 15 years ago to learn to surf and rock ‘n’ roll, so that today I would have been happy to leave from Sydney ... to explore the world.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Sydney Addresses

With a population of approximately 4.6 million people, Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and is the state capital of New South Wales. Sydneysiders are the most blessed cosmopolitan populace of Pacific, with the Tasman Sea at their feet and the mountains behind their back. Sydney is one of these few cities in the world that is turned inside out and exist for the beauty of its landscape. In short, Sydney has it all: nature, ocean, hills, cosmopolitan lifestyle. If only if wasn't at the end of the world, it would be the best place on the planet. Actually it might be because it is at the end of the world that Sydney is the way it is today.

The Rocks, in Sydney

On a long weekend trip these are the addresses that could be recommended, but be warned that Sydney like any other cosmopolitan city changes fast, the addresses of today could be the wrong ones the next day.

Park8 Hotel
185 Castlereagh Street, Sydney 2000, Australia.
[Website] [TripAdvisor] [Map]
At the corner of two very busy streets (Castlereagh St. and Park St.), the hotel holds all the floors of a corner building. The small entrance leads to small rooms and a cozy ambiance. The diligent and fun staff does not erase the loudness of the street noise and the final bill. This place is too expensive for what it has to offer.

Pensione Hotel Sydney
631 - 635 George St, Sydney 2000, Australia.
[Website] [TripAdvisor] [Map]
Also part of the 8Hotels group, Pensione is less central than its slightly bigger sister, Park8. Still based on the same boutique hotel concept (refurnishing an old building into a contemporary hotel), Pensione has more caché and is less expensive than Park8. The street noise has been suppressed with triple-windows. Note that the a free-bus stop is at the doorstep of the hotel, and runs from 9AM to 3PM covering a popular main street route. Convenient for tourists and locals alike.

Swissotel Sydney
68 Market St, Sydney 2000, Australia.
[Website] [TripAdvisor] [Map]
Perfectly located at the corner of George St. and Market St., Swissotel Sydney is what you'd expect of a large hotel chain: vast room, great service, solid staff and consistent quality. Would go back to the Swissotel if budget permits.

The Winery
285A Crown St Surry Hills, NSW, 2010.
[Website] [TrueLocal] [Map]
The Winery, on Surry Hills' Crown Street is the sister venue to Elizabeth Bay's Gazebo. Whether planning something more large or you're just coming in for a drink, you'll find something on the menu to suit from starters and tapas to mains and desserts. Great tapas, great wine list and great atmosphere. What else to ask for on a Sunday afternoon lunch - early dinner.

Felix - Bistro and Bar
Ash Street, Sydney, Australia.
[UrbanSpoon] [TripAdvisor] [Map]
In a dark back alley, between clubs lies a French bistro. Menu, wine list and service look all as good as a French bistro could be 20,000 km away from France. Nevertheless the price does not justify the fluffiness of the service. Special mention to the cheese soufflé on the dessert menu.

417 Crown St, Surry Hills 2010, Sydney, Australia.
[Website] [TripAdvisor] [Eatability]
Located in front of "The Clock" bar, this vegan place is a must try for your green tooth. Menu is short but consistent and varied, service funky but fast and low key, bill is small but quick and non-biodegradable. Nice vegan spot in Crown St.

Other Restaurants Recommended
Sydney is a nice place for eating-out options. Among the many recommended:

- Toko (High-End Japanese) [Website] [Eatability] [Map]
- Porteno (Barbecue Restaurant) [Website] [Eatability] [Map]
- The Norfolk (Tapas Bar) [Website] [UrbanSpoon] [Map]
- Longrain (Urban Thai DJ) [Website] [Eatability] [Map]
- Bentley Restaurant and Bar (Sitting Classy Dinner) [Website] [Eatability] [Map]
- Mahjong Room (Modern Chinese) [Website] [Eatability] [Map]
- Trinity Bar (Pub & Cool) [Website] [Eatability] [Map]
- The Local Taphouse (Pub & Music) [Website] [UrbanSpoon] [Map]
- The Commons (Beer Festival & Bar Food) [Website] [UrbanSpoon] [Map]
- The Victoria Room (Smooth Dinning) [Website] [TrueLocal] [Map]
- Slide Bar (Show + Set-Menu) [Website] [Eatability] [Map]

- ZanziBar (Roof-Top Tapas Bar) [Website] [Eatability] [Map]

- Bellevue Hotel (Sophisticated Bistro) [Website] [TripAdvisor] [Map]
- Darcy's Restaurant (Home Cooking Italian) [Website] [Eatability] [Map]
- L'Etoile Restaurant (High-End French) [Website] [Eatability] [Map]
- Lucio's Italian Restaurant (High-End Italian) [Website] [TripAdvisor] [Map]
- The Print Room at Durty Nelly's (European-Aussie) [Website] [Eatability] [Map]
- A Fish Called Paddo (Casual Seafood) [UrbanSpoon] [Eatability] [Map]
- Avido Restaurant (International Dinning) [Website] [Eatability] [Map]
- Buon Ricordo (Must-Try Italian) [Website] [Eatability] [Map]
- Four In Hand (Classy French Dinning) [Website] [Eatability] [Map]

221 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst.
[Website] [Map]
This contemporary art gallery focuses on Aboriginal paintings. They deal with all the artists directly and return all of their profits to charity. You can order online if you want and they can ship. This is the best place in Sydney to buy modern Aboriginal paintings. A must visit anyway.

129 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia.
[Website] [Map]
Karlangu is the opposite of Artery. Central, large, with established painters and very expensive. If you want to buy the best of the classic Aboriginal paintings, this is the place to bring your Amex.

The Clock
470 Crown Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia.
[Website] [Eatability] [Map]
A hotel transformed into a giant multi-level bar with a nice terrace from which you can watch passing-by. The happy hour is a fantastic deal in town and is already well known judging by the number of people coming over.

The Terrace at The Clock

NYE Fireworks
With crowds of more than 1.5 million people, Sydney has the second largest New Year celebrations worldwide, after Rio de Janeiro (over 3 million people on Copacabana Beach). For a nice view of the fireworks, four options for you: [1] know someone with a nice view of Sydney bay; [2] watch it on TV; [3] camp at 10AM for a nice spot and wait until midnight; [4] pay a lot to reserve a cruise, dinner seat or a botanic event place. Whatever you do, don't miss it, it's grandiose.

Sydney Walks
Sydney is a walkable city with easy public transit access. The diversity of its landscape and the nearby ocean make the walking discovery a must try. Among the places to visit, you should definitely gun for The Rocks - Opera House - The Bridge - Botanic Garden - Darlinghurts - Elizabeth Bay - Potts Point - Double Bay - Woolloomooloo - King Street - Newtown - Gebe - Oxford St - Crown Street - Surry Hills.

Manly Beach by Ferry
Circular Quay, Pier 3.
A nice and quick afternoon trip is to take the ferry from Circular Quay (Pier 3) to Manly. You will be able to see the Opera House and the Bridge from the water, and land a half hour later on the quaint beach of Manly. The Corso has now become a shopping mall for tourists, but if you are ready to walk few hundred yards away from the popular spots, you can have the beach to yourself.

Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach Walk
[Website] [blog] [Map]
Take a bus to Coogee beach ("Cuji" as in "Muji") and walk all the way north to Bondi along the bays. You will encounter the beautiful beach of Clovelly, Bronte and Tamarama. A full afternoon, especially if you start with a brunch at Coogee.

Bondi Beach, in Sydney

Sydney is a city surrounded by nature and you should explore everything that the city as to offer, such as parks, ocean, terraces, restaurants, bars and shops. This ultimate modern city at the end of the world is a must try on any traveler's list. Make sure you don't go there for the NYE time, or bring a lot of cash with you because this is very very very expensive.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

3XL South

Aotearoa, which means "Land of the long white cloud" in Maori, brings a strong imagery in people's minds, and most of it is coming from the South Island of New Zealand. Contrary to the North, the South Island is much bigger, larger and deeper. It is almost as if the South was three sizes bigger, an XXXL vs. a L t-shirt.

Queenstown from the Gondola

In this part of the country, Kiwis (named after the flightless bird during WWI) and tourists alike are outnumbered by cows (6 million) and sheep (40 million). Traveling in South Island is like driving across a giant farm with one asphalt road crossing the estate. You don’t actually need a GPS, because [a] it’s usually out of focus and [b] it gives useless info (“Turn Left in 180 km”). No matter how you want to explore the South Island (clockwise or counter clockwise), the only decent road that goes around the country could not be missed.

Lake Wakatipu on the road to Glenorchy

Everywhere where eyes can lay has cattle or sheep in the picture. The good thing about it is, there is nothing bad to say about the lamb rack and other meat meals except that daily intake is a gargantuan delight, and also that portions were sized up for a hungry giant sheep shearer who requests his first meal after a three-week tramping across the mountains. You can gain kilos by just looking at menu. Everything is XXXL, including meals.

Fox Glacier

Volcanoes, valleys, plains, rivers, lakes, glaciers, national parks, and one road. Everything has been designed to enjoy nature at its best. From Queenstown, the adrenaline-pumping city to Wanaka, the-quiet family village, the south part of South Island is covered with world-class trekking and jaw-dropping landscape. Take your time to explore the Southland region even more than the other parts of the islands.

Lake Wanaka

Nothing can beat the things you can see in this part of the world, and it is very difficult to extract one or two places out the many there. But under pressure, one can mention that Queenstown, Wanaka, and Fox Glacier regions are must-do. It will depend on what you prefer, how much time you have and what you can afford to trace your travel plans, but these three destinations must be attacked head first. It seems that even if you spend a life time exploring the region you wouldn’t see everything that nature has to propose.

Queenstown from the Gondola

For me, South Island is reasoning with long drives across fantastic landscapes, cutting though changing weathers, listening to 80’s music, dipping marshmallows in hot chocolate and trying to fit the 360-degree, larger-than-life panoramas inside my tiny camera. It was also a compilation of first-timer experience for me: first time walking on a Glacier, flying in a helicopter, receiving a speeding ticket, and experiencing an earth quake.

Queenstown Sunset

XXXL South Island is a must-do in a traveler's life, and certainly the best way to do it would be to drive around in a camper home to be able to stop on a heart beat to appreciate the landscape.

Friday, December 30, 2011

New Zealand - South Island Addresses

Even more than in the North, the South Island part of New Zealand needs a lot of time to explore. If you don't have time to do so, you will need to choose from a gigantic list of places and activities.

Many things will be left out, but some need to be seen for sure, such as mountains, lakes, glaciers, wines and oceans. This is what I chose for a one week vacation on the South Island in New Zealand.

Of course by choosing this itinerary, I left out a lot of nice and unforgettable places to visit, but so was my choice. More time could have given me more options though ....

"Speechless" was the first thought I had when entering the beautiful city of Queenstown, and then minute after minute the initial impression faded out to be replaced by another one: "natural beauty". QT is by nature a natural wonder in the New Zealand landscape. Only a few places in the world can combine beauty, elegance, majesty and peacefulness altogether in one shot. It seems to be the central place for serenity in New Zealand. One can stay one year and still not do everything possible around the beautiful city, but a few days must be put aside to enjoy some of the things the city can offer: skiing in the winter and sweating in the summer. If I have to remember only one place in NZ, that would be QT.

Novotel Queenstown Lakeside Hotel
Corner Earl Street and Marine Parade, Queenstown 9197, New Zealand.
[Website] [TripAdvisor]
The Novotel is just in front of the lake, but don't get too excited as no room has really a great view of the lake. You might have a peak at the water if you lean over the window, but not much. In reality no hotel has a great lake view, since all buildings are pretty low rise for keeping the QT vibe. This small fact aside, the hotel is extremely well located and has everything needed to spent a week ... and more.

Beach St, Queenstown 9197, New Zealand.
[Website] [TripAdvisor]
At the end of the wharf lies many restaurants facing the pier and the TSS steamboat when it is at quay. Among them is the fiNZ, an expensive and ordinary fish restaurant. Not too sure why so many people were lining outside ... maybe because it was one of the few open for Boxing Day.

42 Shotover Street, Queenstown, New Zealand.
[Website] [TripAdvisor]
Do I really have to present the world-famous Fergburger !?! OK, so this is the place to have a giant yet freshly made burger in the city. After 3 days tramping the mountains or a full day of skiing, anything from Fergburger is more than necessary and welcome. Don't panic when you see the line outside, the throughput is phenomenal, plus that will give time to buy Fergburger clothes or look at the pictures on the wall.

Brecon St, Queenstown 9348, New Zealand.
[Website] [TripAdvisor]
It wasn't the luge (although it looked fun), but the view at the top that I came for. The NZ$25, 2min ski-lift made the visit atop worthwhile despite the crowd. If you walk 15 minutes more after the luge you will be at the paragliding takeoff spot with a beautiful view of the lake beneath.

[Website] [TripAdvisor]
If you are bored in QT, it's because you want to be. I never saw so many different activities offered in one place. It's so big that the visitor center is as big a train station with guides who watch you entering the place with daring looks: "So you are an adrenaline junky? Welcome home !" Going fast, going down, going up, fly high, flying low, running slow, driving down, watching high, surfing fast .... everything is possible at QT, just ask and some has done it before. When the day is going away to give you a chance to rest for the next day, don't miss the sunset on the beach. You won't be alone though. Now if you are into tramping, the Queenstwon Hill (2-3 hours) is supposed to be unmissable, so is the Routeburn Track (2-3 days) or the Milford Track (4-5 days).

At the end of the road hides a small village, away from the busy Queenstown. Glenorchy is the perfect picture of what could be a village lost in the mountains with 4 streets and 3 cafés. Locals are here to listen to trampers' stories and tourists' questions. A nice place to rest a bit for the next big thing you are going to do that day.

Foxy's Café
Cnr Mull & Argyle Streets, Glenorchy, New Zealand.
Large portions of protein and lot of space in this saloon. If it was the last open place in town you might want to consider it, otherwise find something else (or pack a sandwich).

Like its sister QT, Wanaka is primarily a resort town but has both summer and winter seasons and is based around the many outdoor opportunities. Considered less upscale, the city kept a grounded touch that make it more livable for tourists. Until when ?

Kai Whakapai
Ardmore St, Wanaka 9192, New Zealand.
Slow service, great food and large portions make this place a must try in Wanaka. Make sure you have a spot with a lake view, your meal will be even more relaxing.

Fox Glacier
The homonym city of the famous Fox Glacier is a quiet place dedicated to the day tourist. No fancy stuff around this small crossroad in the plains. If you want more action you better go to the next bigger crossroad, the Franz Josef village.

Bella Vista Fox Glacier Motel
55 Main Road, Fox Glacier, 7859, New Zealand.
[Website] [TripAdvisor]
Drop in, drop out, car park, plastic shower, cozy sleep, on the main road. The owner is very diligent and ready to answer any questions.

Pizza Café Nevé
Main Rd, Fox Glacier, 7951, New Zealand.
No restaurant is open at 4PM in Fox Glacier, so the only warm food was a pizza. I did not expect anything and I got a pizza in return. Was on the expensive side for what it was.

Matheson Café
Lake Matheson Rd, Fox Glacier, 7859, New Zealand.
[Website] [TripAdvisor]
Sold as the best place in the region to eat, my expectation were high when I pushed the door of the terrace. It is true that the lake view, and the Alps as a side view are great. As for the food I found it a bit too expensive for a below average "sous vide" fish.

Cook Saddle Café & Saloon
19 State Highway 6 Fox Glacier 7859, New Zealand.
[Website] [TripAdvisor]
If you are hungry after 10 days' walking in the mountains, you have $10 left in your pocket and you are ready to eat a cow by yourself, then Cook Saddle Saloon is the place for you. Wooden chairs, round tables, and chimney in the back are the decor of the restaurant. As to what is comes on your plate, don't you worry you will have enough to content you and your calorie-burning activities for the next few days.

Matheson Lake Walk
Lake Matheson offers a 90-minute easy circuit walk takes you through a forest. After the walk, the evening sunset over Mount Cook and Mount Tasman provide unforgettable views at the entry/exit of the walk.

Fox Glacier & Franz Josef Glacier
[Website] [Website]
When people think of glaciers, they usually think high mountains, 4,000+m altitude, and long and perilous walks to see a glacier at close sight. New Zealand offers many glaciers, but these two are accessible within less-than-an-hour easy walk. Both are magical and surprising. The one to one-and-half hour walks are both surreal and help grasp what nature can do. This is a must do. Now if you have time you might want to envision walking on either of them. Many shops offer a one day (8 hours) walk up and down the glacier. This is moving ice and must be taken seriously, accidents do occur despite taking a lot of precautions.

The Helicopter Line
[Website] [TripAdvisor]
I booked the day before for an early flight in the morning. At 9:45AM I was ready to fly off to see Mount Cook and the two glaciers. The one hour flight was PHENOMENAL above the glaciers, and the landing on Fox glacier was even more magical than I anticipated. Like magic the clouds opened up when we were in the sky and closed after we landed. That day we had the perfect window to fly high in the sky. Helicopter Line was very professional, gave us the security advices, and made our try above ground a unique experience.

Franz Josef Glacier
The Maori name for the glacier is Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere ('The tears of Hinehukatere'), arising from a local legend: Hinehukatere loved climbing the mountains and persuaded her lover, Wawe, to climb with her. Wawe was a less experienced climber than Hinehukatere but loved to accompany her until an avalanche swept Wawe from the peaks to his death. Hinehukatere was broken hearted and her many, many tears flowed down the mountain and froze to form the glacier.

The Landing
SH 6, Franz Josef, 7952, New Zealand.
This is the place to stop after a long walk. Portions are huge, service fast and bill still acceptable. One advice though - order from the kids menu as you will not finish what they bring to the table otherwise.

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the country's third-largest urban area. On 22 February 2011 at 12:51 pm, an earthquake with magnitude 6.3 occurred. The intensity and the violence of the quake was among the strongest ever recorded globally in an urban area. The quake resulted in the deaths of 181 people and in the declaration of New Zealand's first National State of Emergency. Many buildings and landmarks were severely damaged, (e.g., 'Shag Rock' & Christchurch Cathedral), and since then the city center has been declared a "Red Zone" (unsafe to walk in) and waiting to be to be demolished one building at the time (latest news). The city has been totally damaged by the earthquake and it will take a while before normal activities will finally resume, if ever. The remaining question is why rebuild on such a sensitive earthquake ground?

City Center Motel
876 Colombo St Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand.
[Website] [TripAdvisor]
One of the few remaining safe downtown places to spend the night at. Rooms are still standing, very spacious, and the two old ladies that run the place are very diligent and knowledgeable.

Copthorne Commodore Hotel
449 Memorial Ave Burnside, Christchurch 8053, New Zealand.
[Website] [TripAdvisor]
The airport hotel you want to have at every airport in the world. Spacious, comfortable, nice room, vast bathroom and free pick-up and drop-off to and from the airport. Might be on the upper side of the price list though.

Kheo Thai
4 Papanui Rd Merivale, Christchurch 8014, New Zealand.
[Website] [TripAdvisor]
In a city center destroyed by an earthquake it is hard to find an untouched or still standing place to eat. Among the remaining places around downtown at the fringes is this tucked-in Thai restaurant. Portions are once again huge, service fast and price average. For when hungry.

Flying Burrito Brothers
Northland Mall.
[Website] [TripAdvisor]
Displaced burrito place from the city center, is now located 20-min drive away in Northland Mall for convenience and safety. The only open fast food chain on a Friday night, the place was packed and therefore service slow. Potions were OK for once, but the bill was not. I guess they drove out the competition.

The Mud House Winery & Café (Formerly Canterbury House Vineyards)
780 Glasnevin Road, Waipara 7447, New Zealand .
[Website] [TripAdvisor]
40km or so away from Christchurch is a nice wine valley for tourists on the go. Among the few wineries there The Mud House also proposes a restaurant. Vast place with a high turn over cannot provide the service that should be deserved. Nevertheless, the wine and food mix was descent and should not be overlooked.

Chicken Salad at Bully Hayes, Akoroa

The French Akaroa is 84 km by road from Christchurch. Set on a beautiful harbor and overlooked by craggy volcanic hills, Akaroa is a popular resort village and in the summer the temporary population can reach 7,000, far over the 500 permanent residents in the winter.

Bully Hayes
57 Beach Rd, Akaroa 8161, New Zealand.
[Website] [TripAdvisor]
After walking the town and checking menu selections and prices at all the restaurants, I settled on Bully Hayes. The restaurant was in a very good location overlooking the harbor and a great place for people watching. Decent seafood restaurant with great selection of snacks. Portions were again huge and prices were accordingly.

In conclusion, besides sheep farming, tourism in South Island is the only thing going on and therefore prices are high and quality average. Hotels in general are OK but standard for the price. Food to the contrary was abundant but poor in quality. Activities when not free, are very expensive. In other words, New Zealand South Island is an expensive tourist destination but with a memorable, unforgettable scenery.