Here’s a Tip for visitors to Christchurch, New Zealand… Especially for travellers on a budget.
Head northwards out of Christchurch on the Main North Road. (The Main North Road leads off the end of Papanui Road) and towards the edge of the city there is a big set of traffic lights at the corner of Main North and Preston Roads.
The entrance is around the corner off Prestons Road (the car park is behind the bottle store) and whilst there is a Hotel there, but that’s not where all the cars and people are streaming into.. the people are thronging into the Restaurant.
This is the Sequoia 88, and it’s an “all-you-can-eat” Restaurant. It’s not what you would call Michelin Star dining, but the secret to their success is a low set price for the food (all drinks are extra, and pay as you go…) and a very wide variety of food.
Basically it’s a hot and cold buffet arrangement, everything from bite sized Fish, Chips, mini crunchy battered hot-dogs, chips and other fried offerings, a Chinese/Asian selection with noodles, rice, chicken. port and beef offerings, soups, pastas and then the more traditional things like a wide variety of Roast veggies and roast meats carved on the spot…
Then there is the cold section of the buffet, baked fish, numerous types of salads, crackers and breads, fresh fruits, olives etc and finally a soft ice-cream machine and a waistbursting array of puddings and desserts, also tea, coffee and cheeses.
And the best bit? It costs about NZD $ 25,- per person ( That’s about Euro 13,-) so if you are a budget conscious backpacker and you’ve been getting a little lean during your travels then this is a great place to come.
Most of our Christchurch friends and family also come for another reason.. You can bring a large family group here and there’s always the possibility to please everyone with the menu.
Even the fussiest of kids will find something to entice them, and it’s an eclectic mix of dishes on offer so Grandpa can have his Roast Pork, roast potatoes, veggies, gravy and crackling whilst grandkid next to him noshes on Chinese beef in black-bean sauce or lemon chicken and Dad tucks into one of the pasta dishes.
To date, every time we enter this establishment we all adamantly say: ” I’m not going to over-eat this time“… just as everyone we go with does, and when it comes time to waddle back to the car, we all know that we failed. (sigh) I blame the desserts.Seriously, it’s ALL their fault.
Luckily for the Kiwidutch’s we only get here every few years and nothing like this exists in The Netherlands so I can use the time in between to ready my waistline for the assault.
Goodness knows you wouldn’t want to do this place every week… unless you were running marathons in between visits.
For a group wanting to eat out together it’s an easy place to eat at.. there’s something for everyone, and for the budget traveler who’s been counting the pennies and eking out the rations on their backpacking trip, it’s a chance to pack on some calories and enjoy a substantial meal without breaking the bank.
… and yes there is a very large Sequoia tree on the property too, in case you wondered.