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The Gondola Restaurant: Well laid out Dishes with a stunning View
Post-earthquake update June 2011
As the Gondola has not been operating since the earthquake on 22 February and the tracks in the Port Hills in this area are considered too dangerous due to rockfall, this restaurant, of course, is also closed.
A great alternative for a meal in the Port Hills is the Sign of the Kiwi, at the intersection of Dyers Pass Road (leading up the hill as an extension of Colombo Street) and the Summit Road. After the meal or coffee and cake you can either carry on along the Summit Road to the Sign of the Bellbird to enjoy the best view of Lyttelton Harbour, and then to Gebbies Pass, or straight down the hill to Governor's Bay and Lyttelton Harbour.
You will not find a restaurant in Christchurch with a better view, as the Gondola restaurants sits at the summit station of the Gondola on Mt. Cavendish. Especially in the evenings this can be rather romantic, with the waters of Lyttelton Harbour - now dark blue - reflect the lights of the spectacular sunsets and of the villages around the harbour basin.
But this is one of those exclusive restaurants where the delicious little food bits are so clearly laid out on the huge plates that you need (at least) three courses to get satisfied. And sometimes you go home and have a little snack. That is why we dined up there only once. At least you want to be satisfied when you pay top price.
Nothing to say against the quality of the food. Especially the roast scallops I had as entrée were fantastic. (The cheapest starter BTW costs NZ$ 14, and it was not the scallops...) Also the herb-crusted lamb was delicious. Cannot tell you which other main we had, it was something rolled up in a thin tomatoey sauce or so, very probably it was fish. (Most mains between $34 and 38.)
Add $12 to the big bill for the gondola ride.
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