Summer has arrived, well and truly this last week and we’ve had beautiful warm days – mid to late 20s. Bliss. What better way to end the week then, than go for a quiet drink and dinner with friends?
Only five of us ventured this month, and we went to Dux Central. Located at the original Twisted Hop venue in Poplar Lane (a lane which is no longer obvious thanks to broken buildings/empty lots post earthquake), Dux Central is the latest in the Dux family.
For non-Christchurch people, the original Dux de Lux bar and cafe was based at the Arts Centre – the original university in Christchurch. The Dux was in the old student union building. It was a city icon, with a fabulous garden bar, vegetarian restaurant and their own brews. In fact, I may be wrong, but probably one of the first bars in Christchurch to brew its own beers? Everybody went to the Dux – from suits to students, pensioners for lunches and tourists from the Arts Centre market. It was a fabulous inner city venue for live music and a lot of local musicians became known by playing at the Dux.
Post earthquake Dux Live was the first re-creation from the owners, a container bar with the idea of having a venue for the music. Then came Dux Dine – a beautifully renovated house in Riccarton – which became their new flagship vegetarian restaurant.
In September Dux Central was launched. It is made up of a number of separate bars (the downstairs one is a bar to behold!) and a mix of indoor and outdoor seating/eating. The favourite brews are back, alongside 180 different beers available!
So on to the food. We relocated upstairs as it was a little quieter for Friday night dining and had chosen to go indoors as the weather had cooled down, finally. The menu is extensive and fabulous. A choice of small dishes; like tapas then also platters, mains, pizzas, and desserts, the menu at Dux is also inclusive – meat options are available, leaving Dux Dine to shine in its own Vegetarian catering light.
So I ordered pork sliders, one had a gnocchi main, one had the chicken wrapped in bacon main, and two opted to share a platter (which we all helped them with, trying some of the options) and we had the obligatory cayenne and curly fries as sides. More than enough food for all – such that no-one ordered dessert, just for a change!
The food was delicious, but the platter was a stand out when it was brought to the table – there are a choice of 3 platters, and this was the anti pasto one – more than enough to share!
Dux Central is a brilliant and very welcome addition to the Christchurch dining scene. With the Innovation Precinct well under construction it will probably become a cornerstone of inner city life east of Colombo Street, The Stranges Lane complex being just a hop skip and a jump away. It reminded us all that there are some exciting times ahead for our city and reminded us all a bit of days of old – while not quite the garden bar or historical setting – the vibe was definitely one of good old Dux de Lux days! We will ALL be back!