The people of Christchurch, New Zealand like many others in the world, enjoy eating. Around the city are a number of different restaurants, each with their own unique style and menu, but the smorgasbord (eat-all-you-like) restaurant are the most impressive of these. The two main venues are The Hoon Hay '88 (so named because they boast 88 separate dishes) and Valentines. Both these restaurants offer a large selection of dishes, where Valentines has more selection, but the '88 has more variety. Both restaurants offer the smorgasbord at comparable prices, so one might wonder how to choose...
Of course you could go to one for breakfast and the other for tea (with a Roman-style lunch) but this can also prove costly, as most people cannot afford to eat out every day. Lets start with the appearance of each restaurant:
Upon arrival to the Hoon Hay '88, (you must park around the back of the building, which is quite handy) you actually enter through the entrance to the Working Mens Club, but then turn left and go up a flight of carpeted stairs. At the top of the doorway is a set of double doors, which take you into the main body of the restaraunt, past the bar. You will then be accosted by a member of staff, who will seat you near the food, which is placed on a heated counter.
Valentines on the other hand, is quite different in appearance, less of the local pub, but more commercial. The doors from the small car park open straight onto the main desk, where the staff will show you to your table. The inside is quite well presented, with balloons strung everywhere. If it is a birthday meal, there will be cake provided, along with a balloon with the name of the birthday person written on it. The food is mostly cold, but there is a large heated counter with roasts and the like on it.
The All Important Food
The food selection is large at either of these two restaurants, with the '88 having more traditional dishes from most cultures, but Valentines caters for everyone, with a bigger selection. There is one problem however, the dessert in the '88 is also placed on the hot counter, which can cause some items to melt near the end of the evening. Valentines, however, has more desserts.
Both the Hoon Hay '88 and Valentines are reasonably easy to find: The Hoon Hay '88 is cunningly hidden in the suburb of Hoon Hay, off Tankerville Road and Valentines is on Moorhouse Avenue in the centre of the city. Both are easily accessible with a short walk from the city's bus system.