27 Steps, Christchurch

27 Steps

Upstairs on New Regent Street in Christchurch, Twenty Seven Steps is much loved by all people of good palate and relaxed style.  Housed in a unique heritage space that previously housed one of Christchurch’s first restaurants, The Coffee Pot.

Since opening in August 2015, they’ve been nominated for the Zest Food Awards in 2015 and multiple awards and nominations in the Chevrons (Christchurch Hospitality Awards). This includes the best restaurant and best chef. They also made it onto Cuisine’s Top 100 Restaurants in the Country list in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

A Chat with Emma Mettrick, Co-Owner and Operator

What’s the story behind Twenty Seven Steps?

Paul Howells (chef) and I met working in Ireland in 2007. On our return to New Zealand, we set up a small restaurant in Akaroa in 2009. With our son approaching school age and sentimentality to return to Christchurch post-quakes, we searched for the perfect site. Twenty Seven Steps opened almost five years ago on New Regent Street and was the culmination of the many places Paul and I had worked over the years.

What are special about Twenty Seven Steps? What kind of atmosphere do you cultivate?

We are a classic restaurant, with no theme, offering honest food. We welcome you with bread; meals are complete with no need for sides. Everything is ethically sourced and local. We want people to feel welcome.

Whilst we have extensive knowledge about the products and wine we provide, it really is about providing what the customer wants, to ensure they leave completely satisfied. Whilst we may think the beef fillet is better served rare, if you want it well done, we are here to provide the best well-done steak! (And of course rare, if that’s what you want!)

What kind of food and drink do you specialise in?

We have described our food as rustic and European-inspired in the past, and this is at the root of what we do. Food is well-sourced and local, with flavour at the forefront.

We have a large wine list, with 50% of our glass pours being from North Canterbury. Our motto is to serve food and wine we love, and that’s grown, created, and/or provided by people we love.

What’s your favourite dish?

Our soups are always delicious. We serve them in either a teacup or a bowl, and no matter what flavour is on the blackboard, I recommend trying it.

Also, the quality of our venison sourced by the Merchant of Venison is incredible. It melts. We first met James (Merchant of Venison) as a customer in Akaroa, and the relationship has continued.

How has the Covid-19 crisis affected your restaurant? Have you made any changes in the aftermath of the crisis?

I guess in a weird way it has re-focussed our attention. We had been doing really well and it has made us realise we were taking the restaurant’s success… not for granted, but I guess not appreciating it as much as we do currently. Times are tough for many, so it is a real compliment when people choose to spend their money with us.

We have added some more comfort-food options for winter, such as the pork cheek, and a value dine-and-dash option for early or mid-week dining.

But, we have also stayed who we are and have been over the last 10 years. We truly just want to keep doing what we are doing. It is what we love

Also in Restaurants

Omni Restaurant, Auckland

This is my new favourite casual restaurant.  Easy, relaxed and delicious without the loud music. The perfect place to catch up with great friends.

Baduzzi translates to Meatball in Italian, and in this vibey viaduct (tucked behind North Wharf) restaurant they are fantastic.  Stylish, Italian with impeccable service, what more could you want?  This blog has all the picks from their top Sommelier Andra Martinisi as well as an interview from our founding times in the deep dark well of COVID between owner Michael Dearth and Hospo Consultant Andrew Clapham.

TOBI, Auckland

Tobi with Albert Cho is the latest offering by David Lee, a prolific and skilled restaurateur. Founding also Gochu, Aigo Noodle Bar, Crack Chicken, Poni and The Candy Shop along with a coffee roastery.  

Tobi is an all-day eatery situated on Ponsonby Road that combines classic European bistro with nostalgic Kiwi flavours.  To go with the European-inspired menu the wine menu is dominated by European wines. It's cool to see a "chilled red" section as this is certainly en-pointe right now. We noticed they have two of the Italian wines we retail. Alta Mora and Pieropan Soave.