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Published June 21st 2015
Pub Food At Its Prime
The Twisted Hop is a well-known pub on the outskirts of Christchurch CBD in Woolston. It is home to a exceptional selection of craft beers, ales and gastro-pub style food.
The pub has been open since 2012 and runs on the legacy of its own branded cask conditioned ales (which have been produced in Sockburn since 2004). The Twisted Hop houses these deliciously brewed beers along with a host of international craft beers and wine.
When you enter the pub it is quite modern with booths and a collection of long dining tables and a bar, which is home to a fabulous collection of conditioned ales, fruity ciders and international beers. The venue is split over two levels with the upstairs area consisting of a function room, a great place for milestone birthdays, charity events and the works. The area upstairs alone is large enough to accommodate close to 80-100 people.
There is also a small area out the back for diners and pub-goers to sit and experience the chilly Christchurch temps. On this occasion, my partner and I opted to head inside and warm up, what better way to warm up but with a hearty pub meal.
I had heard rave reviews about The Twisted Hop and it delivered tenfold. The menu showcased all the best the pub had to offer, not only a comfortable restaurant environment, but pub food with a posh nosh twist. Menu items such as Brandied meatballs, to Bangers and mash, Fish and chips and the pub's signature Hop Burger have all received much acclaim from locals and tourists alike. It is refreshing to see that the chefs have taken your standard run-of-the-mill pub food and turned it up a notch with the attention to flavour, detail, quality and presentation.
Brandied meatballs - bite sized ground angus meatballs in a tangy apricot brandy glaze @ The Twisted Hop Pub (Photo @neelsmcgee)
Each option that my partner and I selected from the menu came out with presentation worthy of it being in a Food magazine. The Brandied meatballs , made with Angus and smothered in a tangy apricot brandy glaze was absolute heaven. These bite-sized balls of meat were the perfect start to a respectable three courses.
Next was mains and what better way to follow meat up with more meat. The winner on this evening was the Rib eye Steak a delectable, juicy prime cut of Canterbury beef served with rosemary potatoes and topped with a portabello mushroom in a port wine jus. If that doesn't make your mouth water I don't know what will. Cooked medium the steak's aroma entered the room before its physical sight was seen. The sight of the rib eye made my mouth water. Biting into the first cut was equally as gratifying. The potatoes were fluffy on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside, whilst the mushroom on top provided the perfect finishing touch.
Rib eye Steak - Prime Canterbury beef served with rosemary potatoes topped with portabello mushroom in a port wine jus @ The Twisted Hop Pub (Photo @neelsmcgee)
Having committed to three courses, we knew the dessert Chocolate Fondant with salted caramel, berry compote and ice-cream, was not far off and we needed to man up and devour it in one full swoop. Unfortunately, as my mouth is only tiny, an extremely large spoonful consisting of all different textures; the moist cake, the caramel drizzle, the vanilla bean ice-cream and the berry compote, together packed a punch of the sugar variety and was one dish I did not want to see finish, much like a never-ending packet of Tim Tams.
Chocolate Fondant with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Caramel Glaze and Berry Compote @ The Twisted Hop Pub (Photo @neelsmcgee)
The service at the pub was warm and welcoming and staff were attentive to our needs. As time went on and my food coma kicked in, I understood what all the hype was about. The Twisted Hop delivered on all its duties to its customers: firstly, it provided a warm environment, secondly top notch pub food (I would even say the best pub food in Christchurch) and lastly great service and attentive waitstaff. A big thumbs up to The Twisted Hop, one destination for food in Christchurch that I highly recommend.
PS: On a side note, on Sundays the pub does a roast, and as you will see from the photo below, nothing short of great, especially when you are far from London.
Roast Pork Sunday Dinner @ The Twisted Hop Pub (Photo @neelsmcgee)