Re­gional wines a hit in new cafe-wine bar

The Press - Zest - - Drinks - – RE­VIEWED BY AB­BIE NAPIER

La Di Da is a new­player on Vic­to­ria St in a slick mod­ern re­build along­side Ya­m­a­gen and Aroy Thai. It is mar­ket­ing it­self as both a cafe and a wine bar, cater­ing to cus­tomers from early morn­ing well into the night.

Own­ers Ra­jiv and Melisa Biala also own Ma­haraja In­dian restau­rant in Pa­panui so know the hospo biz.

On a driz­zly Fri­day evening, we are in La Di Da for after work drinks and some ta­pas be­fore mov­ing on for din­ner.

Moody with a slight in­dus­trial edge, La Di Da is op­po­site the Christchurch Casino and within easy walk­ing dis­tance of the many new of­fices in the area.

A sus­pended wood ceil­ing gives some warmth to a cool in­te­rior and booth seat­ing along one wall is a nice touch of com­fort.

Wines by the glass are the or­der of the day, con­sid­er­ing its wine bar sta­tus, and the list does not dis­ap­point. Plenty of choice by the glass for those driv­ing home, with a few bot­tles for those who fancy a bit more or to share. Can­ter­bury’s wines are given a good run on the La Di Da wine list and of the clas­sics, a Waipara Hills pinot noir with it’s hint of spice warmed the cock­les.

A de­li­cious Akarua pinot rose from Cen­tral Otago with notes of straw­ber­ries, and a long creamy fin­ish is a nice pair­ing with a dish of deep fried boc­concini with a herb crust – the high­light of the food or­dered.

The breads and dips are fairly stan­dard but the basil pesto-style dip is a favourite with the ta­ble and for $19, the plat­ter is gen­er­ous. It is an ex­pected given though that side plates, nap­kins and cut­lery are pro­vided with food.

The stuffed chicken wings and a duck roulade ap­pealed – maybe next time?

La Di Da is look­ing like a strong con­tender as a popular wa­ter­ing hole but on this Fri­day, ser­vice needed more at­ten­tion. A lit­tle more ur­gency – or just pro­vid­ing food and wine in a timely fash­ion – will al­ways go a long way to im­prov­ing a guest’s ex­pe­ri­ence in a wine bar.

Nev­er­the­less, La Di Da is one to watch.

PHOTO: STACY SQUIRES/FAIR­FAX NZ

Morn­ing to night:: La Di Da wine and cock­tail bar in Vic­to­ria St.

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