I had it in mind to use my last full day in Christchurch for a lengthy walk around the Botanic Gardens, then perhaps a look at their art gallery and museum as time allowed. That suggested a hearty breakfast so I hot-footed along to Bunsen, the cafe in the Arts Centre, which looked to offer some substantial breakfast treats.

The Arts Centre is another site in the city that’s still under partial rebuilding due to the effects of the previous devastating earthquakes from eight years ago.

Bunsen has a chemistry theme going on, partly in recognition of this being the site on which Ernest, Lord Rutherford – the atom splitter – did some of his early studies.

Their menu packed a fairly impressive list of options from which I chose their vege heaven breakfast. This brought together thyme polenta wedges, hummus, vegan aioli, poached egg, spicy roasted kidney beans and crispy kale.

It arrived looking pretty neat. With the yolk of the poached egg verified as duly runny, I tucked in. There were some stellar elements with the kale outstanding, the beans splendid and the polenta very good indeed. It was an excellent plate of food.

This was added to by very good espresso. I left feeling energised and ready to take on the day.

So overall, Bunsen served me one of the best single dishes of my time in New Zealand. It was a really fresh and inventive breakfast dish. I was sad not to have the opportunity to return to try more dishes from the menu, but there’s always next time.

Blythe scores Bunsen
4.5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 16/20

I ate: vege heaven breakfast

I drank: espresso, water

I wore: black and blue

Total bill: $23

Address: Arts Centre, Christchurch

Written by BKR