Words Vanessa Ortynsky
Photography Charlie Jackson
While Thai food isn’t a rarity in Christchurch, Kum Pun Thai offers an experience unlike the rest. Kum Pun is a contemporary Thai restaurant and beer garden in the heart of Victoria Street’s thriving entertainment district. The sleek, elegant interior makes a statement, and reminds you that this isn’t just your neighbourhood Thai restaurant.
The setting is a wonderful place to unwind and take in your surroundings, both indoors and out. The spacious beer garden overlooks the bustling Victoria Street and, during the winter months, it allows for premium bicycle parking for diners who choose to pedal their way
The extensive menu delights the senses, featuring everything from prawn pad Thai to soft shell crab and roast duck. I opt for massaman curry and fresh rolls. Our meals emerge from the kitchen in the most spectacular fashion – stunning visual masterpieces that we both admire before our first bites. Less traditional than expected, the curry comes with slow-braised lamb shank and kumara mash, providing a Kiwi twist on the Thai specialty. On the side, instead of rice, is a sheaf of crispy noodles, which pairs well with the lamb. The fresh rolls are filled with vegetables and tofu. Served with sweet hoisin sauce, they are devoured instantly.To top off your meal, try one of the authentic dessert items. We had black sticky rice with ice cream of the day.
A BYO restaurant, Kum Pun also features an all-encompassing wine and beer list and intriguing cocktails to impress even the most discerning of palates. Service is attentive, but not overbearing as our waitress patiently explained the menu and made knowledgeable suggestions. With delightfully flavoursome food and warm service, the presentation is really what blew us away. The ambience at Kum Pun is formal yet friendly, ideal for both date night or spontaneous drinks with friends.