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Wednesday5:00 – 11:00 pm.

Thursday5:00 – 11:00 pm.

Friday5:00 – 11:00 pm.

Saturday5:00 – 11:00 pm.

Sunday5:00 – 11:00 pm.

Unit 6/2 Papanui Road, Merivale, Christchurch

027 340 8385

Good things come in small packages, and Londo is a prime example of that age old proverb. Located at the city end of Papanui Road, in what could hardly be more than a thirty square metre space, this teeny restaurant, with an even teenier kitchen, has a heart bigger than most.

Intimate, yet by no means intimidating, the space is warm, welcoming and comfortable. The interior consists of natural materials and tones – the fit out is after all the handiwork of locals Michael Gilling of Xylo woodcraft and Alex Bowater of Master Studio. Guests are seated along the bar with full view of all the action in the kitchen, or at one of the three tables that allow for a more conventional way of dining. Yet, nothing much is conventional at Londo, and wherever you find a seat, guest interaction is an essential part of dining here.

The man behind this restaurant and wine bar, Chef Robert Fairs, has a long history and plenty of experience in some of the finest kitchens around the world, but over the years, he found himself falling out of love with the fine dining experience. When it came to starting his own restaurant, Robert knew he wanted to create the kind of space that he himself, along with his friends, would like to frequent. That comprises equal amounts of the down to earth vibe of the establishment, the ingredient-focused dishes and brilliant local drops.

Everything comes down to the goods used in the kitchen and the relationships with both producers and guests. Robert is acutely aware of the hard work that goes into working the land and providing chefs like him with prime produce; as an acknowledgement, he presents even the humblest produce in the best possible way. What that means is the menu changes often in accordance with the produce available at any given time of the year, but guests can always rely on an exceptional culinary experience.

Good food would be without if it wasn’t accompanied by good beverage, and at Londo, both are important. Host and beverage master Harry Findlay serves a selection of local natural wines and shakes up a mean cocktail or two. The team of two pour all their love and passion into what they do, which is evident to anyone who finds themselves dining at this petite gem of a restaurant in Ōtautahi.

Words by Petra Nyman & Photography by Ashleigh Vermaak

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Unit 6/2 Papanui Road, Merivale, Christchurch

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