We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Best dining experience ever”
Review of Octagon Live - CLOSED

Octagon Live
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Reviewed December 30, 2010

Dinner at the Octagon last night would have to be our most memorable dining experience. They have raised the bar to new heights for us. There were seven of us in our party and we had taken our elderly father out to dinner. From the moment of being warmly greeted outside by the maitre dit through to having a special request attended to, we felt more like honoured guests than clientele.

The food is excellent, especially the Beef Wellington. But what makes this place exceptional is the atmosphere of the old church and the musical auditioning of the waitstaff. All of the waitstaff are accomplished classical musicians and we were treated to brilliantly played classical pieces and themes from popular musicals throughout the evening. One of them even played an excerpt from Phantom of the Opera on the 1400 pipe organ still in residence. Our special request of "Ave Maria" for our father was met by two waitstaff - a pianist and mezo soprano at concert level standard. There were few dry eyes afterwards!

There was nothing too much that could be done for us, and it was done with both grace and class. We noted that another guest had wine accidentally spilt on her jacket. Within an hour this had been drycleaned and discretely returned to her.

If a restaurant could be rated six stars I would be giving the Octagon such a rating.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank HFTNewZealand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (30)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

7 - 11 of 30 reviews

Reviewed December 23, 2010

We dined there on 23 December 2010 on the high recommendation of American friends in Australia. It is an 8-sided former church built in the 1870s. Located near the main Cathedral in the heart of Christchurch, the Octagon has lovely stained glass windows and wonderful acoustics that come from the rich wood ceilings and a massive working pipe organ. The staff are musicians - some are quite accomplished. The owners and staff are friendly, attentive, and welcoming while they sing and offer piano and organ pieces between serving up the cocktails, wines, elegant meals, and desserts. It was a great evening. We'll definitely return!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank AmericanAussies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2010

This was one of the best restaurants I have been to in a very long time. It was certainly the best I went to in New Zealand. It had the perfect mix of atmosphere, great food, entertainment, and exceedingly polite staff.

The food: The menu is fantastic, and you can't go wrong with any of the choices. There are even options for the vegetarians out there. Personally, I had the lobster bisque to start followed by a fillet of groper laid over a crab cake with a king prawn to top it off. The flavors were exquisite and it was cooked to perfection.

Location: Octagon Live is in an old restored church that is of course in the shape of an octagon. The inside is stone with a giant organ that takes up one side. There's a bar with top shelf liquor as well as a dessert bar.

Staff: All of the staff members are musicians! They are singers and they play instruments. When I was there, the owner sang several songs. There was also a fantastic piano player who was only 19 years old who played amazingly. Our waiter sang opera at one point and the owner sang several christmas songs to the tune of a piano.

It was an amazing experience

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank PiKappMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2010

My sister and I were standing outside the restaurant before it was open, reading the sign and asking ourselves if we should go in and book, we knew not much about the place, and the owner came out and invited us in to look around! We were delighted (wowww beautiful place) and we made a booking. On our return that night were welcomed in and had the chairs pulled out for us, napkins placed on our laps, water poured (and continually refilled every time we emptied them!), we had never experienced service like this before. The owner is charming and waiters so genuinely friendly and attentive. The food was amazing (I had the beef wellington and my sister had vegetarian symphony), the music was perfect (live jazz piano, singing, violin) - at one point a pianist had the entire room in silence as he played "The Fountain" by Ravel. (By the way - all the waiters are musicians too!), and this was the first time I had felt full after eating a meal at a restaurant. We tried to make our meals last a long time by eating extremely slowly because we wanted to stay in the atmosphere for as long as possible! A waiter told us we were welcome to stay and enjoy the music til the end, which we were thrilled about, and we were actually rendered speechless by the owners kindness to us by the end of the night.
I thought the building, staff, musicians and entertainment, were altogether perfect, the vibes and tastes and the flow of the night PERFECT. We can't wait to go Octagon Live again. We live in Auckland and have said would fly back to Christchurch just to go there again! I think we are gonna go after new years! :D

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank jellyfeets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2010

we dined a few days ago at Octagon Live. Nice place and very unique location. The service still would need improvements. When we were seated it seems no water was assigned for our tables. We had to ask after 20 min for the menu and than someone took care of us. Wine needed to be refilled mostly by ourselves as no waiter around .The food was good, but nothing outstanding.

Thank Christoph M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Octagon Live also viewed

Christchurch, Canterbury Region
Christchurch, Canterbury Region
 
Christchurch, Canterbury Region
Christchurch, Canterbury Region
 
Christchurch, Canterbury Region
Christchurch, Canterbury Region
 

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing