Sue H. said: "This is definitely the best curry I have had in New Zealand. The curries were delicious had lovely tender meat and fresh herbs. They had distinctive flavours too. The popadums were the best I’ve tasted too…..they actually fry…" read more »
- Price Range:
- Spendy, $25 - $35
- Takes Reservations:
- Dietary Restrictions:
- Vegetarian, Gluten-free
- Meals Served:
- Lunch, Dinner
Reviews for Spice Paragon
4th April 2013
Our Red Quanitity Surveying team visited this restaurant last night, there were only 5 of us which was lucky as we booked a month in advance and got seated in the outside area which is enclosed but still very cold if you are not by a source of heat (we had no option to sit inside) and the booking was at 7.15pm so thought it wouldnt be too busy to put us inside. Aside from the seating, we sat at the bar and had a few drinks before a booking which was nice apart from the fact they had run out of berry and pear cider which was a bit dissapointing. The waiter was very nice and looked after us well and had a good knowledge of the food, a few of us ordered starters (the lettuce cup with chicken and duck looked great and a decent size) and then we ordered our mains and two of the team wanted melting beef cheek which they had run out of… instead they had the lamb shanks which looked amazing and I was a bit nervous about having Thai Fusion but my main came out (chicken and cashew stir fry) and I was very impressed!! There was heaps of chicken and veges it was so delicious! someone else ordered the duck curry and he was not a fan, was very soupy. Eggnet salad was the other order and he had no complaints about his food, looked very good. The only thing that was odd about it was the starters came out on the same plate… dont understand why they couldnt use seperate plates for seperate people? and same deal with the rice… came out in one big bowl instead of individual bowls, which doesnt work well when someone eats more than the other and you end up with no rice … very weird! I suggest asking for individual rice bowls and a seperate starter plate. 2 of us ordered desert, creme brulee and choc mousse and they both looks and tasted amazing! (I had a try of both) to conclude the night we all enjoyed our food and drinks and the service was good, minus the sold out food and drink. Not sure if I would go back in a hurry even though it was a lovely place, little bit expensive and busy for my liking but its worth trying for sure!
2nd February 2013
Amazing cuisine. Thai fusion. I am coeliac and the menu is labeled well staff had great knowledge of dishes and food was amazing. Good service and just amazing flavours.not the cheapest but amazing . Been three times since the week before Christmas .we had lunch which was lovely so many choices.
22nd January 2013
We had a thoroughly enjoyable evening at Spice Paragon recently. It was a warm night and the staff did their best to find us a table in a cooler part of the restaurant. We ordered three different dishes to share – with rice (which is extra), this was more than enough for the three of us. Relatively expensive compared to other Thai restaurants we have dined at, but definitely the nicest Thai food we have ever had. The staff were all friendly and helpful. We had an interesting conversation with a young guy from Bosnia who came round to check that everything was ok – he made our night. The only downside was our view out on to the Bush Inn car park – otherwise, would definitely recommend this restaurant.
26th October 2012
We had a dinner @ Spice Paragon on Thursday night. We could get a table but restaurant was quite busy. When we arrived @7pm there aren’t many table left. So I recommend you to book your table in advance. Drink menu, food menu was nice nicely presented. Liked their interiors very much like wooden chandelier, oak table etc…was very different from any restaurants I have ever been to.
Food was amazing!!! As they told us that they use fresh ingredients to make curry pastes and souces, the masaman lamb curry that I ordered was superb!! All the ingredients just burst in my mouth and with sweet potato mash I was in heaven. I’m a big fan of Thai food but this is the best place to taste real Thai.
Portion size was quite generous so there was no way I could finish whole dish by myself. My bf ordered pork hock it wasn’t huge so we shared main and I think this is the way to go. Most of main dish looked quite rich so best to share.
Service was not bad. Staff were quite young but when I asked wine recommendation, one waiter was quite knowledgeable. Wine list was interesting too.
I definitely recommend this place to everybody who wants to experience new style Thai cuisine and I’m coming back to try more!
by Anne R.
1st October 2012
First visit to Spice Paragon on Saturday 29th September. Two of the wines I asked for they had run out of, so I just had to settle for the house wine. Some of the food was very tasty but overpriced for what it was. Plus when your paying those prices I expect better service. Was very rushed and had 4 different waiters asking if we needed more drinks all the time and kept asking if we were enjoying our meal. The chocolate mousse for dessert was delicious. I wouldn’t want to be in a big group there as they looked squashed. Won’t be going back in the near future.
by Vivienne T.
30th September 2012
We visited this restaurant last night 29 September 2012 and found that this was not a pleasant experience. As a group booking we were met with confusion over who we were and they didn’t think they had a booking for us. Then when it was finally solved, our table had been ready for some time. This table was along a wall which made it difficult for people to get in and out to go visit the Toilets. This room was to say the least jam packed with tables and people (as many as the owners could legally fit in I suspect) as there were other large group bookings which seems to be where the shove groups. This was a very noisy room to be in as it does not seem to have a sound proofing or baffling system and the noise was so intense that I developed a migraine which meant we left straight after our meal and were not able to enjoy our friends company. I am sure if Health and Safety were to check the decibels in that room, they would exceed what is acceptable for GUESTS and their STAFF. Clearly these owners care nothing for the aforementioned. From the moment we arrived we were continually approached by different staff members for purchasing alcohol/drinks.
The food however was very nice, but due to and the pushiness of the purchase of drinks and extreme noise we will not be revisiting this establishment any time in the future.
29th September 2012
Visited last Saturday night for dinner and dessert.
Very cheery and polite bar staff. However when we were shown to our table we were disappointed to discover that it had been placed against the table adjacent to ours, so that my partner was as close to the stranger next door as she was to me! It seemed very busy with little other option, so we sat regardless.
Ordered the starter (duck spring roll), was a very small portion, but was utterly delicious. When the starters came out, I and the diner across and down the table from me discovered that we’d be made to share a plate.. something I’ve never experienced in any restaurant, ever. I had to wait for mine whilst she quickly ate hers, when you’re hungry you don’t want to watch your food just sitting there waiting.
Mains.. I had the lamb massaman, my partner had the chicken pad thai. Hands down, the best lamb I have ever eaten. Perfectly cooked and presented, large portion size, I would go back for this meal alone. The pad thai was a little bland, my partner commented that she’d had better takeaway thai at half the cost. Three of us had ordered rice, however they brought out one medium bowl to share which was nowhere near enough for three people, so I went without.
Dessert. What a joke. Our plates had been taken away after dinner, however it was nearly a half hour later when we managed to gain the attention of a waitress to ask for the dessert menu. She didn’t seem too happy that we wanted dessert and said to us, “oh, weren’t you told, we needed the table at 8pm”. Considering we had to wait so long after dinner to get any service, we found this quite rude.
We ordered dessert regardless, the coconut brulee was very nice, however I’m sure it would have been nicer if we didn’t have to inhale it to free up the table.
Overall, the food is excellent and worth trying. The service however, is appalling. I totally agree with the “badly managed” comment, we had four different wait staff throughout the night and no continuity of service. Requests were met with obvious annoyance, considering we spent around $400 between the 5 of us you’d think that they would put in a little more effort. So to that end, I give Spice Paragon 4 out of 5 for the food, but 1 for service.
by Jeannette E.
7th September 2012
The food is excellent but the service is appalling.
I rang today for a reservation but they are now trying to push customers out in just over an hour for the next table setting. For the price of the food it is nice to enjoy the experience.
We dine out at least twice a week, now that they have got busier they are also getting greedier.
Sorry lost this customer
1st September 2012
I wish there was a separate review for service and food, because unfortunately although the food was AMAZING and delicious, the service was the overwhelming negative factor in this experience. My SO and I had been wanting to come here since it first opened and just last night finally made it out with 2 other friends. Although I booked well in advance, I was disappointed to see that they had placed our group in the worst possible location – right in front of the high traffic plate receiving area in front of the kitchen, where about 7 wait staff stood chatting and laughing in a group. There shouldn’t even be a table there, in my opinion. The staff were obviously very very young and inexperienced. I think throughout the night we were waited on by up to 5 different people!
After complaining about the table twice we were moved. The hostess seemed unsympathetic at first and I think may have lied about “needing to specifically reserve a booth”. Anyway, 10 minutes after our other 2 guests arrived we had to chase down a waiter to get their drinks ordered.
At one point in the night our table was approached by a waitress who reached in between us for the drinks menu and without so much as a “Sorry to interrupt, would you mind please passing me your drinks menu?” explained that they were low and needed to take ours. She then walked off with a grumpy look on her face.
The food was, as I said, delicious and the portion sizes were pretty decent. Had the service been as awesome, it would have been a 9/10 night. The only thing that would have brought down this rating was the price….this is NOT a wallet friendly restaurant! Our bill for 4 people came to over $200. That was 2 drinks per person, 3 starters and 4 mains.
Bottom line – Don’t expect 5 star service for the 5 star prices.
13th August 2012
My partner & I dined for a late lunch Sunday, 12 August as we were in the area & had recently read that Spice Paragon had opened. We arrived at the tail end of lunch service & had to wait while 1 of 3 empty but uncleaned tables were prepared for us – this was the indicator that we were in for lazy service from unengaged staff.
We were seated & we ordered cocktails promptly. A few minutes later, having looked over a very short menu, we ordered our 3 dishes – Papaya Salad to share, Curried Groper & vegetarian option Phad Thai vegetables. After a lengthy wait the first cocktail arrived with “your other cocktail is coming” from the too-young staff member. Another 10 minutes passed before the second cocktail arrived at the same time as our food.
First, we asked why the first cocktail had taken so long to arrive & why this second one was arriving with the food. The response: “oh, I’m learning how to make them” & a very blank look before heading back to the bar.
Second, the Phad Thai arrived with a big piece of chicken on the plate. That dish was taken away & the vegetarian version arrived in enough time to make us think the chicken was simply removed from the plate – not good enough.
A cocktail is something you indulge in BEFORE eating, certainly not during. This was totally unacceptable, given how expensive a cocktail is.
The Curried Groper was tasty & cooked to perfection; the Papaya Salad was ‘ok’ but could do with a bit more zing – perhaps fresh coriander, a bit more lime, adjust the seasoning to give it the sweet/sour flavour it should have; & the Phad Thai was simply bland. Disappointing.
We drank our cocktails after eating & aside from making a complaint at the table, we made an additional complaint to the barman. We specifically asked why these pre-dining drinks did not arrive in good time. His arrogant response: “it was a quiet time, so it was a good chance for us to have a lesson making them”. Our response was to explain that what might be a good chance for staff, was at the expense of the diners. We got an inane smile & a “oh well, sorry about that. but did you like the taste of them?” This is not how you deal with a valid complaint.
The problem with this place is that the staff are too young and inexperienced (cheap wages?) & I suspect they’re been coached to handle complaints with an apology, an empty-headed smile & under no circumstances offer recompense or refunds.
Spice Paragon is obviously thinking Christchurch diners will accept any dining shortcomings as we have lost a lot of great eateries & choices in the last 2 years – but be warned: statistics & human behaviour tell us that for every poor review that is written or voiced to management, there are at least another 10 people who are saying the same thing to their friends. Simple maths tells us Spice Paragon needs to improve, fast.
Judging by the hit-and-miss reviews for this place, I would say they need to sort their service pronto and pay for some experienced, professional staff, instead of kids who are trying to learn on-the-job.
We dine out several times a week through business as well as socially & Spice Paragon will be avoided with advice to others to do likewise.
12th August 2012
Went to Spice Paragon for an anniversary and found the food extremely good. Starters a little on the small side (next time would probably pick two starters each) main course was fantastic(pork belly) however waiter said it was ideal to share we found it on the small side.
Staff were plentiful however poorly managed.
Would return as we enjoyed the experience and would be more aware of the portion size
by Douglas H.
11th August 2012
Upon arriving, we were greeted appropriately and shown to our seats. It was a little tight for space.
Our waiter had eaten too many of the lemons, and was quite sour. When our meal came out, after 20 mins which was good, one of the first bites had a large chicken bone on it which my partner choked on. Lest, we continued only to find some large pieces of chicken skin/fat nested amongst the Pad Thai. I had the wok fried chicken and noodles with salad. It was alright, but nothing that I couldn’t make at home. For somewhere that charges 13-16 for lunch, you would expect more. The chicken bone was shown to our lemon-eating waitress, who didnt say anything. Not a word. She showed her super, who took it into the kitchen. That was good but no apology or anything! Nothing at all! It would of been nice for the manager to say sorry and possibly give us the meal free of charge. All I can say is how anyone would spend $35 for dinner is way beyond me. Just ridiculous.
So, if you want average food with nothing special, unenthusiastic service, a huge hole in your wallet, and a weird feeling in your stomach, then by all means go here.
25th July 2012
Had a spontatious desire to go out to dinner last night on our way home, my partner sujested we try Spice Paragon as we’re both a fan of Thai.
The ambience was beautiful, the service was efficient and friendly.
The meals them selves where just to die for.
Booked my graduation dinner for there the same night as can’t wait to go back.
Have already recommended to all my friends
by maddie h.
19th May 2012
I was told by a work colleague that I should try this new restaurant as it was so good and off we went. The food was utterly amazing, some of the best food I’ve ever eaten, the service was great and we will be going there regularly from now on to try out the rest of the menu. I had the pad thai and my partner had the ribs, both were perfect – and I don’t even like coriander! The only thing that I would change is the hand water for the ribs, it was cold and its always good to have it warm. But something like that is so trivial it doesn’t detract from a 5 star rating.
by Lance W.
17th May 2012
This email is to record my extreme disappointment with my family’s bad experience at the Spice Paragon restaurant. We were booked in on Sunday 13th April at 7pm for 15 people.
The numerous reasons resulting in this series of complaints is as follows …
1. Although booked for 15 people we were shown to a table with only 10 placings. We were forced to crowd together on the uncomfortable bench seats, resulting in the person at the end sitting next to and opposite a mother and baby from another family.
2. Drinks were ordered and this included 2 glasses of coke and 3 bourbon and cokes. Straight away it was obvious the coke in each drink was flat. This was pointed out to the staff and replacement drinks were provided. These too contained flat coke and again the staff were advised. One staff member said the coke came from a 2.25litre plastic coke bottle and that she had seen it opened and assured us that we had received the first cokes from the bottle. I advised the young lady that if the coke could not be obtained from a can or small coke bottle that the order be cancelled. Again she turned up with replacement drinks and these too were flat.
3. When serving the 1st bourbon to me the waitress tipped part of the drink on my arm. A napkin was provided.
4. Although the orders were placed at around 7.30 the meals did not start arriving until 2 hours later, including a meal not ordered. Most of us had finished the meals before the last person received theirs. Not acceptable.
5. The manager (?) did apologise after about an 75 minutes for the delay, saying that the kitchen had “lost the plot” and that they had only been open 2 weeks. No excuse!
6. When the mother and child we were forced to sit opposite finished their meals we had to wait, despite asking staff, for 45 minutes for their space to be cleaned so that we could spread out slightly further on the same table. Until then I had no choice but to sit with my knees jammed against the table leg, as my placing was right in front of 2 tables pushed together.
7. As a general comment I would say that despite the atrocious service, the prices of meals were very high compared to other Thai establishment. A chicken and cashews at Buddha Stix is around $16.50 compared to $24.00 at this establishment.
8. No compensation or discount was offered at the time of payment, despite the poor service being obvious to both the staff and other patrons.
9. Suffice to say we will not be attending Spice Paragon again and the 15 of us are actively encouraging others to avoid the place also.
11th May 2012
This restaurant is definitely a nice place to have a meal. The ambience is great and so welcome in this part of town, particularly for Asian food which is so often to be found in a down-market establishment. Unfortunately, if you would like a vegetarian meal, it is quite uninspiring. Apart from some Asian greens which are nice as a side dish but hardly a main, there is Pad Thai. The Pad Thai can be made vegetarian apparently but when we ordered it, it came with chicken anyway and had to be sent back. Finally it arrived as a vegetarian Pad Thai and it was good but for $25, even a very nice Pad Thai is not the most exciting meal a vegetarian hopes to have in a Thai restaurant. Merry Thai (Papanui road) do several good veggie options including a to-die-for tofu dish. This was all very disappointing as it is such a styley place and Thai restaurants do usually offer some great vegetarian options. This one needs to think a bit harder and offer something equally exciting to its vegetarian customers as it offers to its meat-eating customers.
by C C L.
8th May 2012
Spice Paragon is the new opened restaurant where in Bush Inn Centre Christchurch. I popped for dinner last Sat with my husband. It’s a lovely restaurant, nice atmosphere, great service and the food was awesome!
We have order a steamed beef rib with young coconut curry, it’s Delicious! The coconut curry taste really nice, not too spice, the beef rib so tasty! Another dish Sticky pork hock was so yummy!
We also order a dessert Sicilian tiramisu and some Cocktails, all of them didn’t let us down!
We were very satisfaction when we left Spice Paragon. It’s a totally new Thai fusion experience. We highly recommend Spice Paragon! ^^
by E O.
6th May 2012
Went here for dinner on friday night with a friend. I ordered the green curry only to find that rice does not come with the curry and have to order it as a side. The curry itself was nice but had hard green bananas that were difficult to bite. The curry and everything on the mains were roughly $30 and frankly, in my opinion, I’ve had a green curry just as nice – minus the hard big chunks of bananas, for around $15. My friend had the Pad Thai and the presentation was very nice and tasted nice but a little expensive. The ambiance was nice, very formal but I don’t think we will be going back if we can order the same quality Thai food for half of the price.
22nd April 2012
This restaurant has just opened so we popped in for lunch today. The place is well worth a visit; the decor is lovely and we enjoyed the ambiance. The food is beautifully presented and we enjoyed the taste of both our dishes. We will certainly go back to try their dinner menu
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