Passengers and Co – Breakfast with someone else’s husband

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This morning I had breakfast with someone else’s husband.  I should explain – he’s a very old friend who moved to the other side of the world 15 years ago but has been in town for the summer.  I’ve been wanting to review Passengers and Co for a few weeks now and in need of a companion, he fitted the bill nicely.

Passengers and Co opened in May 2013 at the rather unassuming location of the airport business park, and in less than a year they have made quite a name for themselves.  This has probably got a fair bit to do with the two owners who are something of the dynamic duo –  chefs Jamie Bennett and Sam Marchant.  Both in their mid-30s and with a small tribe of children between them, they are old school friends who own and operate the Christchurch Farmers Market, as well as Riccarton House Bistro and Taste Events company.  The Riccarton House Bistro is due to re-open within the next two months having been closed since the earthquakes, and their new venture ‘The Town Tonic’ a coffee house and wine bar in Addington, is scheduled to open at the end of March.  I pity their wives…

Old Friend and I arrived after the school run when Passengers and Co was pleasantly quiet.  I met chef Jamie who was late for a site meeting, but he introduced me to his chef Aliesha McGilligan who was a delight.  Aliesha is PASSIONATE about Passengers and Co food, which they call ‘soul food’ as it’s made from the heart with ingredients they love.  There’s a whole ethos about the place, not only Passengers and Co, but also the Christchurch Farmers Market and the Riccarton House Bistro that focuses on the local, the ethical, the seasonal, looking to serve the best everyday.  We chatted for ages about food, ingredients, inspiration, their Food Nights, and places we’ve eaten at (or want to eat at), but then Aliesha had to dash – a big table came in for breakfast and she was needed.  Old Friend and I sat and commented on how Passengers and Co is so much more than a cafe, it’s an instigator and a community hub for foodies (or architects of taste as Old Friend suggested) in Canterbury.

I liked the interior of Passengers and Co which has a muted colour palette of black and white, accented by punches of green and something of a Moroccan influence in their tiling and wooden screens.  There are good seating options which is always a bug bear of mine – two huge tables, an intimate booth, and a variety of other smaller tables.

Back to task – choosing from the menu.  Aliesha recommended their Turkish Baked Eggs with roasted peppers, tomato sauce, toast, labne, and dukkah for $16 and I chose the Brioche French Toast with poached fruit, real maple syrup, house-made marscarpone for $16.50.  Both were great, and I mean REALLY great.  I’ve had french toast a lot, but this is different.  The poached fruit, brioche and marscapone take it to a whole new level.  Bacon and banana would seem tame in comparison.  Aliesha popped back checking on our meals and we raved about them.  Old Friend enjoyed the Turkish Baked Eggs but was particularly taken with the bread that came with them.  The seeds were incredible.  Two happy diners.

Our take on Passengers and Co: Excellent.  Delicious breakfasts with a different take on the usuals and a few surprises thrown in too.  Good sized portions and a great price.  I’ll definitely be back.  Old Friend (also coffee expert) informs me that their coffee filter needs changing, but I can inform you that their hot chocolates are spot on, and you know how fussy I can be…

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2 thoughts on “Passengers and Co – Breakfast with someone else’s husband”

  1. I am LOVING your blog darling Rachel…and I really want to visit this place when I come to CHCH….sounds almost perfect (taking into account the comments on coffee!) x

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