We are very excited to be sharing the story of No.7 Balmac - City, a new 3 month pop up restaurant bringing all the goodness we know and love from suburban eatery No.7 Balmac right into the heart of downtown Dunedin's Octagon.
This will be welcome news for the many locals who call No.7 Balmac home as repair and restoration work is carried out on the Maori Hill restaurant following a fire on August 18th.
We'll be chatting to owner and notable Dunedin restaurateur Katrina Toovey as well as Head Chef Penny Allan to find out a little more about the conception of No.7 City and what is in store for the space.
TODAYS INSIDER PERSPECTIVE: KATRINA TOOVEY & PENNY ALLAN
No.7 B a l m a c - C i t y
Located at 16 The Octagon next to The Regent Theatre entrance.
Opening Hours: 7am Tuesday - Friday, 8am on Saturdays until late.
T h e v i s i o n
Can you share a little about the conception of No.7 City?
With our headquarters being out of action we needed to find a way to continue being No.7 but in a difference space. Maori Hill is our home base with our neighbourhood vibe and our backyard garden.
S u s t a i n a b i l i t y
The Octagon location will lend itself to us temporarily and having this opportunity to make our mark on the Dunedin CBD it is important that we don't leave our footprint. (Katrina)
Minimising their footprint is very much the focus at No.7 City with conception and planning of the new business grounded upon principals of sustainability.
Sustainability for the No.7 team is simply the continuing and extension of many practices well established at No.7 Balmac.
S u s t a i n a b i l i t y i n a c t i o n l o o k s l i k e :
The continuing use of our kitchen garden and composting.
The continuing of our food-sense utilising as much of our produce as possible.
The continued practices of using local and choosing eco-aware products where possible.
Z e r o W a s t e E t h o s
No.7 City will operate with a zero waste ethos which is the norm at No.7 Balmac. This involves the introduction of waste minimisation pathways where possible with the goal being to contribute to the health and wellness of the planet through planning, intentional purchasing, recycling, repurposing, and ultimately reducing what ends up in landfill.
Zero waste to me means not only training the mind and muscle memory to discard less, but also to use practical yet innovative ways to continue to produce great quality food and fantastic service without being wasteful. (Penny)
Forward Momentum: At No.7 City we are amping things up - a smaller space giving us the ability to concentrate even further on reducing our waste.
In the Kitchen: We will experiment with the exclusion of clingwrap, the use of compostable baking paper, minimising the use of packaged products and being dynamic with the food stuffs we do purchase.
Recycling of Glass: No.7 City will be leading the way in the Octagon area with the recycling of glass from the restaurant.
T h e r e s t a u r a n t
Can you tell us about the vision for the dining space at No.7 City?
Having an all-day menu is going to create a nice hum of activity day and night. We'll be bringing No.7 food and service while maintaining a relaxed and informal vibe.
The site is small and we are enjoying creating an intimate space, using lots of natural and found materials.
We have been lucky enough to salvage some special pieces from our No.7 Balmac dining room which has made our new home feel immediately familiar. (Katrina)
C u i s i n e
Can you share an overview of the cuisine at No.7 City?
The menu is focused upon delivering what No.7 Balmac is known and loved for (minus the woodgrill.) You will find the favourites off our menu, adjusted slightly to be recreated in a more compact space with different cooking facilities.
We have always offered flavourful and well considered meals. We do enjoy gently switching things up with the intention of producing food that is consistently pleasing to the eye and the palate!
Will produce from the lovely No.7 Balmac kitchen garden make a showing?
With the arrival of spring our garden will come alive over the next few months so yes we will definately be using our own produce as much as possible. It will feature particularly in the offerings of daily fresh baking.
I n d u l g e n c e
(Photo Cred: No.7 Balmac)
For the cult following of No.7 Balmac donut fans out there - will the Friday/Saturday a.m donuts be making an appearance in downtown Dunedin?
Of course, once the kitchen is up and running there will be donuts! No cling wrap means getting creative with proving our light and airy donuts but we are up for the challenge.
No.7 donuts are made and sold within the space of a few hours (and I'm pretty sure not everyone gets up at 3am making ours pretty spesh!)
Not all donuts are created equal
Pictured from Left : Chocolate Pudding, Blueberry Cheesecake, Banoffee Pie, Strawberries & Cream, Raspberry Cheesecake.
Reinvention sees classic kiwi desserts and confectionary (think: pineapple lumps, snickers, caramilk) recreated in donut form. Gorgeous glossy, drizzly donuts just like these ones feature on the weekly feeds of No.7 Balmac social media accounts challenging the resolve of all.
B e v e r a g e s
Can you share a little about the beverage menu?
Our small wine list will be organic and biodynamic, we have shown the same consideration with our other beverage offerings with carefully made house sodas, smoothies and craft beer available.
An exciting addition to the beverages on offer at No.7 City and a first in Dunedin will be a Kapowai Kombucha tap.
Kapowai Brewing Co. is a Dunedin based artisan brewing company producing delicious flavoured kombucha using organic ingredients. They can be found at the Otago Farmers Market with seasonally based flavour combos which are oh so enticing...
BLUEBERRY & CINNAMON
RASPBERRY, RHUBARB & HIBISCUS
CHERRY & POMEGRANATE
SENCHA, FEIJOA & LIME
Photo Cred: Kapowai Brewing Co.
G r o u n d e d i n N a t u r e
Musings from the studio
No.7 Balmac has been a finalist in the Cuisine Good Food awards for the last 5 years, with a reputation for excellence, for using top quality organic and locally sourced ingredients and for a considered beverage listing.
A favourite restaurant for many, the essence of 'kiwi' is threaded through a menu based on classic European fare. On the plate new is blended with nostalgic, fresh is fused with familiar within a setting which is both relaxed and refined. (and we all fit somewhere on that spectrum...)
The memories of black doris plums off Grandma's plum tree can be found heroed in Penny's Bombe Alaska, walnuts (which were the bane of a farming childhood) form the base of a nut bread accompanying the cheese platter. The humble kiwi pavlova has a slight makeover and is rolled, with old friends jam and cream exchanged for new companions passionfruit drizzle, raspberry and mascarpone.
The team at No.7 are masters of reinventing cuisine connections presented in new and contemporary ways. ( paraphrased: eating your memories = highly beneficial)
What elevates this restaurant and is consistent throughout the cuisine, the beverage listing, the decor, the garden and the principals guiding work is a deep appreciation and respect for the bounty of our land, our oceans and our food traditions in a way that resonates with many of us.
F u t u r e U p d a t e s
We have some exciting changes planned at No.7 Balmac and can't wait until our December reopening. In the meantime we will be sure to keep everyone updated as the build progresses with lots of pics and stories on our social media accounts.
We are proud of what we do, who we serve, who serves it and most importantly comments and love hearts are like social media hugs and hi 5's. (Katrina)
F o l l o w t h e No.7 T e a m
I n C o n c l u s i o n . . .
No.7 City, a 3 month pop up restaurant in the Octagon is a piece of exciting local news in Dunedin's hospitality sector but the underlying tale of vision, creativity, resilience, hard work, and leadership in this story is truly admirable.
Just 3 weeks ago fire damage impacted a building, a business and a team, a small working community whose lives were invested in No.7 Balmac on a daily basis.
Crisis and challenge may have been the instigating force behind change yet No.7's response to adversity exists within No.7 City - a shelter. Establishing this new restaurant space in downtown Dunedin within 3 weeks of the fire would have required extraordinary resolve, focus and effort in a move that is both inspirational and insightful.
No.7 City is a tribute to Katrina and the great team at her side.
H a p p y W e e k e n d
Thanks for the read folks - hope you enjoy checking out No.7 City for yourselves. You may find us down there checking out that Lemon Meringue Slice we adore!