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The international dining scene in the small North Canterbury town of Oxford continues to grow, and operators are thanking the support of the local community for their success.
Since 2015, the town – home to just over 2,000 residents – has welcomed at least four new eateries. Indian restaurant Hindi Kitchen is the latest newcomer, having opened in January. The restaurant adds authentic Indian flavours to the town’s food choices, which already boasts Italian, American and Indonesian options as well as a number of delicious European and traditional Kiwi offerings.
Katherine Angelina is the chef and owner of Savour Sumatra; a food trailer offering authentic Indonesian street food. Katherine made her way to Oxford after her home town of Padang in West Sumatra was devastated by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in 2009. Joining her brother in New Zealand she finished her studies, gained permanent residency and started her popular food business in 2016. “I love introducing Indonesian flavours to New Zealanders,” Katherine said. “I am open two nights a week in front of the Oxford Butchery and on Sunday mornings at the Oxford Farmers’ Market. Since opening I’ve been surprisingly busy, considering Oxford is a small village. I have a lot of repeat customers.”
Local diner owner Kimm Moore concurs; despite Oxford’s relatively small population, repeat business from supportive locals keeps their eatery – Cruisy Days Diner - very busy.
“We have a wonderful community that supports us,” says Kimm. “We have lived in Oxford for nearly 22 years and it’s a wonderful place to raise a family with a community of people who genuinely care for each other.
“And that’s the driving force behind Cruisy Days Diner; a desire to create a place for families to spend time together.”
The 1950s American-themed diner, which attracts a lot of weekend custom from out of town, is a destination in itself with authentic retro diner furniture, a free play jukebox and all the hot-dogs, waffles and milkshakes you could wish for.
Local foodies are thrilled about the pace and array of new dining options. “For a small country town like Oxford, we are really spoilt for choice,” says local resident Lynley McDougall. “There are so many options now, and the quality of the food is as good as I’ve had anywhere in the world! It’s great to be able to support our local businesses whilst also enjoying a fabulous meal out.”