Yonder – the healthy alternative with a difference

Media Release from Yonder, Queenstown

Healthy nutrient-packed bowls, affordable breakfast options and decadent treats are ‘wowing’ foodies at Queenstown’s newest eatery.

The delightfully named café, bar and experimental kitchen, Yonder, is a contemporary new spot for locals and visitors who like the odd indulgence, good coffee and a healthy lifestyle.

The kitchen team, handpicked by Malaysian-born head chef Jamie Samakkody, have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Inspired by cities around the globe, the menu’s accessible and affordable. Yonder’s chefs are committed to making breads, nut butters and yoghurts in house, and experimenting with seasonal ingredients to create nutritious dishes that are big on flavour.

With an unstoppable energy for cooking, Jamie and sous chef Phil Norfolk are driven by their passion to “rock the culinary world”.

Known for their “genius” skills in concocting tasty vegan and gluten free treats, bakers include Sophie Collins-McKenzie and Toby Wood.

Director Gary Livesey says Yonder is about pushing boundaries from different angles to offer healthy options in creative ways.

“We saw a niche in the market to deliver wholesome options with healthy fare, without breaking the bank,” he says.

“It’s fantastic to see our chefs thriving in the new environment and experimenting daily to produce vegan and vegetarian dishes that can be naturally sugar, diary, gluten and nut free.

“We’ve got such an awesome team who are helping us deliver intimate experiences throughout the day for our breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night guests.”

Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) four years ago, Gary is the first to admit that Yonder is a ‘self-indulgent’ project based around personal healthy living.

“My biggest struggle adapting to my new lifestyle has been finding cool places to eat with friends, where no-one had to make a compromise,” he says.

“Yonder’s bridging this gap and we’ve created a beautiful space where health-conscious individuals can enjoy an affordable feed while friends tuck into tasty indulgent dishes, all with some live music ‘on the side’.”

Drawing on fresh and local ingredients, Chef Jamie’s passion for serving up freshly baked goods and Asian-inspired dishes has certainly sparked some ‘table talk’.

Lunch and brunch is a step up from the classic Kiwi fare with a gluten free and vegan blueberry stack, vegan tofu scram, and pulled lamb flat bread on the menu, or ‘locals favourite’ a tuna poke bowl is sure to whet the appetite.

Dinner puts smaller sharing dishes front and centre with salt n’ sichuan squid, bao buns and perfectly roasted roots. If you’re in it for yourself, mains include an ancient grain salad, brisket and chips or a kimchi bowl.

Pastry chefs at heart, the kitchen brigade gets to go to town with fantastically colourful café cabinet temptations. Tempting those with a sweet tooth, there’s an ever-changing array of cheesecakes, raw slices and cakes, made in-house daily.

Yonder is open daily for breakfast, brunch and coffee from 7.30am to 3.30pm and dinner from 5pm to 10pm. Once the sun fully sets, Yonder’s the ‘go-to’ spot for live music and events until 1.30am.

Picture caption:

1/ Korean-inspired kimchi and tuna poke bowls are a highlight on Yonder’s brunch menu

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Yonder is taking cocktail-lovers on a time-travelling adventure

Media Release from Yonder, Queenstown

Queenstown’s new hospitality kid on the block, Yonder, is shaking up cocktails and caffeinated concoctions with a difference.

The café, bar and experimental kitchen is taking customers on a trip down memory lane with old-time classics and impressive coffee pours sure to tantalise tastebuds.

A resurgence in classic ingredients brings the likes of Midori, Malibu and Tequila back to the party to act as the core basics, and made with a compelling difference these cocktails are earning a deserving reputation.

Eye-catching garnishes help build the well-crafted cocktails, married with homemade infusions, and natural replacements like water-bean liquid aquafaba for egg whites ensure even the drinks are vegan friendly.

Other homemade ingredients include old-school favourite hard lemonade (traditionally a mix of vodka, lemon, sugar and water), with a recycled twist to minimise waste at the bar.

Venue manager Darren O’Grady said the ingredients and cocktail names had been crafted to take customers on a “time-travelling adventure”.

“Head bartender Phil and I have been working with a variety of ingredients to create a cocktail list with a distinguishable difference,” he said.

“Our homemade lemonade is incredible. We’ve paired this with our own citrus infused 42 Below vodka and Four Pillars gin with a slice of orange, and the flavours are just insane.

“Times have changed since the insipid sugar hit of forgotten drinks. We’re trialling and testing a number of ingredients to get the right balance and flavour to revive old favourites.”

For coffee-lovers, New Zealand coffee roasters’ Atomic Coffee is the staple ingredient for cocktails with a caffeine hit.

“Die-hard coffee fiends are in for a treat,” said Darren.

“Our retro bright pink Black Eagle coffee machine is producing the goods and we’ve experimented with a variety of flavours to make your next coffee fix an inventive alcoholic tipple.

Atomic Coffee is the best roastery in New Zealand so we felt we would be doing the product injustice if we didn’t fully explore the flavours of the coffee.

“New to the menu is our Cold Brew Espresso Martini. Our homemade cold brew gives the classic drink a lighter character and paired with homemade coffee liqueur, Diplomático rum, vanilla vodka and aquafaba, we’ve created a new coffee sensation.

“The café transforms into a rad little cocktail bar in the evening, which we’re currently in the process of tweaking as we go.

“Our bartenders will have the freedom to ‘take over’ each night to push their revival cocktails of choice. It’s just another fun little twist for our cool new venue.”

Situated in the old McNeill’s Cottage, the café is an intimate spot, whatever the time of day. The small cocktail bar will serve a list of Instagram-worthy cocktails and canned beers such as Lion Red, Panhead and Speights.

Just a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of the lakefront, Yonder director Gary Livesey described the venue as a “welcome escape” from the daily grind.

“The space is oozing with a homely, super-friendly and quirky appeal embracing art, food, coffee culture, music and drinks,” he said.

“Our staff are renowned music-lovers who care about delivering flawless hospitality experiences and it’s great to see likeminded people joining us from morning to night.

“We’re not about low-end or high-end because you just can’t put us in a box like that. It’s all about accessibility, and the guys have done a fine job ensuring our menus are attractive to everyone.

“We’re becoming the perfect spot for socialising, meetings and functions, large-scale music events, or a little bright sanctuary where locals come to unwind after a busy day.”

Picture caption:

1/ An ‘East 8 Hold Up’ is a must-have cocktail at Yonder

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Yonder intrigues and captivates with eclectic interior

Media Release from Yonder, Queenstown

One of Queenstown’s newest eateries is making waves in the resort town’s hospitality scene.

Housed in the historic McNeill’s Cottage, the highly anticipated café, bar and experimental kitchen, intriguingly called Yonder, is captivating locals and visitors alike with its eclectic décor.

Restaurateurs Steve Ward and Gary Livesey have taken interior design to a whole new level of quirky to create a conservatory-inspired space, complete with greenery and mural wall from renowned street artist Andrew J. Steel.

The design duo has combined original cottage features with pastel hues, mixed with “colours of the rainbow” sound-reactive LED lighting to help the venue evolve throughout the day.

The combination might not sound as if it ‘works’ – but surprisingly it does.

“We’ve spent many days and nights designing and dreaming about creating an interesting space for Queenstown,” said Yonder director Gary Livesey.

“It’s all about having a bit of fun, and the layers of the venue are helping us break down a few social boundaries and pre-conceptions.

“The whole premise of this place is the garden conservatory-type feel. We see it as an ‘extension’ of our neighbouring venue, The World Bar, and I’m so stoked to see the ‘garden’ flourish.

“We’ve mixed old with new to embrace the natural beauty of this historic building and by implementing contrasting colours and furniture we’ve helped these old stone walls shine.

“My favourite part about our hidden gem is the natural light pouring in through the skylight reflecting on our mural, all nods to the ‘greenery’ and ‘life’ concepts within the artwork.”

The well-thought-out design reflects an environment that will evolve throughout the day.

The building’s original stone walls cocoon the café situated within the old cottage. Statement features include a timeless pastel pink Victoria Arduino Black Eagle espresso machine, a framed Bill Murray portrait in a commanding position above the fireplace and contemporary furniture.

Brunch or coffee can be enjoyed here or outside in the sun-drenched courtyard to make the most of the all-day rays.

Beyond the main entrance sits a turquoise wooden-panelled bar that spans the length of the room, framed with one-off panels of decorative frosted glass.

A striking gold tap pour covers the back wall, while gorgeous rectangles of Welsh slate, sourced from Arrowtown-based artist Shane Woolridge, communicates ‘what’s on tap’ with chalk-esque coloured printed decal.

Statement photography prints by Queenstown-based Good Buddy Photography, pot plants, mirrors and Steel’s plant-inspired mural decorates the dining space.

The restaurant introduces contemporary elements including a Yonder sign lit up with bright pink neon and bespoke wooden multi-level furniture and booths, with the original old stone wall fireplace in this main room as the feature.

Described by Gary as a “little bright sanctuary”, the natural light from the skylight plays a significant part in creating a charming space for locals and visitors.

“We’re not predetermining what we’re trying to be, ambiguity is really important,” said Gary.

“I’ve been here morning, day and night watching people’s reactions to the space, and really, we’re surprising people with something that’s pretty humble and accessible at the same time.”

Once the sun fully sets, Yonder’s the ‘go-to’ spot for original and interesting acts, performances and events in Queenstown’s buzzy CBD.

Picture caption:

1/ Housed in the historic McNeill’s Cottage, Yonder’s interior is a mix of old and new to embrace the natural beauty of the building

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