Queenstown is one southern destination that always provides a raft of culinary inspiration — thanks, in part, to the innovative minds at Future Hospitality Group. When we heard rumours that the group had opened a brand new spot, Odd Saint, it filled us with a new desire to head south for the summer to experience it ourselves.
You may know Future Hospitality Group from its current venues, a portfolio that includes Little Mez, Margo’s, and newly-minted ‘New Zealand’s Best Bar’, Little Blackwood. Odd Saint complements these impressive destinations but also sits as a unique establishment — a bistro-style eatery that puts a deliciously creative spin on an otherwise traditional menu, offering what the owners call ‘global soul food’.
The vision for Odd Saint’s space, which sits adjacent to the iconic St. Peter’s Church (hence the somewhat biblical name), is a cafe that caters as much to the early-morning brunch crowd as it does to those seeking an indulgent long lunch. Set in a sunny, north-facing spot, with a courtyard and garden area surrounded by trees and a vibrant fit-out designed by Studio Collective to foster a welcoming vibe, this eatery is both comfortable and cool.
At Odd Saint, food is a collaborative effort — in a sense. The inspiration for the menu was found in the various travels of new owners James Ace and Bert Haines, as well as Co-Owners Matt Tobin and his wife, Jamie Orr-Tobin. Executive Chef Tobin’s Midwest US lineage is on show too, where elements of American diner fare (although more refined) can be found on the menu, alongside a raft of classic dishes that showcase local ingredients in unique ways.
Here, dishes like the Po’Boys (a Lousiana classic) somehow sit perfectly alongside the likes of Duck Fried Rice and a refreshed version of a Kiwi Big Breakfast. It’s a delicious cultural melting pot of cuisines which, if you ask us, perfectly encapsulates the international destination that Queenstown has become.
“In Queenstown there are plenty of great cafes, but we felt no one was really pushing the boundaries beyond the standard staples,” Ace tells us. “So we decided to be a little bit brave, a little bit cheeky and bring a menu to the table that’s a little bit odd.”
And if you’re thirsty, you’re in for a treat here too. Alongside delicious eighthirty coffee, there’s an expansive menu of tasty tipples that features the best local wines and beers. These are served alongside coveted international labels and reimagined cocktails designed to capture the convivial essence of this locale.
Having only opened yesterday, we’d suggest Odd Saint as an essential stop-in on any southern summer travels. We’ve also been told that the plan is to expand into a dinner service in the new year, where we can expect similarly inspired fare all day long. It really is the kind of fun, tasty destination that Queenstown has been missing, solidifying Future Hospitality Group’s status as some of the best culinary and hospitality minds in the wider Otago region.
1 Earl Street, Queenstown