BRUNCH

New cafe in­vites you to leave your com­fort zone for brunch choices

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - CONTENTS - Greg Bruce

Sip Kitchen

SET UP & SITE

In the space va­cated by Lit­tle & Friday, in the build­ing mostly oc­cu­pied by Martha’s Fab­rics, in one of New­mar­ket’s not-so-thriv­ing back streets, Sip Kitchen have set up their sec­ond Auck­land cafe. Hon­estly, I didn’t know much about it be­fore we went and was a bit stunned by the ex­tent to which it holds true to some kind of raw food/whole food/su­per food ethos — by which I mean I scanned the menu four times be­fore I re­alised it wasn’t miss­ing the page with break­fast op­tions. We went on a Sunday morn­ing when the cafe had only been open a few weeks. It was pretty quiet. It was very quiet.

SUS­TE­NANCE & SWILL

There were a few sim­ple menu items on of­fer — toast, ce­re­als, av­o­cado on toast, ba­nana bread — but I found my­self star­ing at the de­scrip­tion for the Omega Plate ($19.50) of a choice of two sal­ads, half-av­o­cado, salmon, seeds, sauer­kraut, mi­cro greens, maca gra­nola for a long time be­fore I was able to make sense of it as a vi­able brunch op­tion. What I felt most like eat­ing was a great heap of ba­con and a couple of hash browns — but, of course, you have to ap­proach a place on the terms it of­fers. Any­way, can there be any profit mar­gin left in Auck­land’s cafe scene for an or­di­nary sort-of-fancy cafe serv­ing brunch stan­dards in an in­ner city sub­urb? I didn’t re­ally want to or­der the baked oats ($12) but I thought it sounded like a not-too-dis­tant cousin of por­ridge, which is some­thing I some­times or­der some­where I feel com­fort­able. I was wrong though — it was way bet­ter. It was like a cake, warm and sweet, seedy and nutty. It came with some mint matcha cream, and a tiny flask of al­mond milk for mois­ture con­trol. I felt the smug joy of some­one with low ex­pec­ta­tions, wildly ex­ceeded. Zanna had av­o­cado on toast ($16.50) and Jeremy had av­o­cado hash ($16.50). De­spite their names, those dishes ap­peared to be more or less the same thing. They were in desperate need of salt and pepper, but oth­er­wise fine.

SER­VICE & OTHER STUFF

They do counter-ser­vice only, which seemed to up­set Jeremy — pos­si­bly be­cause we were the only ones there and waited quite a while for some­one to take our or­der be­fore re­al­is­ing no one would — but Lit­tle & Friday also did counter-ser­vice when they were in the same space, and they seemed to do all right.

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