They do good

Qui­etly, mod­estly, great food is served

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - BRUNCH -

SET UP & SITE

The room is no­tably bare. The only wall dec­o­ra­tion is a neon sign near the en­trance read­ing, “WHAT GOOD SHALL I DO THIS DAY?” which is a much bet­ter mes­sage than some­thing cho­sen at ran­dom from www.thought­ful-wit­ti­cisms-for-cafe-black­boards.com.

The room is nar­row and the slightly arched en­trance gives it a tun­nel-like feel, fur­ther evoked by the glossy white tile walls be­hind the counter.

There’s a bus stop out­side, which is good for ac­cess but can get a bit loud.

SUS­TE­NANCE & SWILL

The col­lec­tion of food that ap­peared on my wife’s plate was wildly un­der­sold by the generic de­scrip­tor “Eggs on toast” ($17.50). In ad­di­tion to its head­line in­gre­di­ents, it came with av­o­cado, roasted baby car­rots, toma­toes, herbs, co­rian­der seeds and goats cheese. It came with Mid­night Baker’s lauded gluten­free bread as stan­dard. To the or­der, she added one of the cafe’s ex­cel­lent hash browns, which fell apart into its con­stituent shreds when she punched through the crispy outer.

I was ini­tially lean­ing to­ward the ham bene­dict ($19.50) be­cause it fea­tured an ap­peal­ing lineup of honey glazed ham off the bone, cheese and a toasted crois­sant, but I was swayed at the last mo­ment by the big break­fast ($22.50) pri­mar­ily be­cause it promised not just sausage but free-farmed “Toulouse sausage” and not just ba­con but “Mahy Farm ba­con”. A cafe that cares enough about prove­nance and an­i­mal wel­fare to put it on their menu is a cafe that’s clearly thought about what good it shall do this day.

The sausage was an eye-open­ing burst of herb, the ba­con tasted of free­dom and care, and the poached eggs were done per­fectly — a twin strike that is strangely rare in Auck­land brunch­ery.

SER­VICE & OTHER STUFF

They ask if you would like your com­pli­men­tary wa­ter sparkling or still and they serve it in clas­sic bluer­immed enamel mugs. It’s be­hind the counter though, so you have to ask for it, and that some­times means you have to wait, even when you’re very thirsty from eat­ing a fair amount of ba­con.

At mid-morn­ing on a Sun­day, the cafe was as­ton­ish­ingly quiet. Only one staff mem­ber worked front of house — tak­ing orders, mak­ing cof­fee, the whole lot — and he was rarely stretched.

The cof­fee, from Hamil­ton’s Rocket, was no­tably ex­cel­lent, a rich, ripe blend pro­vid­ing a gen­tle punch in the guts of the morn­ing. Greg Bruce

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