Sim­ply ge­nius

New­com­ers to the Wyn­yard Quar­ter are on to a win­ner

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - BRUNCH - Greg Bruce


It’s a straight­for­ward Scandi rec­tan­gle of a room, cool, stony, monochromy. Per­fectly match­ing pale wood ta­bles line up pre­cisely, the tab­u­lar uni­for­mity in­ter­rupted only by a com­mu­nal stone ta­ble at the end of the long space. It’s on the ground floor of a lovely new tim­ber-heavy com­plex called Wyn­yard Cen­tral. Run­ning the show are broth­ers Charles and Pa­trick Wil­liams, who for­merly worked to­gether at now-de­funct Grafton joint Cer­e­mony, which was a tiny, cool slice of ge­nius in an area that craved it.


The sim­plic­ity of the sur­round­ings con­trasts with the de­tail­ing of the food. We or­dered a health bowl ($25) which was in­dica­tive. It in­cluded shred­ded cour­gette, av­o­cado, hon­ey­comb mush­room, poached egg, miso dress­ing, mirin-cured salmon and the plate’s most strik­ing fea­ture: a pair of sweet-savoury house-made rice crisps pre­sented like a cou­ple of up­right pop­padoms, a de­li­ciously crisp and ver­ti­cal con­trast to the healthy pile of hor­i­zon­tal mois­ture be­low. More tra­di­tion­ally, we also had poached eggs on ku­mara sour­dough with ba­con and av­o­cado ($23) but even in this dish’s sim­plic­ity there was ob­vi­ous care and at­ten­tion. Take the light, slightly sweet, pale but­ter, for in­stance: they make it by whip­ping the cream, leav­ing it overnight, whip­ping it again, then sprin­kling it with rock salt, cre­at­ing a small, soft, semi-caramelised won­der. The eggs were per­fect, the sour­dough a delight, the ba­con — from handraised, free­dom-farmed pigs at Wairarapa’s Grassy Knolls Ba­con — subtle, the pre­sen­ta­tion art­ful. We fin­ished with a very good blue­berry muf­fin, which was full of flavour, light and fluffed inside, with a pre­sum­ably un­eco­nom­i­cally vast quan­tity of blue­ber­ries. The cof­fee, from Flight, was a gutsy, ag­gres­sive roast with the mer­est whiff of dark­est choco­late. It was a morn­ing gut-punch of zest and flavour.


On the day we vis­ited, a week­day morn­ing, it was heav­ily staffed and not so heav­ily pa­tro­n­ised — al­though there was a strong take­away cof­fee trade — and ser­vice was prompt and com­pre­hen­sive. Our food ar­rived so fast it was hard to be­lieve they’d even had time to cook it.

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