A place with as­pi­ra­tions out east

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A year or two ago, I went to a cafe called Rose­bank, which was and maybe still is a su­per-cool, hip even, high-end cafe of great food ker­plunked in the mid­dle of deep­est in­dus­trial West Auck­land. It was the phys­i­cal em­bod­i­ment of culi­nary cog­ni­tive dis­tance. Clearly it’s a grow­ing genre, though, be­cause re­cently I found my­self driv­ing to the cen­tre of deep­est in­dus­trial East Auck­land for brunch at a sim­i­larly flashy place, called Woolfy’s. Chairs were an el­e­gant and var­ied com­bi­na­tion of leather, wood and metal. The feel of the place was mod­ern eclec­tic. In both cases, the lo­ca­tion no doubt of­fers com­pet­i­tive rents while also be­ing close to large, well-off sub­ur­ban res­i­den­tial ar­eas — in this case, the newish sub­di­vi­sions of Flat Bush, Dan­nemora and Botany Downs.


The menu is about to un­dergo a re­fur­bish­ment, the ex­tent of which was not con­firmed at press time, but on our visit it had a rea­son­ably con­ven­tional feel, with a few twists. There’s noth­ing wrong with con­ven­tion — sim­plic­ity done well is the bedrock of all good eat­ing places — and Woolfy’s did good con­ven­tion. The scram­bled eggs ($15.50) was a big and fan­tas­ti­cally colour­ful pile of con­trasts and tex­tures on sour­dough, with Sichuan chilli jam, spring onions and fried shal­lots. I added streaky ba­con ($4) to pro­vide it with a base and heft that would other­wise have been ab­sent. It was a sig­nif­i­cant break­fast in ev­ery sense. The omelette floren­tine ($18) also came with chilli as stan­dard, along with chorizo, parme­san and spinach, all served with an am­ple slice of sour­dough. Again, it was a big serv­ing. It was fine. The cof­fee, Kokako, was a mas­ter­piece, a cen­tre­piece, as it needs to be at a place like this, a place with as­pi­ra­tions. If the qual­ity of the cof­fee and the qual­ity of the fit-out aren’t there, you’ve got a prob­lem. As a cafe pro­pri­etor, this needs to be your base­line.

Ser­vice was sharp, friendly and en­gaged. A wa­ter carafe was de­liv­ered and poured for us on ar­rival. We were there with preschool­ers, so our time was lim­ited and when we asked for an ex­tra minute to make our food de­ci­sion we gen­uinely meant an­other minute — and that was noted and abided by. We wanted for noth­ing. Greg Bruce


Woolfy’s 5 Cry­ers Rd, East Ta­maki Ph: ( 09) 280 1585 Open: Mon­day to Fri­day, 7am to 4pm; Week­ends, 8am-3.30pm We spent: $65.30 for two adults, two chil­dren.

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