True colours

An ex­pe­di­tion north of the bridge is worth the ef­fort for a re­laxed brunch

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - BRUNCH - Sarah Pol­lok

SET UP & SITE: It turns out just across the bridge you can get a brunch worth writ­ing home about, with­out half of Pon­sonby seated right next to you. A vi­brant shade of what can only be de­scribed as Bar­bie pink, Manny Moo is near-im­pos­si­ble to miss, sit­u­ated on the cor­ner of Lake Rd and Bayswa­ter Ave. How­ever, the ex­te­rior is just the be­gin­ning. Walk­ing in, you’re greeted with floor-to-ceil­ing turquoise walls that fit so per­fectly you won­der why other cafes aren’t painted bril­liant block colours. With mis­matched chairs, jars of dried fruit and flow­ers as ta­ble dec­o­ra­tions, checker­board floor­ing and hand-drawn ta­ble num­bers, the cafe nails the bal­ance be­tween cutely quirky and week­end garage sale. Since open­ing in late May, Manny Moo has been the talk of Bel­mont, quick to be­come a beloved lo­cal, and it isn’t just for their set-up.

SUS­TE­NANCE & SWILL: While the menu is short, it cov­ers the typ­i­cal brunch bases with dairy-free and gluten-free op­tions among the tra­di­tional gra­nola, pan­cakes, smoothie bowl, and, of course, smashed avo. Then there are un­usual dishes like pork belly buns, ve­gan tacos and dumpling soup. Mean­while, the cab­i­net has all the stan­dard baked goods from berry muffins to cheese scones and rasp­berry brown­ies. How­ever, it was the drinks menu that take the cake, with two-thirds of the menu ded­i­cated to the var­i­ous types of cof­fee, kom­bucha, tea and fresh-pressed juices. While my al­mond milk flat white was pretty damn per­fect, my brunch part­ner de­scribed the Oh-So Berry smoothie as “quite healthy tast­ing”, which prob­a­bly wasn’t a com­pli­ment. A self-con­sid­ered con­nois­seur of av­o­cado on toast, I was well im­pressed with Manny Moo’s. Beau­ti­fully pre­sented on a small wooden board, the rye toast was crispy, and while it was a lit­tle light on the tomato, the dukkah and bal­samic was a per­fect touch. Feel­ing ad­ven­tur­ous, my co-bruncher had the pork belly buns, also pre­sented with thought­ful at­ten­tion to de­tail — and eaten with great sat­is­fac­tion. SER­VICE & OTHER STUFF: As we drifted into late morn­ing, the out­side ta­bles be­gan to fill with groups and cou­ples, soak­ing in the sun­shine at what is clearly the new favourite spot in Bel­mont. Half a cross­word, two cof­fees and a few hours later, I was all but dragged by my part­ner from this lit­tle brunch oa­sis, re­turn­ing back to that bustling city across the bridge.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.