SansBlogue  
Sunday, March 11, 2007
  Okra Espresso Lounge
This is the first of a new series! Barbara and I have decided that now that the children are pretty much grown up, we can sometimes enjoy the treat of a breakfast out. So, over the coming months we plan to visit and try quite a few of Central Auckland's cafes. We've already visited some before I decided to blog them, some of those we'll be glad to return to, and then review, a few ("Oh the shame!" - though to spare your blushes, we'll not name you ;-) we don't plan to return to, unless someone suggests they have improved!

Yesterday we visited Okra Espresso Lounge a narrow fronted corner shop on Sandringham Road. The menu is as narrow as the shop-front (but as you will see below, this is no bad thing), but has a reasonable range of standards, often with an interesting twist.

We chose to sit on a couch while reading the menu and waiting - you order from your seat, not at the counter (there's hardly room!) and then moved to a table for the serious business.

Coffee: excellent

The coffee got extra points from me even before I sipped, they served my "long black" with the extra water in a jug on the side, and in a china jug so it would keep its heat till I was ready to add it. (A nice touch, so often even cafes who realise that not everyone who orders a "long black" wants their esspresso drowned in a liter of hot water, serve the water in metal jugs, which though they look nice cool fast!)

Barbara said her cappuchino was "a bit strong", but surely this is a good failing :) mine was near perfect, strong dark and fragrant!

Food: Good (small menu but done well and with some nice inventive touches)

Although the menu is fairly short, there were some inventive touches. The basics were well done, poached eggs soft, but not too soft, frying crisp and not too oily, presentation good...

My Eggs Royale (poached on toasted bread, with spinach and smoked salmon) came with a "hash brown" actually a mashed potato croquette - but the mash was fresh and lightly spiced (corriander and cumin I think) the frying crisped the outside nicely. Yum.

Barbara's pancakes with blueberries were good, and large enough that she was in doubt if she could finish the whole helping.

Okra Espresso Lounge
161 Sandringham Rd
Morningside
Auckland

Phone: 09 846 6662

Verdict: We'll be back! (apparently Okra won an award from Metro in 2006, I'm not surprised.)

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