SansBlogue  
Saturday, June 09, 2007
  Kenzie Cafe: Manukau Rd
The Kenzie Cafe is just a step from Greenwoods Corner in the heart of Epsom, a few steps from Cornwall Park. Parking is easy in Empire Road. Somehow I'd expect an Epsom cafe to be trendy and contemporary. Yet stepping into the Kenzie is a blast from the past. It is, and has the air of being a "corner cafe", then there are those "modern" bentwood chairs. There are not many other cafes within a kilometre or three in most directions, and perhaps this lack of competition shows.

Service: was slow, made slower by having to sit and work from printed menus, rather than a cafe-style blackboard. However, it probably makes sense to work this way in view of space restrictions. There is a kiddie corner up some stairs, well out of the "way" of others, but perhaps worryingly out of sight for parents? Bringing us glasses and a 70s lemonade bottle of chilled water, without being asked is a nice touch.

Coffee: The younger generation's moccachino was somewhat short of foam, and ultimate failure lacking the obligatory marshmallow. The cappuccino was also somewhat "flat" and the long black (despite separate hot water in a nice china jug) was reminiscent of 70's Cona machines - I assume it was made "long" by running the boiling water over the grounds through the head till the large cup was full, thus stewing the grounds and imparting a bitter and almost stale taste! Verdict: Poor.

Food: Sarah's French Toast was the star, with nicely toasted banana and good butcher's smoked bacon, the maple syrup came in a neat little side dish rather than pre-drizzeled (a nice touch). However Barbara's Corn Fritters did not sparkle, the guacamole looked tired (perhaps from having been kept till needed in an unsealed container?) and the tomato relish was fridge-cold. The fritters themselves were OK, but not great. My Eggs Benedict had suffered by being kept hot (not merely warm as the plate was too hot to handle!) while the other dishes were prepared, the smoked salmon was cooked medium rare, and the Hollandaise Sauce had an unpleasant skin over the surface. A pity as the eggs (even after their heat treatment) were fine, and I suspect the salmon would have been tasty. Verdict: Poor

Overall: if you are at Greenwoods Corner and looking for breakfast, be willing to travel a few Ks to somewhere where the competition keeps cafes on their toes! Though it seemed popular, with the locals, so perhaps when we visited they were having a bad hair day!

Kenzie Cafe
557 Manukau Road,
Epsom South,
Auckland

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