SansBlogue  
Thursday, November 12, 2009
  Villa Maria food and wine matching evening
Last night B and I attended a magnificent food and wine matching evening at Villa Maria. The food was by Ruth Pretty (who also provided commentary on her choices and decisions) and the wine by Vidal (was commented by their champion winemaker Hugh Crichton). Paul Holmes presented his olive oils and was also a sponsor of the evening. Since the last fortnight has been hard, with pain and then discovering a hacker attack on my websites before the letdown over my accommodation for SBL all on top of a busy marking schedule such a break was well timed :)

The evening began with Grilled Scampi Tails with Lime Wasabi Dressing and Karengo Fronds and also Blini with Smoked Salmon and Herbed Cream Cheese as nibbles matched with Vidal Estate Marlborough Riesling 2009 while people gathered. The food was delicious and more understated than the description suggests, the wine delicious and already fairly well balanced, though I think I'd prefer it when the acid has had more time to mellow. (The horse whose mouth I am examining over-critically was not a gift, since we paid for the invitation ;) though it does seem unfair to criticise a gold medal wine for being too young it was a little ironic since Hugh Chrighton at one stage expressed the wish that Kiwis would learn to cellar wine for a decent period.)

After the starters we enjoyed six little parcels of food with different matched wines. Sewveral of these combinations were really interesting, so fat in the Whipped Goats Cheese and Candied Hazelnuts that filled the miniature icecream cones softened the sharpness of the Sauvignon Blanc. While the salt in the Feta and Olive Herb Salad interestingly softened the oak in the Chardonay, and similarly at the end the Anchovy Cream Sauce that accompanied the Cervena (an unusual but delicious combination) not only somehow made the venison taste more like deer and less like beef, but also made the impressive Vidal Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 somehow tase older and more mature (again perhaps softening the oak?).

Two themes that ran through the evening were balance and age. Both the balance in good wines and that between matched wine and food, but also the way in which most of the fine wines NZ produces that are sold locally are sold and drunk young, often resulting in less balance than the same wines would achieve with a few years in the bottle... I'm sure there is a theological point in there somewhere...

I could rave of hours :) Ruth Pretty is a superb chef, who never let the food take over, but always offered food that was interesting in itself, but which "worked" well with the wine so that both wine and food tasted better together. The evening made a fine balance to the rest of the week so far. Bliss! I wish I had remembered to use my phone to take a photo so that you could drool too ;)

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Monday, September 21, 2009
  Preserving lemons
After work today (all that marking ;) I needed some "making something" therapy. Dough for flat bread to eat with the beans in the slow cooker is rising quietly in the kitchen, and there is the joyful sight of a new jar of preserved lemons sitting quietly waiting.

Preserving lemons is real slow food. Alchemy at work as physical and chemical processes, that scientists may understand, but that most cooks seek simply to profit from, work at the lemons (and a few limes for extra zing). The process of sitting quietly in a dark place, marinating in salt and spices softening the nasty bitterness of the white pith extracting the unwanted tastes into the liquid, whilst, paradoxically at the same time transferring the intense zing of the zest to the whole. (I told you it is pure alchemy :)

In a few months time these citrus fruits will be ready for their turn in the slow cooker with chicken and olives...

If you have never preserved lemons, start tomorrow. Beg, borrow or buy some lemons (and ideally a few limes, 1 to 4 is fine). Cut them in quarters, press them down into a jar, witgh plenty of salt. Plenty might be a tablespoon depending on the size of your lemons. This is slow food, do not ask for exact recipes ;) In the jar you have probably put a cinnamon stick, some corriander seeds, a bay leaf or three, and if you must some chilli (other spices too are optional). Over the next few days (slow food remember) as the lemons sink gracefully into the brine, add more. When this process slows top up with oil, and seal the jar.

Wait a few months, hiding the jar in a dark corner so that you can be patient. In a few months, remember this is slow food ;) you can at last unite the lenons with the chicken and the olives in a dish that even lemonophobes and olive haters will enjoy and demand more of.

I'll give you the recipe soon, as even slow foodies are somewhat impatient, and waiting is half the savour ;)

[If, when you return in a few months, you find black mold on the surface it just means that the oil did not completely cover the mix, scoop it off and pretend it never happened.]

HT: This post was inspired by thre realisation that we only have 1.5 jars left from the Christmas stock, and by Rachel Barenblat the Velveteen Rabbi.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008
  World Famous!
It seems that the culinary skills of Sansblogue are famous all over the world. Not only are my reviews of Auckland cafes read with pleasure (apparently, so they say) in North America, but my description of how to prepare Gravlax is being quoted in Turkey.

Maybe I could moonlight as a celebrity foodie, and make enough dough to semi-retire!



Photo from Kent Wang.

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Saturday, August 18, 2007
  Return to Okra
Okra Espresso Lounge was the first of my cafe reviews, back in March (was it only five months ago!?) then we felt it deserved its proudly displayed Metro 2006 award. Much has not changed. It is still:
a narrow fronted corner shop on Sandringham Road. The menu is as narrow as the shop-front...
Then:
Someone should tell the kitchen firmly that basil pesto does not enhance delicate flavours like smoked salmon!
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.
Today the Eggs Royale (chosen without peeking at the first review - I am SO consistent, about some things!) still come with a potato croquette (alias hash brown) but sadly it was soggy not crisp and the spicy fragrance was heavy handed, worse the eggs and smoked salmon were accompanied by a hefty dose of strong basil and pine nut pesto. I managed to leave most of mine, but the first taste had done its worst to tie my tastebuds into a hammer lock, unready to appreciate the delicacy of eggs and salmon. Though that may have been as well, since the salmon though once cold smoked was cooked through waiting for the eggs to solidify.

So this time: Food: average - poor (Last time "Good")

Coffee: very good but not quite up to the excellent of the last visit (a slight hint of bitterness to the black).

Service: excellent we were asked what we wanted, and assisted as needed (like spotting we needed a third water glass and bringing it).

I suspect this means that in small local cafes the quality of the food and coffee depends a lot on who is on duty when you go. Though the quality of Okra was hinted at today in the service and smoothly running busy little cafe, the food did not deliver.

Okra Espresso Lounge
161 Sandringham Rd
Morningside
Auckland
Region: Auckland

Phone: 09 846 6662

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Saturday, August 11, 2007
  Deve: Auckland Cafe review
Deve looks good. The kitchen and bar jut into the cafe at an angle which has the air of being efficient, breaks the seating onto two somewhat separate and so more intimate spaces. The light shades are printed with photos that are also displayed on the wall, an interesting feature and nice touch. The design of the bar shows many "nice touches".

It is not really a breakfast place, so from 9-9:30am we had it almost to ourselves. We both had Spinach Potato Cakes – served with poached eggs and topped with a mustard lime hollandaise and your choice of the following:
Honey cured Bacon: $14.50
Cold Smoked salmon: $15.50
I had salmon and Barbara bacon.

The presentation was superb, a fine looking stack, with a delicate ring of concentrated fruit syrup round the plate and Italian Parsley to decorate the stack. I so much prefer edible garnishes! However, the Spinach Potato Cakes were too ambitious, the moisture from the spinach caused the potato to become a soft mash, little of the nice crisp outside. It would have been better to do hash browns with a layer of spinach. And (at least for the smoked salmon) the fruit syrup did not quite "go" with the delicacy of the salmon, which anyway was half cooked from the hot potato and spinach under it.

So: Food, taste only OK but presentation excellent.

The coffee was fine, Barbara enjoyed the Moccachino, except the chocolate powder had settled Memo to barristas, do NOT assume all customers will add sugar and so stir the mix themselves! to the bottom. My long black was good and strong, made with a dark roast so full of flavour. But looses "points" for making it "long" by simply leaving the cup under the head till it was nearly full. This results in a slightly bitter brew, even if you can't bear to serve the extra water in a little jug - and I imagine a tray of them takes up space behind the bar and in the dishwasher - at least add it after you have brewed the coffee!

Coffee: could do better.

Overall: The food and coffee did not live up to the ambiance and thoughtful touches. Though maybe their most experienced staff are not on to serve the early customers, so maybe someone who has tried them during the rush hour and let me know...

Deve Bar & Brasserie
460 New North Rd
Kingsland
Auckland
Region: Auckland

Phone: 09-846 9997
Website: www.deve.co.nz

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007
  Baked couscous!?
When we got back from the weekend (seminars and preaching) in New Plymouth, I found an interesting recipe in the NZ Herald's Saturday colour supplement. It does not appear to be online, so I can't link to it, so I'll give you my variant (as tested last night and tonight - it was so good, all those intense flavours!) here.

This recipe is easy, quick, tasty and unusual. As Donna Hay says it captures "those strong flavours synonymous with roasts... in half the time".

Heat the oven I suggest about 170oC fanbake, or a bit more conventional - Donna recommended 200oC but I think that starts the tomatoes too fast - cut about three or four tomatoes per person in half, put them on a baking tray with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and a small handful of herbs (Donna says thyme, but it is not the thyme season round here - so how come a recipe for thyme was in last week's Herald? Go figure! I used marjoram and it tasted good last night, today I found thyme in the vegie shop, so maybe our thyme dying is just bad herbiculture). When the oven is hot put them in for 12-15 minutes - they should be starting to loose shape and concentrate the flavour as the water evaporates.

Turn the oven up to 225oC (perhaps more if conventional). Prepare the couscous equal parts hot chicken stock and couscous, enough for the number of people for a meal one cup does two, for one course one cup might serve 3-4 people. and pour over the tomatoes. Back in the oven for 10 mins. Donna says cover, I preferred to soak the couscous first and then half cover so the higher heat could begin to make nice dark baked bits.

Meanwhile whizz some more oil, lemon juice to taste, salt and pepper and mix in pinenuts (if you have no pinenuts cashews work well, but put them in to whizz and get partly chopped - I've tried both, pinenuts are best but cashews are good too). Mix this dressing with a handfull or two of baby spinach leaves per person and plenty of grated parmesan. (Yes, this time you need the fresh stuff the tubes of dry grains will NOT do!) Pour this over the hot tomato couscous mix in the oven tray to wilt the spinach before serving. It goes down a treat on its own, or with chicken. To save bother if you are using chicken I suggest cutting small and putting into the oven about half way through cooking the tomatoes the first time.

Ingredients (per person as a main):
  • Tomatoes: Roma or other acid free - 3-4
  • Pinenuts - 1/3-1/2 cup for 2-4 people
  • Baby spinach leaves - 1-2 handfulls
  • Couscous - 1/2 a cup
  • Chicken stock - 1/2 cup
  • Lemon juice - tablespoon
  • Parmesan cheese grated - 1/3 cup or so
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, suffering summer, you need not wait till winter to try this - though it is worth waiting for, I promise - Donna says it can be eaten cold as a salad. Tonight I deliberately made enough, so tomorrow I'll let you know if she is right. Or I will if the sun shines brightly again like today ;-)


I didn't wait for the sun to shine, I stoked up the fire, and imagined it. There is no one else at home they are at conferences or skiing or soaking in the hot pools at Rotorua, so my consolation prize was starting the day my way: salmon and the Baked Couscous and Tomato as a salad. It was delicious, so you deprived summery types need not wait, add a delicious unusual new salad to your repertoire!

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Saturday, June 16, 2007
  Columbus: Onehunga

Once the Blue Strawberry (go figure!) now part of the Columbus Coffee franchise chain, this is a big busy shopping mall cafe. It does the job well with plenty of efficient waitstaff. The menu is small and conventional, but backed up by a good selection in the cold cabinet.

Coffee: Pretty Good - Good Barbara pronounced the Mochaccino good and not too sweet <aside> </aside> The long black was tasty, not bitter but with a smooth bite, but too "long". <aside>

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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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Saturday, May 12, 2007
  Circus Circus
This week's café has its own website, and a strong "theme". Though where we were seated , in the window to catch the sun (it is busy, so we were lucky people left the table as we came in). It's a busy and well organised place in Mt Eden "village". Service was quick and efficient. However, our ratings are lower than for most of the others we have tried, and the prices were on the higher side.

Coffee: OK My long black had a good flavour and came straight with no choice of water to add or refrain from adding. Some was dribbled down the side of the cup, probably from the speed with which the barrista was operating, he was churning out the coffees like a factory or a circus act ;-) Barbara's moccachino was reported "OK, but not as good as several of the others". Its presentation was careless, with the milk simply slopped in and the less than aesthetic effect covered with powdered chocolate used as a disguise. More care less speed... is my recommended motto!

Food: Dull By chance we both chose the Kumara and Riccotta Fritters with Avocado Salsa. These were solid and worthy, like 70s "vegetarian" options. The dish lacked any spark or excitement. The riccotta was so blended with the kumara it was indistinguishable as a flavour and the blandness of the avocado did not provide a contrast with the solidity of the kumara. The side salad baby spinach leaves and a few snow pea sprouts as decoration was unimaginative and needed a stronger dressing (there was none on the table to add).

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Saturday, May 05, 2007
  Perk Up

Today's cafe, in Kingsland because we have "finished" Sandringham Rd ;-) has the punny name "Perk Up" it's small and busy. The style and menu are fairly typical, with two nice touches:
  • free coffee with your breakfast (not supposed to operate on Saturday, do you think someone is spotting us as influential reviewers ;-)
  • interesting items on a "specials" list - I've been getting bored by the same-old, same-old menus, eggs benny is great, big breakfasts are fine, but whatever "creative" names you call them they are much the same everywhere!
Food: Excellent Barbara had a pile of corn fritters with bacon and egg, and pronounced them "Very Good". I had Chicken Livers with Bacon and Spinach in a rich tasty port and mustard gravy on toasted Ciabatta, it was superb, the best food I've had in a cafe so far. Perhaps a little heavy for the last sunny Saturday of the year (we sat outside and enjoyed people-watching), but so deeply savoury and balanced...
Coffee: Pretty Good By Karajoz, B's moccachino was only OK or Quite Good, my long black (with jug, though metal) was strong with deep flavour but just a touch bitter.

Perk Up
438 New North Road,
Kingsland,
Auckland
09 815 0434

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Saturday, April 28, 2007
  WKA cafe
The other week we tried Voila on the other side of Sandringham Road, so we thought we'd try the cafe on the opposite corner. It goes by the name WKA whether we are meant to pronounce this: Orca? Weka? Walker? or just say the letters, I don't know. Maybe cafes with obscure names should provide a guide ;-)

The small and interestingly shaped space has a cottagey feel, there are tables outside, and apparently a partly covered courtyard (it was cold when we went, so we did not venture out). The decor is comfortable and there is a good supply of magazines. Though given the small space no couches.

Coffee: OK my long black came with water in a china jug (extra points) but the Allpress beans had been extracted giving a slightly bitter taste (so not an "excellent", or even quite a "good"). Barbara's Moccachino was "good, but a bit sweet" perhaps too much chocolate syrup or not the best syrup?

Food: Good I had "Lamb's Fry and Bacon" (Liver and Bacon to non-Kiwis) and B. the pancakes. The pancakes were Kiwi/Scottish style thick ones with blueberries in the mix and generous fruit as a side to the stack. The liver was (in both senses) well cooked (those who fear parasites in under-cooked liver need not tremble, but equally it had not been toughened by over-cooking either) and the gravy pleasantly spiced (perhaps a touch of juniper as well as orange) and spicy with a little chili. The bacon (with both pancakes and liver) was a tasty streaky.


WKA Cafe
572 Sandringham Road
PHONE: 0-9-846 1967

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Monday, April 23, 2007
  Home cured salmon
Photo from Kent Wang.
It's a long time since I posted a recipe. One that has been a favourite in our family for the last few months is Gravlax. I know the name (unless you are in the know) sounds disgusting - which is why I put "home cured salmon" in the title ;-) But gravlax is delicious, a Scandinavian treat. And easy as.

Just take a piece of fresh salmon (or - if you are worried about parasites in uncooked fish - of commercially frozen salmon, the details of why are explained in the Cooking for Engineers article on Gravlax) make sure you remove ALL the little bones.
Photo by Claudecf
Mix sugar, salt and dill (to taste, but about equal quantities sugar and salt, loads of dill if it is fresh or smaller quantity if dried - dried works surprisingly well).

Place the fish on a sheet of cooking paper, coat with plenty of the mix. Wrap, and refrigerate for 12 hours (24 is too long and 6 leaves you with almost sashimi).

Slice diagonally with a very sharp knife. Eat as you would cold smoked salmon - but much more as it is so cheap!

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Sunday, April 22, 2007
  Voila!

The lower half of Sandringham Road used not to be cafe territory, and the "village" is still dominated by good cheap Indian restaurants, 2 dollar shops and Lotto outlets, but Voila! offers a standard cafe, with the extra twist of French crepes and a selection of patisserie. The service, menu and prices are typical of other cafes of this type, with the prices on the upper end of suburban Auckland - but it was humming when we arrived, and only quietened about 10am the people of Sandringham must rise earlier than the rest of central Auckland. As with Eifel en Eden Voila! gets a lot of people calling in for bakery, as well as breakfast customers.

Coffee: good. We could not see the brand identified, but it was organic and fair trade. The barrista was in training, but even so the result was good, with only a slight touch of bitterness betraying a beginner - she was closely supervised ;-) the long black came with a water jug, though not full points for presentation as the jug was metal :( however the decoration of chocolate syrup on the moccachino made up for this small lapse!

Food: Good: Barbara's big breakfast was almost too much, and my mushrooms were big, fat and juicy, and there was plenty of tasty added bacon. (Not as smokey as I like, but that's a rare find nowadays.)

Voila!
573 Sandringham Rd
Sandringham
Auckland City
09-846 8393

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Thursday, March 29, 2007
  Cafe Review: Eiffel en Eden
Yesterday we tried Eiffel en Eden which came highly recommended. (An award this year from Metro [the magazine is so "hip" it has no web presence, so read the Wikipedia article!], as well as friends...).

The setting has no street appeal, Eiffel en Eden occupies a large shed alongside a bed factory. It backs onto a large hole in the ground where gravel has been quarried for so long that the entire neighbourhood has fallen measurably because the soil is drying out from the water that is pumped out of the hole! However, the decor is good, light and airy with the food cabinets as the focus. It was a nice morning, so we sat outside and people-watched, lots of folk come for a takeaway from the patisserie.

Coffee: Not bad. My long black came (bonus points) with a separate jug of hot water (though a steel jug which cooled quickly - so less bonus). The beans are (I believe) from Atomic roasters, which I think are among the best. However, the brew though rich was slightly bitter. So overall, not really good, but not bad either.

Food: could do better - but maybe we could have chosen better. Perhaps, judging by the takeaway clients, we should have chosen patisserie.

But I didn't. I chose bacon and eggs. The bacon fat (it was streaky bacon so lots of fat) was not crisp, but soggy white. The eggs were OK, though the yolks were only semi-soft and I do like a really gooey yolk over my spinach and toast. The toast was some soft bread, perhaps corn bread, which did not offer the crispness that poached eggs need. (It would have been better to toast rounds of baguette...)

I am not convinced by the patisserie claim though, because Barbara says her croissant was cold (as in straight from the chill-cabinet) and "not quite as good as the ones from the Vietnamese baker up the road" - he's almost on the corner where Mt Eden meets Duke St, or Landscape Rd, and his baguettes and croissants are superb). However, the patisserie cabinet did look mouthwatering, and all those takeaway people must know something...

Maybe it's a case of good pastry chef, let down by poor service? Or maybe we'll try it again and take away a different impression...

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Sunday, March 18, 2007
  Boost! Cafe review
Today we tried Boost! on Dominion Road. It is another small local cafe, again people who live or work nearby seem to pop in for a takeaway. It was quiet while we were there and the couches are comfortable.

Again the menu is short and straight forward. I had "Bacon and eggs" and Barbara had pancakes.

Coffee: OK

The coffee was OK, Barbara seemed to really enjoy her Moccachino (choice of glass or mug) but my Long Black was neither as strong, nor as smooth, as last week's at Okra I was offered hot water, but the coffee was already pretty wet, so I declined ;-)

Food: Good value

The eggs (poached) were done well, though the eggs were not as fresh as they might have been so the shape was poor. [A really fresh egg will pull itself into a nice round shape when it hits the boiling water, so you can always tell!] The bacon was nice thin enough to be crisp, but not too thin, smoked and tasty. Accompanied by a tangy tomato relish/sauce. BUT take off points for white toast, and no choice offered.

Barbara's pancakes were reportedly good, with a good variety of fruits.

The total bill, at about $26 was good value.

Boost!
245 Dominion Road
Mt Eden
Auckland
Phone: 0-9-630 0103

Verdict: OK no prizes, but a competent and good value small cafe - and a big plus it was the only one open on Dominion Road at 8:30am!

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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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