The Local: Rosebank Coffee and Kitchen

Industrial estates and arterial routes, the domain of lunch bars, high vis vests and work boots are not where you would expect to find the most divine french toast ever – it was almost too beautiful to eat!

French toast, banana toffee, mandarin, grand marnier and salted cocoa crumble

French toast, banana toffee, mandarin, grand marnier and salted cocoa crumble

Unassuming from the outside, the tinted glass sliding doors open to reveal a cavernous light-filled space – a high stud with black acoustic panels juxtaposed with concrete walls, beams, lots of glass and feature lighting.  Clever seating zones create spaces for work (plugs galore) and business meetings; communal tables encourage conversation, and there is table service for those who have time to sit back and relax.

Rosebank Cafe 1
Rosebank Cafe 2
Rosebank Cafe 3

One of the owners, Carlos said their focus was on creating a welcoming neighbourhood cafe – for local people and businesses alike.  Friends and families meet for coffee, or indulge in a leisurely breakfast, brunch or lunch. Somewhere local businesses can take clients out for a lunch, without the hassle of driving into the city and finding parking; they're licensed too.

Open for breakfast and lunch Monday – Saturday and dinner Thursday and Friday nights, it’s a beautiful space with a truly inventive menu created by Johannes Carroux – the dishes below were captured on their way from the kitchen to eagerly waiting customers. The counter food looked pretty spectacular, and there’s a dinner degustation-style menu launching soon so a return visit is definitely on the cards.

Line caught fish with broccoli and quinoa fritters with sunflower and miso butter

Line caught fish with broccoli and quinoa fritters with sunflower and miso butter

Scampi with garden vegetables and greens, crushed potato with nut butter vinaigrette

Scampi with garden vegetables and greens, crushed potato with nut butter vinaigrette

If you live or work anywhere near Avondale then Rosebank Coffee and Kitchen on the corner of Rosebank Rd and Jomac Place should definitely become your local.  Open Monday - Saturday, for more information phone 828 6110 or www.rosebankkitchen.co.nz.

If you think your local deserves some glory, comment below and tell us why it’s worth going out of our way to check it out.

Michelle

ps don’t forget to put those clocks forward on Saturday night!

 

 

Baker & Co

It was surprisingly empty when we arrived.  Located on a suburban street in a neighbourhood strip of shops, we anticipated Baker & Co to be buzzing with locals late on a Saturday morning.  The quiet didn’t last—people came, ate and went as we wiled away an hour or so catching up over coffee and a scrumptious, freshly baked roast pumpkin, spinach and feta brioche.

The sun streamed in the big front window.  White walls, pastel dipped wooden furniture; pretty hanging plants in terracotta pots and a French country-style dresser brimming with packets of pale pink rocky road, create a light and airy space.  Set down off West Tamaki Road there’s plenty of parking; the local traffic goes by un-noticed.

Cute hanging plants

Cute hanging plants

Rocky road to go

Rocky road to go

The cabinet is crammed with enticing savoury brioches, sandwiches, pies and sliders, sweet and savoury tarts, cakes, donuts and slices. Every tasty morsel is made on the premises.  Excited to discover a twist on old favourites too: rhubarb and lime Louise slice and lemon meringue donuts, with afghans iced with chocolate and a walnut, just like our Mums used to make.

Afghans like Mum used to make

Afghans like Mum used to make

Lemon meringue dobuts

Lemon meringue dobuts

Baker & Co make tantalising flavoured whole cakes for special occasions from: chocolate and salted caramel to chocolate and raspberry, and raspberry and pistachio too. We spoke briefly to Tasmyn as she put the finishing touches on three delightfully decorated cakes for a 40th birthday party—you could almost feel the love that went into baking those beauties.

Whole cakes made to order

Whole cakes made to order

It might be short drive away but definitely worth jumping in the car.  Must remember next time to ask Tasmyn about why Baker & Co use disposable plates, cutlery and cups—not that I mind, just a random observation.

Open 7am until 3:30pm Tuesday to Friday and 8am until 2pm Saturdays.

235 West Tamaki Road, Glendowie

09 575 2420

Baker & Co

Enjoy your week.

Michelle

Fabulous Fast Food

Everyone wants nourishing wholesome food on the run. The Foodie Inc has enjoyed some fabulous inner city eateries in Auckland over the past few weeks.  Here’s my favourites for quick, tasty food with the wow factor!

The ‘Bowl’

Lunch places in Auckland’s CBD seem to be fixated with the ‘bowl’ – a loose description for a meal in a box, container, plate or sometimes an actual bowl.  The concept it pretty simple: a dish of vegetables, salads, noodles or grains, usually with a recommended dressing to which you add your choice of protein.

Misters Real Food in Wyndham Street’s new spring menu has five bowls: Jerusalem, Indonesian, French, Italian and South Western. The Indonesian bowl: umami carrot noodles, wombok and coconut slaw, lemongrass peanut sauce and crushed peanut comes topped with your choice of either: crispy tofu, pulled free farmed pork, slow braised grain fed wagyu, free range chicken or seared Marlborough salmon. Wrapped and ready to go if you don't have time to eat in.

Food on the run - boxed ready to go

Food on the run - boxed ready to go

My winter favourite, the Levantine bowl with pumpkin fritters (pictured below) has disappeared so look forward to discovering a new favourite very soon.

The Levantine Bowl, a winter favourite

The Levantine Bowl, a winter favourite

The ‘Takeaway’

Food in a box has never tasted so delicious.  In a small space on upper Wellesley Street, Greedy Guts succinct but mouth-watering menu sees the place jam-packed for breakfast and lunch.  A favourite is ‘Healthy Guts’ – a chunky slice of toast topped with smashed avocado, portobello mushrooms, a poached egg and sprinkled with fresh parmesean.  But that’s not the only scrumptious dish.  The haloumi and chicken salad with roasted vegetables and slaw drizzled dressed with citrus or the smoked fish bruschetta topped with pickled beetroot slices are pretty darn delicious too. Takeaway or dine-in.

Healthy Guts

Healthy Guts

The ‘Breakfast Box’

Breakfast sets you up for the day. Breakfast is usually something eaten before leaving home but just occasionally things conspire against me – running late for the bus (inner city parking fees are a rip-off) or an early morning meeting.  Delighted to discover Box of Birds; one of a handful of tiny container cafes on Elliot Street. 

Box of Birds in Elliot Street, Auckland CBD

Box of Birds in Elliot Street, Auckland CBD

The chilli flake coated boiled eggs, avocado, spinach with tomato relish hit the spot. If you’ve got time grab a coffee, loiter and people watch. And if you fancy a whole roast chicken for dinner, you can order one and collect on your way home – we won’t tell anyone you haven’t whipped it yourself!

Breakfast in a box

Breakfast in a box

If there’s somewhere in your neck of the woods that does great food on the run, please share – would love to check it out.

Michelle

Why brunch?

It’s nearly the weekend! A favourite thing to do in the weekend is catch up with friends over brunch. Why brunch? Love that you get the chance for a lie in. It’s got that leisurely feel about it: the weekend papers, more than one coffee and time to chat, and keeps the afternoon completely free to do other things.

Brunch menus might be diverse these days but being a creature of habit nine times out of ten, and even after perusing the entire menu, eggs benedict wins hands down.  A big fan of poached eggs, the dollop of hollandaise, moist hot smoked salmon and freshly cracked black pepper take those eggs to the next level.

If you’re looking for somewhere in Auckland for brunch this weekend here are a few of The Foodie Inc’s favourite places:

Odettes Eatery - Auckland CBD

Smashed Avocado Chili, Rocket, Coriander on Toasted Rye with a Poached Egg

Smashed Avocado Chili, Rocket, Coriander on Toasted Rye with a Poached Egg

Scullery - K'Rd

Mushrooms and Haloumi on Smoked Garlic Toast

Mushrooms and Haloumi on Smoked Garlic Toast

The Garden Shed - Mt Eden

Vege Patch - garden greens, smashed avocado, oven roasted tomato and olives, grilled haloumi and parsley oil 

Vege Patch - garden greens, smashed avocado, oven roasted tomato and olives, grilled haloumi and parsley oil 

Poached egg, hot smoked salmon on potato galette with hollandaise

Poached egg, hot smoked salmon on potato galette with hollandaise

Best Ugly Bagels - City Works Depot, CBD and Newmarket

T.A.B. - tomato, avocado and basil drizzled with lemon fennel olive oil

T.A.B. - tomato, avocado and basil drizzled with lemon fennel olive oil

Enjoy your weekend.

Michelle

Queenies Lunch Room

There’s little traffic on this quiet inner city backstreet on a Saturday. The pretty ivy clad walls a striking contrast to the multi-storied building next door. On a gorgeous summer day when the sun warms the paved terrace or sidewalk, grab a stool and sit, chat and relax.

It’s a cool autumn day so inside tables beckon.  Mid afternoon, expecting the place to be bustling and tables crowded, it was surprisingly deserted.  The welcoming staff told me the lunch crowd had just gone but the kitchen was still open – until 2:30pm each day.

Enjoying the tranquillity after weeks of hustle and bustle (that’s a whole different topic) I ordered a haloumi and caramelised peach salad.  A delightfully refreshing salad of pan-fried haloumi, pear and orange (no peach today) topped a bed of pickled red onions, macadamias, mint and rocket. With a light dressing, crunchy nuts and crisp greens it was the perfect balance of textures.

The silence didn’t last. People arrived not long after for afternoon tea and coffee.  The place was buzzing again, just like I remembered.

With all the talk about the latest cafe opening and must see or be seen places to go, sometimes it is fun to visit an old favourite.  Next time, I might just be tempted by one of those meringues too.

For menu, opening hours and location visit: Queenies

Michelle

de la terre Winery

Last Friday, Waitangi Day, we decided to head out towards Taihape, along picturesque country roads bound for de la terre winery, a 20 minutes drive from Hastings.

‘de la terre’ literally translates as ‘of the earth’.  As we pulled into the car park, with horses in the front paddock and Gracie the dog bounding out to meet us, the name seemed so apt - a perfect reference to the earth brick constructed winery and cellar door, and the fruits of the vineyard’s soil.

Horses grazing in de la terre's front paddock

Horses grazing in de la terre's front paddock

Interestingly, the buildings are less than 10 years old but look like they have been part of the landscape for much longer.  The craftsmanship and detail are incredible, from the mud bricks, handmade in Tony’s onsite rammed earth workshop to the handcrafted furniture made from recycled timber - virtually all the building work including roof tiling and joinery was done by the owners, Kaye and Tony Prichard.

The tasting room and cafe at de la terre

The tasting room and cafe at de la terre

We discovered that Tony the builder, is also Tony the winemaker, with more than 30 years wine making experience.  De la terre was established in 2005 as a boutique winery and while the grapes are grown at Hills Estate, Kaye and Tony’s vision was to create somewhere to share their love of wine and wine making - their passion for wine and sustainability is very evident.  Providing an opportunity for guests to not only enjoy wine tastings but to also learn about their wine making techniques - some might even be lucky enough to taste the next vintage straight out of the barrel.

Tony, the winemaker taking guests through a wine tasting

Tony, the winemaker taking guests through a wine tasting

With a cafe open since December 2014, delicious farm-style platters are available for guests to enjoy with wine either inside or under umbrellas out in the garden. Armed with a bottle of de la terre rosé from the tasting room, this partnered perfectly with a platter crammed with salads, marinated mushrooms, ham, brie, and a delicious homemade cranberry and cardamom relish - and not forgetting the freshly baked bread rolls.

Farm-style platter from de la terre's cafe

Farm-style platter from de la terre's cafe

De la terre winery is open 10am – 5pm weekends and public holidays 1 September – 30 June or by appointment. It is a boutique winery and some varietals only produce 1500 bottles each vintage, with much sold offshore to clients in China and USA. To purchase their wine in New Zealand or for more information: de la terre winery

It’s definitely a winery worth the drive, whether you are a visitor or a Hawke's Bay local. 

Enjoy

Michelle