foodiegemsofwellie

For worthy eating and drinking experiences around Wellington, NZ (and the greater region) – you can also catch Heather out and about hosting Zest Food Tours around the city…

Archive for the tag “french toast”

Long Beach at Waikanae

And for the lazy finish to a weekend of eating (last weekend!), a fine Sunday called for a brunch ride up the coast.

Waikanae felt about the right stopping distance, so a return visit to Long Beach was the go.

Long Beach

Long Beach is a peaceful spot at the beach with pleasant outdoor areas (next door to The Front Room), including a mini glass-house growing tomatoes and seedlings.

The brunch options that appealed were the Long Beach toasted muesli with house made mascarpone, and the strawberry brioche french toast (also with house made mascarpone).

Both were delicious, although the mascarpone was the texture of runny cream rather than the expected thicker cheese-like texture.

Long Beach french toast

The coffee was good, and the service welcoming and friendly.

The lunch and dinner menus look good too, so another place worth a side excursion to if passing Waikanae.

With a wee wander up over the dune opposite to check out the sea after, what more could you ask for a cruisy weekend brunch.

40 Tutere Street, Waikanae Beach.

Medici, Martinborough

Having stopped here in the past for coffee and cake while out riding, staying over at Martinborough meant the perfect opportunity to experience Medici’s full brunch offerings.

We arrived around 9am at the beginning of the day (Sunday), so were met and seated easily.  And enjoyed the ambience peacefully before the 10am rush.

Named after the Italian royal house and banking dynasty of Medici (who knew they developed the double entry book-keeping system?), the cafe gives a nod to its history with Sistine chapel-style paintings on the ceiling, rustic wrought iron chandeliers and an old Medici head (coin?) in the logo.

Local art on the walls is for sale, there is a (usually) sunny courtyard out the back, the coffee is by Mojo, and there is a mix of both counter and menu food on offer.

And so to brunch.

French toast and pancakes were the order of the day.  Both with banana, bacon and maple syrup.  The french toast was rated as pretty good with a pleasing balance between the salty crispy bacon, and creamy egginess of the toast.  And the pancakes (which were really small pikelets) were presented appealingly in a stack with accompanying condiments in separate dishes and jug.  Good for those who like to mix and match flavours to personal taste.  Like me.

One coffee was missed off the order, and the wait staff seemed a little more focused on what they had to get through rather than engaging with the customers, so perhaps some room for improvement on that front.

But otherwise good food and coffee, in a cafe with character, in a delightful corner of the greater Wellington region.

It will remain a regular ride stop.

Karaka Cafe at the Wharewaka

More friends coming through town and another brunch to be had.  What hardship!

Given their intention to park around the waterfront, Karaka cafe in the Wharewaka sprung to mind as a new place close by for them to try.  Although not outdoor weather particularly, the cafe feels welcoming (probably due to the lively colours and plants) and still provided pleasant water and city views.

A range of brunches were opted for including muesli with yoghurt and banana, avocado and tomato on grainy toast, eggs on toast, toast with peanut butter, and french toast with bacon, banana and butterscotch.  Other than the grainy toast selection, the toast provided was toasted traditional rewana bread.  Rewana bread using a potato started instead of the usual yeast starter.  Commented on as different and tasty.

One of the unique factors of this cafe is the use of maori titles and descriptions and inclusion of traditional foods or ingredients (rewana bread, horopito, hangi mash, etc).  A simple way for visitors to get an introduction to this part of NZ’s culture.

The coffee served was Mojo’s and met with everyone’s approval (twice I’ve been surprised by the coffee exceeding expectation here now, huh), and the pick of the breakfasts in my (humble!) opinion is the french toast (no carbohydrate bias here at all your honour…).  All those soft caramelly textures and tastes, with the contrast of bacon.  Mmmmmmm.

They also offer a good selection of counter foods, platters and wine (imagining a nice sunny afternoon), and have a range of beers including some from our local brewers.

The service again was slow and had to be chased along once or twice, so still not right in that regard, but otherwise very pleasant, something different, and I’m going back for dinner sometime soon to check that out too.

 

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