More beauty blogging…..whats your beauty addiction?
…then you will love this blog…..a great friend of mine, a fantastic cook and a lover of all food just like me has just started a blog about eating, cooking and enjoying food of all kinds!
Check out KatieTwoNames for amazing recipe ideas and great tips…and trust me she can cook!
See the beginning of something great to come below
People of the Wairarapa and Wellington get your poached eggs and bacon ready….hollandaise sauce has been spilt down the Rimataka Hill!
Random but true….a man transporting a 100-litre drum of hollandaise sauce only realised it was leaking after he was almost at the top of the hill….and for those of you who know the Rimutaka’s…..that’s quite a way and quite high indeed!
Aside from this being quite dangerous and apparently creating a slippery slide for vehicles…..what a waste of my favorite sauce….luckily it was a bad batch and on its way to the farm for the pigs
Read the story here
The Shack – Raglan – $15.50
I apologise for the slackness recently of updating this blog….the truth is that I’ve taken on a grueling 21 day diet….and no eggs bene is allowed so I’ve been stretching out my resources and slowly updating from recent brunch sessions…however this is my last for the next couple of weeks…but then I’ll be back on the horse…so to speak…and hopefully a few pounds lighter…as much as I love eggs bene it’s not a road to slimness.
Last weekend I was blessed to be visiting Raglan….an hour and 45 from Auckland on the west coast….the most beautiful of beaches….stretching right along the horizon…glittering black sand…and the bluest of seas….ahhh New Zealand you stun me once again.
Five minuets from the beach is the quaint little Kiwiana town of Raglan….bustling with people, tourists and locals and kiwi visitors like me, the cafe’s and bars were full and its only 1pm on a Sunday in March….this town certainly has a character of its own.
Perched right of a corner of the main street is a little cafe called the Shack….modern looking but kiwi retro in its own way this definitely has its own charm with a relaxing kiwi beach town feel. the clientelle are causally wearing board shorts and nice t-shirts with a mixture of ages from families to the local surfies and older couples dressed well and there to enjoy.
My first impression of this busy wee place was a sigh of relief, it’s not often in the city that you find a place so inviting yet stylie and popular at the same time. The thing I loved the most is on the blackboard it say “please take a seat and we will look after you at your table” and within seconds a waitress was there to greet us…now that’s great customer service!
Down to business eggs bene was on the menu and for only $15.50 I suppose I get used to city prices….I guess it really doesn’t cost that much to serve up my favorite meal. Chilled beats played in the background from Kiwi legends Kora and Shapeshifter made me feel like I was at home, this with the friendly, relaxed but on to it service from the waitresses this was stacking up so far to be a winner.
The main affair came, sitting on my plate screaming eat me! How delicious….just what I had wanted, crisp looking bacon, abundant hollandaise sauce but not too much, two rustic looking poached eggs, the perfect amount of spinach greens all sitting on two pieces of toasted bread which looked like sour dough but tasted like ciabata – just perfect!
Taste wise this little morsel was great, the bacon tasty and crispy, the eggs free range and poached to perfection….rich and runny in the centre, the hollandaise seasoned well with pepper…but not too much as to overpower, it could have done with a touch more lemon, but as is was – a delightful experience for the taste buds!
Overall my experience at the Shack in Raglan was one I would love to repeat regularly – it’s a shame you’re not just down the road…visitors and travelers mark this place as a must go on your bucket list – The Shack is a place many of Auckland’s so-called top cafe’s and brunch spots could learn a thing or two from! The right kiwi touch with skill, awesome service and knowledge of how food should be served combined with the perfect atmosphere…..a recipe for success!
Thanks to the team at The Shack, you topped of my wonderful weekend at Raglan, you deserve a 4.75 out of 5 and I will be back!
Landreth & Co – Ponsonby Rd – $18.50
Another Sunday another brunch day…. I know I have to branch out geographically…however its been really hard as there are so many cafe’s I want to try around central city Auckland. It seems though that Ponsonby hasn’t yet featured in the reviews…..so simple, the decision was made….time to check out the old Pons.
We originally went to another cafe but to my surprise there were no eggs bene on the menu!! WHAT?! what a crime… anyway lucky there was a cafe right next door with a table waiting for us. Ponsonby is known for having some of the best cafes and restaurants in Auckland….well at least a reputation that assumes that it does.
Landreth & Co….a little cafe with charm, its little front room doesn’t leave too many tables to fill, lucky for the courtyard out back there was room for the busy brunch rush….and a bunch of eggs bene lovers. The outdoor area was nice, however was just lacking something and I think that was atmosphere and service. The girls working looked like they had a hard night out the night before and taking our order was not high on the priority list….lets say not the best start to hopefully the best eggs bene yet.
I had high hopes for this eggs bene, but after the service we received my hopes were fading….fast! Then it came sitting proudly on the plate, hollandaise golden, the greens….green, bacon looking crisp and smelling divine! Perky poached eggs all served on ciabata….my favorite!
Tucking in with full excitement and a rather empty stomach…but I managed to restrain myself and talk a photo this time…unlike last week! But wait…..uh oh, the eggs were almost hard-boiled! No sign off rich runny egg yolk…how disappointing. The hollandaise was lacking lemon….very buttery. The bacon and the ciabata here were probably the saving grace, both perfectly crunchy and crisp… no over cooked ciabata which means no mouth ulcers….and the bacon cooked to perfection.
Overall this dish was eatable and enjoyable in some aspects….however….when a dish is called eggs benedict I don’t think it’s too much to expect that the chef has the egg poaching down pat. In my opinion this is just unacceptable….if a home cook can get it right I expect when paying someone they will get it more than right for the $18.50 I’m handing over. Rookie mistake chef.
All in all, my experience at Landreth & Co was disappointing. I wouldn’t go back for the atmosphere, service and definitely not the eggs bene….however if you’re n the mood for a good smoothie then this is the place to stop by….although I suggest maybe taking it away. It seemed that being in Ponsonby was enough for Landreth Co and they weren’t too concerned about pleasing the customers….too cocky is you ask me.
Landreth & Co next time I will just Pons-on-by 2.75 out of 5
Shaky Isles – $16.50 – Kingsland
Here we are again….brunch Sunday!
It’s getting to the point know where I’m starting to have high expectations for certain places or really low for others….it’s not often that I’m surprised anymore by whats either on offer or served up.
As this lovely occasion is also weekly my favorite all time dish is becoming one I think I could critique in my sleep so I have to keep reminding myself to enjoy it and not just judge it as an item……the day I forget what a treasure this dish is and look at it as simply a blog subject I think I’ll have to change by direction. Luckily this weeks eggs bene was a little twist on the usual, keeping me on my toes and reminding me why I love this dish so much!
Shaky Isles in Kingsland is somewhere that’s been on my list for a while and now I can happily say its been ticked off. Not only do they have eggs bene on the menu they have brioche bene, and you can choose to have it served with kransky, ham off the bone or wilted spinach, roast tomato and spring onions……new variations on the old classic. As well as these to my delight they were happy to serve with crisp bacon instead….for judging purposes of course (can’t kick the mindset completely).
Quite a trendy little spot Kingsland all the hipsters were out for brunch and seemed like Shaky Isles was the place to be, however in saying this it makes sense as the atmosphere is relaxed and has sort of a fun feel to it. This could be attributed by the decor, an arty, industrial, art deco theme keeps this place light and comfortable…..I absolutely loved the kich collectible tea spoons – Brisbane made an appearance with my late.
The relaxed/casual atmosphere reflected in the staff….bringing a new meaning to the work casual….a little too relaxed..it almost felt as if taking our orders was an inconvenience…a smile or two definitely wouldn’t go astray.
Now I have to apologies for the review picture on this post……not the best picture as you can see the brioche bene isn’t fully intact…….as soon as this was placed in front of me instead of taking a picture, knife and fork were in hand and I was in to it! Delicious! Clearly my mind was focused on the food and not 100% on delivering the best picture possible for you….a compliment to the chef indeed!
Served on brioche were two free range poached eggs….the yolks perfectly, deliciously richly runny, topped with homemade hollandaise sauce. Placed between the two gems was a pile of crunchy, crisp, salty, mouth-watering bacon….bingo!!
Having the eggs been served on brioche was a nice subtle variation on the more common english muffin. The brioche was soft and light making this filling dish delicate and more enjoyable than your average.
I had no problem polishing off this meal…..at all. Other than the lack luster service, which the atmosphere and food more than made up for, this was a winner.
Brioche Bene I wish I met you more often…..4.5 out of five…would have been a 5 had your staff been as welcoming as the food.
Ok so I know that eating eggs bene regularly probably isn’t the best for my health……well that’s what people keep telling me so I though I’d do some research of my own to try and convince myself that it’s ok….or to self enable the addiction rather…. and check out these interesting wee facts i found ….achem……focusing on the positive here…
Full of vitamins*: Egg yolks are one of the few foods that naturally contain Vitamin D……less time needed spent in the sun…better for the skin
Not only good just for you*: Eggs are nutritious for many pets as well as humans. Eggs can improve animal fur and coat health and maintain eyesight….so if you are too full to finish your eggs bene…then why not share with your fury friend?
And if your vegetarian…minus the bacon (gasp!)*: Eggs are an important source of complete protein for vegetarians. One egg = 1 ounce of lean meat, fish or poultry.
Potentially they could make you smarter*: Eggs give us brainpower. Choline, a substance found in egg yolks, stimulates brain development and function
This could quite definitely be the clincher*: The protein in eggs can help you lose weight by controlling the rate at which your body absorbs calories!….there you go…right there!! problem solved…. haha but to be sure read the rest here because I’m no nutritionist…
*Disclaimer.…all this information was obtained from other websites, and not claims made by me, however they do make me feel better about my eggs bene addiction….here’s to many more…and I think I’m going to buy this t-shirt
For all the above egg facts and more…
New review on its way soon…
HQ – Headquarters – Westhaven – $17.50
Saturday….another brunch session had arrived, a hot day in Auckland…..suprising since all it has done recently is rain…. a spot in the sun was on the cards. After originally heading to Point Chev to check out the beach and eat there I was a little disappointed that the cafe that everyone raved about by the beach….wasnt on the beach and not even with a view of the beach….so I decided the weather wasn’t to be wasted and wanted to check out somewhere else.
My brunch buddy suggested we go to HQ – Headquarters on beaumont street near westhaven in the city as apparently it has a great brunch reputation.
Westhaven, yes…..by the sea, no. Set amongst office buildings and semi industrial boat and sea related businesses, I thought this was quite an obscure spot for a restaurant/cafe/bar, but none the less it did have a nice sunny courtyard to soak in some rays. The atmosphere did feel like that of a pub ….a little grimy around the edges… cigarette dishes scattered around and leaners…definitely a bar by night and operating as a restaurant or cafe by day… this was also reflected in the staff service and clientele….stag do present.
On the menu of course was eggs bene, this time no spinach or greens mentioned, instead thinly sliced ham and crisp bacon and orange hollandaise sauce….very different…it could be a nice twist from the original…let’s see. While waiting for the main act to keep the hunger pangs at bay and to satisfy the caffeine addiction I ordered a late…now I’m not a barrister but do coffees normally come with one or two shots of coffee? This one was one shot only and I only found that out when the waitress asked my brunch buddy if she wasted one or two shots when she ordered hers. Coffee??? more like warm milk…not an enjoyable coffee at all, even so that I couldn’t finish it.
The eggs bene was served sitting proud on the plate…..no overcrowding of green foliage…in fact none at all, except a sprinkle of what looked like dried chives. On two english muffins sat sliced ham, two perfectly poached eggs topped off with rather different looking hollandaise sauce and crispy bacon served on the side.
The way this was served was different from most eggs benes I’ve had, I thought the ham and bacon idea was possibly unnecessary as the bacon will always out shine the ham so it will go unappreciated. The hollandaise sauce with orange rather than lemon was very different…rather than being just the right bit tart and creamy this lacked creamy and instead was very buttery but also quite sweet from the orange….it could have even had sugar added to it? Very different in taste, looks and consistency from the traditional hollandaise sauce! I think the original is best here. The eggs used weren’t free range which you can tell by color and flavor, free range is definitely perferred and becoming a must these days. On top of all of that, a big thumbs up to the chef who when requested that the bacon be super crisp, he cooked it to be super crisp! Bacon success!
Unfortunately when almost half way through my eggs bene, I came across a little unwanted guest of a blonde hair wrapped up in my bacon….I can rule out that it was mine as my locks are dark brown. Now this doesn’t completely revolt me as I know this stuff happens, but it didn’t make me want to finish my meal…had the meal been amazing I would have put it aside and carried on but it really wasn’t, so this is where I called it a day.
HQ what I think you do best is “pub grub” or “dude food” as I like to call it. Simple is best at bars turned into restaurants by day, things that don’t require finesse or a delicate flavor…the big breakfast looked great. It would have also been great for the waitress to possibly make good the price or give a complimentary coffee for the inclusion of the stowaway hair…but not in this case…however she was apologetic which is better than some.
Next time HQ I will be ordering bacon, hash browns and mushies….but unfortunately not the eggs bene…. 2.5 out of 5.
Rosehip Cafe – Parnell – $18.50
Brunch time again and I was looking forward to brunch at the beach today but since it was another lovely drizzly Auckland day I decided that it’s best left for a sunny one…why not suss out Rosehip Cafe in Parnell. I’ve vaguely heard of this cafe and to be honest haven’t spent a lot of time in Parnell so it was this weeks pick.
Set out of the hustle and bustle of main road Parnell, Rosehip is found on Gladstone road…you might recognise this from Monopoly…one of the higher investment properties in the game…. and much the same here, set among rather wealthy real estate and large family homes this boasted a classy clientele. But what I liked most is that it’s very family friendly, with mum, dad the kids and milkshakes to a trendy 20-something couple having a nice brunch date. With the laid back jazzy tunes of Amy Winehouse playing in the background…this had a really nice atmosphere on an otherwise rather dull day.
On the menu…. the reason for the trip, eggs bene of many kinds! Your usual bacon and salmon, and the different option of grilled zucchini and the quirky touch of “eggs bene with anything you want” I wonder what else you could chose….endless I would imagine, but as per usual bacon is my number one hit….but this time with an addition of avocado….a great combo!
The staff here were awesome, friendly, quick to serve and personable – which I always like so you don’t just feel like a number. The main act…eggs bene….came out very quickly…perfect for those of us dying to get out fork around the delicious little morsel!
I’m thinking that at the moment there must be a tend with adding a lot of green garnish as it’s not the only time I’ve had my beautiful eggs bene hidden by greenery. I do like some greens but not so much that it doesn’t ad to the dish…but deduct instead.
That aside, This time I forgot to ask for crispy bacon….and thank goodness this chef knows how it is, because the bacon was nice and crisp! Thank goodness, there is only so much non crisp bacon I can take! The eggs – free range, plump and perfectly poached. Hollandaise – homemade with a touch of lemon, rich and buttery…..could maybe have done with a little more lemon…? When deciding to go for a touch of avo with this I was imagining freshly sliced avo set under the bacon, Never assume….it just lets you down. The avo was nice, it was just in more of a guacamole form, with a lot of lemon. Not at all bad but just not what I expected….it would have been just as delicious with out it, maybe I was just being greedy.
Rosehip your service was fantastic, your spot tucked away in Parnell great, and your eggs bene lovely…but maybe a little on the pricey side – $18.50 and an extra $6 for avocado, I did think the extra was a bit steep… making this $24.50 – by far the most expensive eggs bene I’ve ever had! Next time I would leave off the avo as it just didn’t need it and for the extra $6 it wasn’t really worthwhile.
The avocado aside, it’s worth a solid 4 out of 5!
Thanks for a lovely brunch experience Rosehip Cafe
Have you been to Rosehip Cafe? What are your thoughts?