Crowned best café in Metro for 2014, we had pretty high hopes for this revamped corner of Parnell. This is a Hip Group creation after all, the creative minds behind Ortolana and St Helier’s Bistro & Café — if anything, we’re looking for a surprise rather than just immaculately-made food… We found the space rather quickly despite the lack of signage — the jewel-bright ottomans dotting the perimeter gave us a hand as well as the general buzz of the place. We had to squeeze into the entrance past the narrow strip between the cashier, coffee machine and waiting customers to get to our table — reminding us vividly of the layout of Milse or Takapuna Beach café… a Hip Group trend perhaps? Vintage white shutters lined the ceiling and the chairs were made of woven stripes of leather — a large wreath of petal-like structures glowed like a halo in the center of the room (a tribute to its namesake, perhaps). The space was well-lit with large panels of glass sliding doors. All in all, the vibes were there, though the loud chatter in the small space made conversation difficult; neither is it a space you could sit with a latte and book to idle on for half a day — unless you don’t mind being glared at by customers waiting for a table. Go for the Malt ‘n’ Honey smoothie we reckon – we swear it won’t disappoint!
Louise had the smoked fish omelette and a chocolate & coconut smoothie. She said ‘Rosie was packed full of happy people, friendly staff, delectable treats and an enchanting array of fancy food that made it super-tricky to choose. The omelette was perfectly cooked, the smoked fish and smashed caper combo flavour-tastic and, with Allpress in the grinder, all my boxes were happily ticked. Top tips: Use Google maps to help you find it as there is no outdoor signage and allow time for a table – there was a pretty constant queue of people waiting for a spot.’
Innie had the poached eggs, heirloom tomatoes, parmesan, bread crumbs and a malt & honey smoothie. She said ‘there is a reason Metro gave ‘2014 café of the year’ award!’
Katie had the clams with green tomato, chilli with sourdough and a malt & honey smoothie. She said ‘The clams were sweet and juicy which is always a good thing! If I were to be picky & the sauce is a tad sour and it was a bit hard to hear each other over the chatter.’
Joe had the sausage and a breakfast smoothie. He said ‘Sausage was over-salted, but an otherwise original, creative menu.’
Annie had the market fish (John Dory) and a green smoothie. She said ‘A beautiful mix of flavours. The fish was possibly a little overcooked but otherwise an excellent lunch and good experience.’