27 January 2013

Auckland Eats:Ponsonby Central

Ponsonby Central opened late last year.  For months we had been teased with “coming soon” & finally it arrived. It is an old warehouse that has been transformed in a central city market place filled with fresh produce & various eateries & cafes.  And I am happy to say it hasn’t disappointed, what a transformation.


Toru sits in the middle of Ponsonby Central with outside seating on the Ponsonby Road side allowing for a little people watching. I’d read about it over at Gather & Hunt, where they are always up with the play on new additions to the Auckland cafe scene.  It’s my go to for finding somewhere new for our weekly Friday breakfast not to mention lots of fun things to do & places to visit in Auckland.  Being a sister cafe to Teed St Larder in Newmarket & Wai on Waiheke Island the bar was set high from the get go, pedigree siblings indeed.

Toru is light & airy with bare wood floors giving it a little bit of a rustic feel, albeit a cool, trendy, urban rustic.  On the counter there are sweet treats and macarons in big oldy worldly glass bell jars tempting you to indulge.  Breakfast got off to a great start, a table secured streetside in the early morning Auckland sunshine & a good strong black.  Coffee here is Three Beans & delivered my requisite morning hit.

On the menu some welcome surprises especially for those with a sweet tooth French toast with pineapple curd, lime and coconut or fresh berries with buffalo yoghurt, baby basil and raw honeycomb & not to forget ricotta pancakes with whipped salted caramel butter and vanilla sugar.  On the savoury end of things there are eggs Benedict with pork belly, smoked kingfish or goat’s curd & spinach or colcannon with corned beef, sauerkraut, crème fraiche and poached eggs.  

All sounded tempting but the winner was the Indonesian-style Waikanae crab omelette with sambal, kecap manis & spring onion. Fresh, light & great way to waken up your taste buds, not a morsel was left on the plate.  For my breakfast buddy scrambled eggs & bacon which were also scoffed. Not only was the food full of flavour, it was beautifully presented, the sambal with my omelette arriving on the side in a tiny glass jar. Even better along with good coffee & good food was the service; friendly, attentive & helpful.  So Toru, like her siblings, gets it right on all counts.

Since that first visit I have popped back for lunch & this tasty salad....

Foxtrot Parlour

Another cafe in Ponsonby Central is the Foxtrot Parlour, fronting on to Richmond Road beside Little Bread & Butter. Again a great long black, which I find is always a good test of a cafe, it just gets you off on the right foot when it is good.

We were there for breakfast but the cabinets were full of delicious looking food, sweet & savoury.  We had our standard issue scrambled eggs & they were rich & creamy, with a little crispy bacon on the side a good start to Friday.

Little Bread & Butter

Right next door to the Foxtrot Parlour is Little Bread & Butter.  I can’t go passed a good bakery & this one is brimming with fresh baked breads & pastries that entice you in. It is Paris Berlin bread & all the loaves are organic & there’s a wonderful selection to tempt you. For me it was a sourdough baguette for the evening BBQ & I could not help but be taken in by the Bergstieger.  Such a wonderful name, a rustic wholemeal rye loaf ,that as it’s names suggests it is not a shy loaf, it is a little heavy & I love the almost treacly flavour the rye delivers.  Another favourite loaf of mine is their fitness loaf packed with carrot, sunflower & pumpkin seeds which will happily tide you over until lunchtime. I managed to pass on the pastries & sweet treats this time around but I am sure there will be a return visit.

Also at Ponsonby Central:

Ceres Fresh Market 
Jimmy the Fish
Neat Meat
El Sizzling Chorizo Argentinian BBQ
Dantes Napoletana Pizzeria
Maldito Mendez, Cantina Latina
Tokyo Club

Ponsonby Central
136 Ponsonby Road


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