Herald Rating: 3/5
Address: 778 Manukau Rd, Royal Oak
We came here because we'd had to make a trip to the 'burbs to visit the wreckers and a colleague had recommended this place so we stopped on our way back to town. It was also almost celebratory, after surviving the Royal Oak roundabout of doom.
Parking was a little frantic on Manukau Rd, but not impossible. We discovered, once inside, there was plenty of parking out the back.
We walked in and immediately thought Ristretto is a bit of a Tardis - it looks teeny-tiny from the front but is actually very long and narrow, and even has a large covered outdoor area.
The most unusual thing on the menu was the Spanish-style baked eggs with chorizo, harissa, stewed tomatoes and peppers, served with bread ($16.50) or perhaps the New Orleans chicken gumbo ($16).
We ordered the big breakfast which came with eggs, bacon, a sausage, New Orleans beans, tomatoes and toast ($18.50), and a bagel with smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers and grilled lemon ($10.50). The big breakfast was good, but difficult to manage as it barely fit on the plate and could not be conquered, while the bagel came with plenty of salmon and lots of yummy capers.
The coffee was a little cold but tasty, while the tea was made from real leaves.
The service was pleasant and friendly.
We recommend if you come here you check out Ristretto's Fine Foods store a couple of doors down, which stocks New Zealand-made deli items, including their own range of relishes, chutneys and more.
Overall we thought it was a really good local and worth a try - if you can make it through that roundabout unscathed.