Brunch: Buttermilk Cafe, Auckland CBD

By Michele Crawshaw

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Herald Rating: 4/5
Address: Victoria Park Market, Auckland CBD

Buttermilk cafe in Victoria Park market. Photo / Babiche Martens
Buttermilk cafe in Victoria Park market. Photo / Babiche Martens

We came here because we were keen to see how the renovations of Victoria Park Market were coming along and had heard good things about its newest cafe, Buttermilk, owned by culinary stalwart, chef Warwick Brown.

Parking was plentiful in the pay and display area a few metres from the market, and on neighbouring side streets.

We walked in and immediately thought if the menu food looked as good as the cabinet fare - gourmet pastries, sandwiches, slices and cakes - we'd be happy.

The most unusual thing on the menu was the tartine - sourdough toast, grilled bacon, avocado, creamed cheese, poached egg and cress salad ($17.50).

We ordered shakshouka (eggs baked in a spicy tomato sauce with date chutney, dukaha, yoghurt and sourdough toast, $18.50), coddled eggs (eggs baked in a spicy sauce of tomatoes, pancetta, pork fennel sausage and haricot beans, $18.50) and a bagel with a side of bacon ($12.50).

Both egg dishes were outstanding. We'd happily eat them every day.

The coffee was Ozone, a New Plymouth roaster, and terrific. We had seconds. But coffee is only a part of the extensive drinks menu, which features a terrific range of juices (freshly made to order), soda water with syrup, spiders, smoothies and nectars. We tried the apple juice ($6), raspberry and lemon syrup with soda ($5) and a banana berry smoothie ($7) and loved all of them. Pricey though.

The service was great. Nice waitstaff and plenty of them.

We recommend if you come here you should take a walk through Victoria Park Market to see the changes. A lot of the shops are still vacant but they were being made good use of on the day we visited with a boutique wineries offering wine tastings.

Overall we thought Buttermilk has a terrific menu and great coffee but the buzz isn't quite happening yet. We suspect that's due to Victoria Park Market not being fully occupied - come summer when more shops are open and crowds arrive we reckon this might be the place to be. The food alone makes Buttermilk worth a visit.

- NZ Herald

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