We came here because we've been calling into Oliver's for coffee, delicious date scones and a new melted chocolate drink they've been trialling for months now. We've also watched with interest as the owner has gradually given this Orewa icon a facelift. This time we wanted to try the breakfast menu.
We ordered the eggs benedict with bacon ($18.95), which arrived promptly and was just right - the eggs perfectly poached, the hollandaise sauce smooth and tasty and the bacon just crisp enough. We especially liked this version of the staple, as it came with uncooked baby spinach leaves, rather than the often-watery cooked spinach.
Unfortunately we found the breakfast platter ($14.95) to be disappointing. The avocado was just past its best and the slices of tomato and whole
mushrooms, while large and meaty, had little or no seasoning. But we had refused the
proffered cream cheese, which would possibly have helped. The breakfast pancakes ($16.95) looked spectacular but were drowned in maple syrup.
The coffee was as good as always, and we know from experience that the hot chocolate is rich, thick and amazing too.
The service was excellent. Our breakfasts arrived swiftly, while my coffee ($5.50 for a large soy flat white), which I'd put on "hold" turned up just as I was finishing my breakfast. "I thought you'd like this about now," said our proprietor. How right he was.
Overall, we thought it's great to have a truly Kiwi local cafe with an independent operator who does everything from make the coffee to help cook the food, remodel the kitchen and even draw a rather good pink hot rod on the cafe mirror. And, despite the fancy chain cafes, restaurants and bars all around him, he's making a go of it.