The menu was packed with an array of French, gourmet brunch options. That, teamed with the alluring aromas of fresh-baked pastries wafting from the open kitchen, had our bellies rumbling on arrival.
The look was like a beautiful European bakery, but with plenty of space to dine inside and out - on bench seats, tables or perched up on stools. We loved spying on the bakery out the back as we waited for our coffees and admiring the pastries that glistened behind glass near the counter.
The food was generous, baked-good bliss. My dining companion opted for an omelette with prosciutto and goat's cheese ($18.50) while I had the best croque-monsieur of my life ($16.50). Both came with a generous green salad, which took the edge off the carb coma. We also treated ourselves to what have been claimed by some to be the best hot cross buns in Auckland ($2.50). Warm, fluffy, smeared with butter, these treats have earned themselves that title.
The coffee came fast and was spot-on. Perfect temperature, great flavour and teamed with an awesome brunch.
The service was at the counter, full of smiles, with a French accent, which made it all feel so right. I usually prefer table service, but ordering at Olaf's gave us the chance to be tempted by the tarts and freshly baked breads stacked up on shelves.
Overall Olaf's had a beautiful, warm vibe. It's the kind of cafe where we could sit and read the paper all day, topping ourselves up with coffee and cabinet food.