Brunch: Cali, Newmarket

By Courtney Whitaker

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Address: 23-27 Nuffield St, Newmarket
Phone: (09) 523 4554
Open: Seven days, 7am-late
Cost: $67.50 for two people

Cali cafe, Nuffield St in Newmarket. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Cali cafe, Nuffield St in Newmarket. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Set up & site

As with most Sunday mornings, I was looking for something to satisfy my caffeine craving - and some food to accompany it. So I was hoping Nuffield St's newest offering, Cali, could deliver with its all-day menu. After driving around the block a few times, we arrived. Though there is ample street parking, this area is popular, so be prepared to walk.

Cali was once home to Mac's Brew Bar and recently shed its pub skin to emerge as a contemporary eatery. Sweeping windows, funky tiles and plants have changed the look dramatically. There is space in spades here; you could spend all day choosing a table. We were shown into in a bright conservatory with hanging baskets, and seated near several other couples enjoying brunch, and group of friends chatting over coffee.

Sustenance & swill

No food decisions could be made without caffeine coursing through our veins, so we prioritised with a long black and a latte, made with Supreme beans.

Not bad.

After a quick glance at the menu, we knew we were going to need longer than the few minutes our waiter had allowed. In the meantime, we ordered smoothies ($8) - a green smoothie with spinach, mango, kiwi and coconut water for my partner; a cacao, cashew, date and almond milk one for me. Both were delicious, both thick - ditch the straws for these. The drinks menu also features kombucha ($6) for the super-health-conscious.

I finally settled on the dry-cured bacon and smashed avocado ($19), and my partner ordered the big breakfast ($23.50). His plate was piled high with (slightly overcooked) poached eggs, streaky bacon, tomatoes and rosti, atop wholegrain toast. My smashed avocado came with black beans, generous dollops of soft goat's cheese, a huge slab of cured bacon and pico de gallo salsa on a soft tortilla. Stunningly presented and even better to eat.

Dry-cured bacon and smashed avocado. Photo / Jason Oxenham.
Dry-cured bacon and smashed avocado. Photo / Jason Oxenham.

Service & other stuff

The waiters were friendly and attentive.

Best of all, they seemed happy to be there. Our meals arrived quickly - almost too quickly - there is something to be said for enjoying a little time anticipating your meal. Sparkling water? Tick. Little pots of coconut sugar for your coffee? Tick. Mouth-watering menu? Tick. Yes, Cali ticked all of my brunch boxes.

- Canvas

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