Address: 12A Melrose St, Newmarket
Phone: 021 377 037
Open: Tues-Sat 8am-3.30pm, Sun 9am-3pm
Cost: $70.90 for three people


In the space vacated by Little & Friday, in the building mostly occupied by Martha's Fabrics, in one of Newmarket's not-so-thriving back streets, Sip Kitchen have set up their second Auckland cafe. Honestly, I didn't know much about it before we went and was a bit stunned by the extent to which it holds true to some kind of raw food/whole food/super food ethos - by which I mean I scanned the menu four times before I realised it wasn't missing the page with breakfast options. We went on a Sunday morning when the cafe had only been open a few weeks. It was pretty quiet. It was very quiet.


There were a few simple menu items on offer - toast, cereals, avocado on toast, banana bread - but I found myself staring at the description for the Omega Plate ($19.50) of a choice of two salads, half-avocado, salmon, seeds, sauerkraut, micro greens, maca granola for a long time before I was able to make sense of it as a viable brunch option. What I felt most like eating was a great heap of bacon and a couple of hash browns - but, of course, you have to approach a place on the terms it offers. Anyway, can there be any profit margin left in Auckland's cafe scene for an ordinary sort-of-fancy cafe serving brunch standards in an inner city suburb? I didn't really want to order the baked oats ($12) but I thought it sounded like a not-too-distant cousin of porridge, which is something I sometimes order somewhere I feel comfortable. I was wrong though - it was way better. It was like a cake, warm and sweet, seedy and nutty. It came with some mint matcha cream, and a tiny flask of almond milk for moisture control. I felt the smug joy of someone with low expectations, wildly exceeded. Zanna had avocado on toast ($16.50) and Jeremy had avocado hash ($16.50). Despite their names, those dishes appeared to be more or less the same thing. They were in desperate need of salt and pepper, but otherwise fine.

The Omega plate at Sip Kitchen. Photo / Jason Oxenham
The Omega plate at Sip Kitchen. Photo / Jason Oxenham


They do counter-service only, which seemed to upset Jeremy - possibly because we were the only ones there and waited quite a while for someone to take our order before realising no one would - but Little & Friday also did counter-service when they were in the same space, and they seemed to do all right.