It had been a while since we'd caught up with a particular friend, so we wanted to treat ourselves to something new and be able to relax over the course of a few hours, somewhere with a menu that went beyond the standard fare but away from the hustle of our regular Ponsonby haunts. The Corner looked good enough - a dark interior design, a few outdoor, on-street tables right on Remuera Rd - and parking was easy with plenty of on-street spaces nearby. It looks more like a bar than a restaurant or cafe, and indeed, while we were having eggs and smoothies outside, people were already inside knocking back beers and watching sport. It definitely struck us as more of a local watering hole than a brunch destination.
SUSTENANCE & SWILL
We opted for a couple of egg dishes; the Italian eggs benedict with sopressa salami ($19) and the omelette with courgette flowers ($21). Both were underwhelming - particularly given the price. Neither dish seemed complete. The eggs bene was salty item upon salty item with nothing light on the plate to cut through it all, while the omelette was totally overpowered by the basil oil and came with a piece of toast, which sat on the side like an afterthought, inexplicably accompanied by a hazelnut-heavy nut butter. After not finishing our original dishes, we opted to try the hotcakes ($7), which were an infinitely better offering, with a good balance of savoury and sweet and an ideal serving size (three hotcakes to a plate). The coffee was your average fare, as were the other drinks we sampled, with one exception. The Cheeky Monkey smoothie is a delicious banana, peanut butter, maca root, raw cacao, and almond milk blend worth coming back for.
SERVICE & OTHER STUFF
The staff was friendly enough while giving us more than enough space and time to order and chat. The servingware was impressive - large rounded-off dishes in matte colours and an adorable little salt bowl - but the food in it was not presented nearly as well. In fairness, nothing was irreparably awful, but nothing seemed particularly worth coming back for either - except that delicious smoothie.