Brunch review: Paris Butter, Herne Bay

By Sarah Daniell

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Address: 166 Jervois Rd, Herne Bay
Phone: (09) 376 5597
Open: Brunch menu available Saturdays and Sundays 9am-3pm
Cost: $79 for two

Paris Butter. Photo / Getty Images
Paris Butter. Photo / Getty Images

SET UP & SITE

Much has been written about the gorgeous interior of Paris Butter but it's a clear, warm morning and the idea of sitting outside on the pavement, watching the world go by, seems so ... Paris. Besides, there are rugs. We have the perfect corner position to perch and people-watch. Water and menus are swiftly brought to the table. There may be kids inside, for all I know, but outside it's grown-ups only, and this feels like the perfect place to bring your lover, without having to endure the shrieks of small people demanding perfect fluffies.

SUSTENANCE & SWILL

What I really want is the steak. Steak au poivre, with house fries ($28). But it seems a little excessive at 11am. Maybe if I waited an hour, I think. So strange, the punitive voices in our heads to which we pay attention. Having talked myself out of having steak and fries for brunch, we move on. We ignore the "brunch set", figuring that while Paris Butter probably does it better than most, baguette or croissant with a combination of jams and "Our Nutella" and a "Mimosa refill" for $45 is not a thrilling prospect, and unlikely to give us the true measure of the menu.

I choose the French Farmer's Assiette - which loosely translates as a ploughman's lunch, except a million times more interesting - with fromage, soft-boiled egg, parfait, pork terrine, tomato and whipped feta ($22). My companion picks salmon gravlax, slow-scrambled eggs, mustard creme fraiche ($21). There are no sides. But you can probably order them. Our dishes arrive. Mine is spectacular and surprising. There is pickled turnip, an heirloom tomato so sweet and orange it could be a peach. The terrine is gorgeous. The dish is the embodiment of style and substance. Soft sourdough rolls arrive, as does the generous portion of butter. The slow-scrambled eggs are cooked to perfection. More soft bread rolls come - and butter. There are plenty of wines available by the glass, and even though it seems too early for steak, strangely, it does not seem too early for wine. So we order a glass each of the 2014 Albert Mann pinot gris, from Alsace ($18).

SERVICE & OTHER STUFF

Effortlessly attentive. The waitstaff are friendly and fantastically alert without being overbearing. I have an allergy to starchy fine dining and Paris Butter is mercifully unpretentious and relaxed. Exactly what's called for on a Sunday morning. There's a playfulness about the food and the presentation. The wine list is exciting. There is unlimited butter.

- Canvas

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