We came here because a friend of a colleague loves this place so much she often drives across town from Penrose to buy her lunch. We thought we'd better see what the fuss was about.
Parking was tight - there is a small carpark off Mt Eden Rd but on the day we visited, it was almost full.
We walked in and immediately thought this is an unusual place for a cafe - it's a cavernous warehouse space with a central counter area, a nice courtyard out the front and a slightly odd conservatory at the back. The inside eating area is pretty basic, with a few nods to France but not a lot of atmosphere.
The most unusual thing on the menu is the Eiffel breakfast. It's unusual mostly because despite its name, it is actually more like an English breakfast - two eggs, streaky bacon, sausage, tomato, hash browns and toast ($17.50).
We ordered a three-egg omelette stuffed full of delicious cheese and ham, which came with toast and a token side salad ($14); a simple but tasty terrine platter with gherkins, a basket of sliced baguette, some olives ($11); and a very generous serving of chicken livers, which came with a delicious creamy mash flavoured with wholegrain mustard, a caramelised onion relish, and also some token salad ($16).
The coffee was hot and creamy. Yum.
The service was friendly and efficient, despite the place being pretty busy.
We recommend if you come here peruse the deli, bakery and patisserie sections - the French pastries in particular (as you'd expect) look sensational, particularly the Horn of Abundance cornet-style delights. There also is a small shop selling kitchenware and French-themed knick-knacks.
Overall we thought the food here was good enough to be able to ignore the lack of ambience, and I would combine a meal with a bit of a shop for some takeaway delights.