Herald Rating: 2/5
Address: Cnr Kitchener and Wellesley Sts, Auckland
We came here because we'd been tardy about visiting the newly flashed-up gallery.
Parking was a breeze. The Monday-to-Friday parkmegeddon of the central city is gone come the weekend. It's never cheap, however.
We walked in and immediately thought the space is great, with an excellent balcony overlooking Kitchener St from amid the pohutukawa branches. The cafe is on the second floor, so there's a good chance you'll have taken in a little art on your way up there.
The most unusual thing on the menu was lamb's fry and bacon with shallots and watercress, which is hardly revolutionary. Otherwise it's a very straightforward affair. The kids' menu includes Da Vinci spaghetti, a "Cezanne bacon and egg sarnie" and Matisse fish and chips - Da Vinci and spaghetti I get, but I must have dozed off in art history classes when the connection between Cezanne and a bacon and egg sandwich was explained.
We ordered the brioche french toast with cinnamon bananas and mascarpone and maple syrup. Louise liked it. And for me, the not-very-big "big breakfast" of eggs, bacon, a couple of pretty average pork and fennel sausages, some rosti and tomatoes.
The coffee was mixed. The milk in one was too hot - a bugbear of Auckland flat whites that is no less irritating for being so common.
The service was fine. They wrote things down. They brought things out.
We recommend if you come here check out the gallery and enjoy the superb location. Make it a late brunch, wander the gallery first and get a bottle of wine on the balcony to finish.
Overall we thought the location was great, the menu so-so, the coffee poor. Great paintings, though.