Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Brunch: Dizengoff, Ponsonby

Herald Rating: 4/5
Address: 256 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby

Dizengoff cafe on Ponsonby Rd, Auckland. Photo / Chris Gorman
Dizengoff cafe on Ponsonby Rd, Auckland. Photo / Chris Gorman

We came here because this venerable old Ponsonby institution bagged a thumbs-up from global hipsterdom's fountainhead Tyler Brule, who, in an open love letter to Auckland published on the Financial Times' website saluted "the clever crowd who run Dizengoff, with its excellent coffee and superb breakfasts". Right then - I'll have an excellent coffee and a superb breakfast thanks, mate.

Parking was fine on the day, but Ponsonby Rd on a weekend reaches peak parking quicker than you can say "there's one behind the two well-dressed blokes in a convertible Audi".

We walked in and immediately thought they don't seem to have changed the look of this place in years. But it works. Clean, white spaces; busy tables. Dangerously high ratio of television faces to civilians.

The most unusual thing on the menu was quite a bit of it. Chopped liver ($12), labaneh cheese salad ($12), Israel plate ($14.50).

The big breakfast is worth noting for its price alone, rolling out of the kitchen at an outrageous $22.50.

We ordered eggs with fried pastrami ($14.50) and eggs benedict with veal sausages ($17.50). The eggs were good and those veal saussies were excellent. Also at our table: a party of four, all eating the mushrooms on toast ($14.50). "Divine," said a woman off the telly. "People come from Wellington just for this."

The coffee was very good, as it should be at a reputable P-Rd joint.

The service was excellent.

We recommend if you come here, don't hold out for bacon.

Overall we thought this place is a banker, but Brule should check out some more cafes next time he's in town.

- NZ Herald

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