Nicky Park

Nicky is former editor of Life & Style online.

Brunch: Urban Soul, Manukau City

Address: 625 Great South Rd, Manukau City
Herald Rating:

Urban Soul cafe in Manukau. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Urban Soul cafe in Manukau. Photo / Sarah Ivey

The menu featured some cheap and cheerful tempters like eggs any way for $10 or an array of Best Ugly bagels from $6.50. There was a low GI option for health nuts ($16.90), a couple of sweet treats and some unusual savouries, like baked eggs ($18.50).

The atmosphere was one of the most family-friendly places I've been to. A group of young mums breastfed their babies on couches in the corner, happy youngsters wandered around rolling their toys over all available surfaces and littler people were strapped in strollers all around us. It was a full-on family funday Sunday for my kid-free companion and me.

The food was fine but my choice was bad. The french toast with almond, berry and mint, served with creme fraiche and maple syrup ($16.50) was too sweet for me - I should have known better and added a side of bacon at least. My partner's potato cake with poached egg, salmon and lashings of hollandaise ($15.50) was better, though the poached egg didn't pass our texture test of bursting with that first stab. And smoked salmon would have been better than the baked version.

The coffee was warm enough and if anything a little too generous - perhaps a win for the sleep-deprived parenting patrons. It was the tropical icy drinks that were winners - we tried the alcohol-free pina colada and the passion mango - both fruity and refreshing.

The service felt a little stressful. Upon arrival the counter queue was nearly out the door and it rarely slowed down. In a brunching first for me, a waiter informed us we'd have to set up a tab for our meal. Once we were seated it was hard to get the attention of any of the staff as they busily rushed orders around. However, a point must be made about the kind, smiling face to whom I paid the bill at the counter - I wish I'd encountered her earlier.

Overall it felt a bit too hustle and bustle for our Sunday brunch, though for those with kids in tow this south Auckland space could be just the place.

- NZ Herald

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