Food Review by Jodi Bryant

Bob Café - 29 Bank St, Whangarei

I first went into Bob Café around 15 years ago and, back then,
it didn't really appeal to me.

Since then, I've often sat at the lights and noticed people flocking through the doors and wondered what the draw was. This week, I finally gave it another try and – wow – it totally wasn't what I remembered!

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First of all, it is more spacious than it looks from the outside, with diners having the option of either sitting near the door, absorbing the hustle and bustle of city life outside, or, they can choose somewhere near the back, with comfy booth-type seating in a more chilled-out space.

The owners were ultra-friendly and chatty, adding to the light and breezy atmosphere, and the menus – both breakfast and lunch - were extensive. As well as mouth-watering cabinet food, a menu offered the likes of B.L.A.Ts and C.L.A.Ts, fish n chips, corn fritters, halloumi cheese salads, and much more.

From the cabinet, I opted for the Cajun chicken panini and my dining partner ordered a creamy mushroom and bacon filo pastry. For sweets, we ordered the citrus tart and the pecan pie. We couldn't believe how well-priced everything was!

We seated towards the back of the café and soon had our coffees delivered, followed by the first course. Sometimes meals and drinks are not very well-timed but these were staggered just right. My panini was delicious with Cajun chicken, brie cheese, avocado and spinach, accompanied with a fresh salad, and the filo pastry, also with salad, was scrumptious and very filling.

We halved the slices and they were both divine. The pecan pie was lovely and warm but the citrus tart was my favourite.

I'm glad I gave Bob a second shot, albeit all these years later, and will certainly be calling in more regularly. We couldn't believe how cheap, yet delicious, the food was and were so full for the rest of the day that we skipped dinner!