Address: 98 Hinemoa St, Birkenhead Point
Herald Rating:

We'd peered behind the papered-up windows, anxiously wondering what the new owners were changing on this popular corner spot, so the first chance we could we were queuing at the door.

The atmosphere is refreshed, but not scarily different from before. The glorious wall and ceiling tiles and worn marble counters from the original butcher's shop survived - no need for faux industrial edge here, they've got the real thing. The back courtyard has bench seats, there are blankets for chilly days, water comes in old milk bottles.

The food has had a serious makeover. Fresh, fresh, fresh, with the Vietnamese chef adding a clever twist to breakfast favourites. We settled on the big breaky for him ($20.50), rosemary potato rostis for me ($19.50). The rosti were impeccable - thinly grated, crispy, with generous smoked salmon and sour cream. There sure is an expert egg-poacher in the house, and the sausages and bacon are made by the local butcher up the road and the baking from a nearby baker. Ravenhill's owner is already tapping more locals to supply produce.

The coffee is Allpress, always a good sign. Mr Fussy was very happy with his long black, my flat white was just the right balance.


The service was keen and friendly, the first coffees prompt. But the kitchen had been slammed by a table of 10 just before our order went in, there were nearly 40 people out back so the 35 minute wait for food had me chewing on my coffee cup.

Overall, it's a thrill to have the oldest shop on the block get such a good makeover. People who are serious about fresh, simple, local food deserve to do well.