Address: 18 Manukau Rd, Epsom
Open: Mon-Fri, 7am-3pm. Sat, 7.30am-3pm. Closed Sunday.
Phone: 021 188 5220
We spent: $52.50 for two

Set up & site:

To me, a desk-bound worker of shifts, breakfast is a thing you do on Sunday mornings. It's a social leisure activity to linger over with people you choose to spend time with rather than people who happen to have the same skills as you that someone else is prepared to pay for and give you a place to sit while you exercise said skills.

But, on a rare weekday off, in another part of town, I discovered that people actually enjoy breakfast during the week, sometimes with friends, often with colleagues, even more often with people they want to exchange time and money with in deals that will earn them both more time and money. And that is the crowd we met at Husk, on Manukau Rd in Epsom.

Husk, 18 Manukau Rd, Epsom. Photo / Getty Images, Fiona Goodall
Husk, 18 Manukau Rd, Epsom. Photo / Getty Images, Fiona Goodall

It's a middle-sized cafe, offering middle-sized meals for a slightly above middle-sized price. Its middle-of-the-road crowd seemed to be business people discussing deals or colleagues meeting to gossip about other colleagues. Brightly coloured squabs and pale wood furniture from the blue-green palette give Husk a summer vibe, even as autumn leaves drifted down on the street outside. We found parking almost directly across the road but that might be a problem during the morning rush.


Sustenance & swill: The simple menu gave me the chance to return to the old favourite, eggs benedict ($19), while my companion returned to her favourite of pancakes ($18.50), washed down with a mocha ($5). My cappuccino ($4.50) was tepid and my companion was still hungry after her meal. She couldn't leave without a $5 brownie from the tasty-looking selection of slices and treats neatly displayed at the counter. My bene was accompanied with a potato rosti that satisfied without exciting. We were also given a bottle of chilled water — at least we think it was for us: the waitress put it on the table next to ours and then disappeared.

Service and other stuff: Husk isn't overladen with staff – we just saw the two. They were efficient to the point of perfunctory. You pay when you order at the counter. The coffee comes first and we had just finished our cups when the food arrived.