Hemi Eatery
Unit 1, Victoria Park Markets
Ph: (09) 366 4756
We spent: $161 for six

We arrived:

Hemi is a beautiful reincarnation of one corner of the iconic Vic Markets. I've seen eateries come and go over the years here but there's something very special about the way Hemi harmoniously fits with the historic surroundings. The interior is light and airy, with sky-high ceilings and a blanc de blanc palette complemented with Italian Travertine marble, used in various ways - tiles along a large feature wall, a stone counter front and a smooth marble counter top. The tables are rustic wooden with Philippe Starck Ghost-style chairs. It's glorious, calming and earthy but classy and stylish, I could move in here.

We ate:

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Every diet is catered for at Hemi, with artful, healthy, seasonal fare and excellent value for the calibre of the food and setting, with all brunch items under $20. Of course, you can add-on to your heart's content, if some whipped feta, fat-cut bacon or spiced roast potatoes take your fancy.
The smoked kahawai savory waffle, creme fraiche, house pickles and poached egg ($16) was "absolutely magnificent", said Mum. My breakfast mince ($16) with delicately spiced tempeh on kūmara sourdough with a poached egg and half an avocado all coated in pecorino was so satisfying.
The banana and berry waffles ($13.50) and granola ($12.50) were vegan sugar-free beauties laden in fresh and freeze-dried berries and the tumeric and mānuka honey latte ($5) was a soothing milk and honey heaven.
A carefully curated wine list with vegan, organic and biodynamic wines is available by the glass from $12. We had the skinny prosecco, not because it was low in sugar but because we were in a festive frame of mind. it was delicious.

We observed:

Hemi is a triumph, you will come away feeling fortified with beautiful food, served by beautiful people in a beautiful setting. It's not pretentious, just healthy, delicious modern fare with exceptional presentation, service and generous portions. A place where you can indulge but it's almost impossible to be unhealthy, a stunning eatery that has elevated the brunch offering.
Monique Barden