Herald Rating: 4/5
Address: 537 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn
We came here because we'd read about the newest addition to the Surrey Cres cafe scene and are fans of Kokako's other ventures across Auckland, so thought we'd check it out. Apparently, half of Auckland did too. The place was chocka.
Parking was not an issue, as we walked from a friend's nearby flat, but it can be a problem around this busy intersection at the top of Williamson Ave.
We walked in and immediately thought we love what the owners have done with this building, which formerly housed the Grey Lynn Post Office. It retains many of its original features as well as up-cycled "found" objects including old school bench seats, kitchen scales and lamps.
The most unusual thing on the menu was the organic Tolaga Bay polenta porridge, which comes with plum compote and mascarpone ($15). This can be served gluten and/or dairy-free, as can most of the items on Kokako's strictly vegetarian menu.
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We ordered the fine herb free-range organic omelette with baked tomato salad and toast ($15), and the poached free-range organic eggs with caramelised onions and brioche ($15). The herbs were a lovely, subtle addition to the slightly creamy omelette, and the tomato was bursting with flavour. The brioche was presented as a thin slice of toast, which made it a different experience from your average plate of eggs on toast. Be warned: the servings are not huge.
The coffee was the Aotea house blend, which is very good but the cups seemed quite small and I needed two.
The service was excellent, despite the fact they were run off their feet.
We recommend if you come here you finish your meal with one of the gluten-free vegan Nice Blocks on the menu - we had the choc banana ($3.50). Delicious. Beware though, Kokako is closed on Sundays.
Overall we thought while we're not sure we'd sit at the outside tables on the street, we really liked the vibe indoors. And despite the fact everything is organic this and vegan that, there is still plenty of variety on the menu.