By Helen van Berkel
Address: Ferry Building, 99 Quay St, Auckland
Phone: (09) 307 6966
Open: 7am-11.30am (for breakfast)
Cost: $50.50 for two and a bit
SET UP & SITE
Auckland Transport is doing its best to turn downtown into a grinding wasteland and Botswana Butchery in the Ferry Building is at the centre of the council's game of cones and three circles of parking hell. It took an hour to get in from the North Shore, find a park and finally sit down for a coffee - at least seven-eighths of that time was spent finding a carpark. Our flustered thoughts turning to chocolate-sprinkled cappuccinos, we requested a breakfast menu instead of the lunch menu we were given - and were told breakfast was over. It was 11am. For Botswana Breakfast II, we learned from our mistakes, took the bus and were seated by 10.30. The seven other diners (two of whom were almost finished) had depleted the breakfast menu availability, so we shared one.
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SUSTENANCE & SWILL
Three of us sat down to breakfast, after a teenage sleepover went into overtime. But no matter how much I insisted the interloper could order what she wanted (and didn't refer to her as the interloper to her face) she insisted she only wanted hash browns ($4). The little browned cubes of mashed, seasoned and fried potato that came on a white oblong plate kind of summed up the rest of the menu: done well with a touch of originality that saw the delicacy in the dull. My generous slices of smoked Stewart Island salmon ($19) arrived hidden under green salad, avocado, and crisp apple. The poached egg could have done with a little more cooking but the mix of flavours provided a well-balanced and light breaking of the fast on a sunny Sunday morning. And Miss 16 surprised us all by ordering what turned out to be a huge plate of healthy granola with fruit and coconut yoghurt ($14). She couldn't finish it, so the interloper and I helped her.
SERVICE & OTHER STUFF
Stopping breakfast service at 11 is a little early, especially as the website says it is on offer until 11.30am. And a few more menus would be useful. Botswana may be suffering a little because of the construction zone in which it has found itself. But its waterfront spot in the Ferry Building puts it in the perfect place for a delightful meal after a pleasant harbour cruise (try a ferry ride from Devonport).