Something & Social
Westfield Newmarket, 309 Broadway
Ph: (09) 218 5085
We spent: $58.50 (without drinks) for two adults and three children
We arrived: It was a little before 10am and we were already on edge because Auckland's holiday social scene had been ablaze with horror stories about the egregious parking charges beyond Westfield's initial two free hours. Something & Social, the only genuine brunch spot among the generically modern eateries on the rooftop, was nearly empty. A possible contributing factor was its non-functioning coffee machine. We considered going somewhere else but instead we returned after getting takeaway coffees, fluffies and hot chocolate from Coco Republic on Westfield's ground floor. (They were good.) The menu at Something & Social was short and basic, which is not necessarily a bad thing and can be a good thing if it makes those few things especially well.
We ate: The breakfast flatbread was fundamentally a bacon and egg pizza. It had a few microgreens on top. It looked quite good, tasted okay - a bit doughy, but okay. I can eat a pizza when I need to but I couldn't get close to eating all of it. My wife's smashed avo was light on avo, which is not okay. When your name's above the door, you turn up to work. The plate as a whole was okay - light on avo, but okay. The kids had waffles. They were okay.
This is the way things are: Something & Social is a generic place in a generic mall, a mall with pretensions to being some kind of supermall - Auckland's newest and flashest - but nevertheless a mall. What a mall cafe wants and needs is to appeal to the broad swathe of people from multiple demographics who might feel hungry while shopping at that mall. Unlike its non-mall equivalent, the mall cafe is unlikely to survive as destination-in-itself and can therefore not afford to serve food that might alienate or disappoint some portion of its captive audience. It can't take too many risks. Its management is incentivised to serve food that tends to the generic, the inoffensive. There's nothing wrong with that, just as there's nothing wrong with a nice pair of track pants.
We observed: The service was great - warm, friendly and careful. The decor was nice enough too. The place filled up rapidly from 10am, as did the shops below. "How many of these women do you think went to Epsom Girls?" my wife asked. She herself was an old girl, as I assume they call themselves, and she thought 80 per cent. I guessed 100 per cent, not so much because I believed it but because, in this place of bland inoffensiveness, I felt like somebody needed to take the bull by the horns.