Herald Rating: * * * * *
Address: 465 Mt Eden Road, Mt Eden

We came here because

we'd been impressed by the food on an earlier, rushed visit and wanted to try it again.

We walked in and immediately thought

the Altar's ground floor premises in a stately white villa are light and airy on a sunny morning. Even better, we were early enough to get the comfy seats in the bay window facing the road.

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The most unusual thing on the menu

was the roasted mushrooms with feta puree ($15).

We ordered

the Altar baked beans ($16) with a side of cured salmon ($6), and poached eggs with hollandaise on corned beef hashbrowns ($18). All the food was excellent — the beans were in a chunky home-made sauce, the bread was fresh, the eggs perfectly poached, and the hollandaise slightly tart and served on the side as we had requested.

The service was

upbeat and professional, with plenty of banter between the front-counter staff. There was even a bit of singing.

The coffee was

small and perfectly formed. The little cups prompted us to order a second round — not because the first one lacked punch but because it tasted so good.

We recommend if you come here

you come early. Altar gets busy and if you are seated at the very back tables it can feel like you've been wedged in a corner.

Overall we thought

that although we couldn't speak for the lunch or dinner menus (which are also offered) the brunch food was generous and tasty and we couldn't fault the service. It was worth taking a short walk from the main Mt Eden shops.