Herald Rating: 4/5
Address: 341 Rangatira Rd, Beach Haven

We came here because

a friend who knows her French food had recommended it.

Parking was a piece of gateau. We found one right outside.

We walked in and immediately knew what we'd be having for afternoon tea. The fridge was brimming with elegant fruit tarts, rustic savouries and rich desserts.


The most unusual thing on the menu was the European vegetarian breakfast - two eggs with a potato frittata, avocado, tomato, colourful sprouts, a selection of the cafe's own mustard and pickles including a gorgeous, smoky vegetable condiment, plus fresh blueberries and pineapple. Otherwise it was classic brunch fare.

We ordered the brilliant European vegetarian breakfast ($16.90) and the eggs benedict with bacon ($14.50), which Alex said was the best he'd tasted, with crispy bacon, fluffy ciabatta and a perfect-sized dollop of decadent hollandaise.

The service was very personable. Chris, the charming French owner, waited until we'd finished our coffees before suggesting we might like to move from one of the small footpath tables to a larger one in the garden. He also made a fuss of our puppy, bringing her a meaty treat and fresh water.

The coffee was generous in every sense: large, creamy and strong enough to put hairs on your chest. A medium latte was a very reasonable $4.20.

We recommend if you come here don't expect to be blown away by the ambience. Au Bon Coin is set in a small, unassuming little corner shop in a quiet suburb. It's nothing flash but the good news is it's about to undergo a makeover. Anyway, come for the coffee and food (yes, they do french toast).

Overall we thought Au Bon Coin is a local gem offering basic brunches with a French twist and authentic Gallic delights. The pear and caramel tart? C'est magnifique.