Address: 22 Melrose St, Newmarket
Phone: (09) 378 9416
Open: Mon-Fri 7.30am-3.30pm. Sat 8am-3pm.
Cost: $91.50 for four


We were looking for somewhere to meet friends, so a place with plenty of seating to avoid a long wait, along with ample parking nearby were high on the priority list. L'affare fits the bill nicely. Tucked down a side street off Khyber Pass Rd, it's nicely fitted out, with warm wood, dark green banquettes and attractive gold latticework behind the counter. The place was buzzing on this particular Saturday morning, but we were soon seated.


We started with coffee - trim flat whites were strong, brightly flavoured and hot. A mocha came with an indulgent touch, a Whittaker's sante bar perched in the cup like a rather decadent spoon.


A Gingerella satisfied the non-coffee-drinker.

Then came the food. An eggs benedict was served on a pool of prosciutto, with lashings of hollandaise and a home-made english muffin, pronounced delicious. My husband's smashed avocado with chilli, lime and poached egg almost made him weep, so generous was the portion, and he'd been suffering badly in the Great Avocado Shortage of 2016. The chilli and lime flavouring could've been bolder though. Similarly, although the truffle scramble was piled high on a positive doorstop of toast, the titular fungi flavour was only mildly detectable. My wild mushroom and gorgonzola dolce omelette, however, was richly cheesy and mushroomy, and surprisingly filling despite coming without toast.


Service was warm, friendly and attentive, despite how busy it was; our waitress took my picky friend's inquisitions with grace and demonstrated her sound understanding of the menu in the process. An added bonus for coffee lovers is the wall of bean dispensers (L'affare is a roastery, after all, and much beloved in its hometown of Wellington) from which you can choose a favourite blend to take home.