Rude Boy
34 Sale St, Auckland
3.5 stars
Opening hours: 6.30am-4pm, 7 days.
We spent: $56 for two.


It's a clear spring day when we arrive at Sale St's hot new eatery and the sun is streaming through Rude Boy's glass frontage. In summer, that might make things a little sweaty for punters. Thankfully, the shop is split in two by a giant counter, behind which are cooler, more private dining spots. Don't expect to sit down for long: once you've chosen from a really quite large brunch menu, you'll need to get in the queue with those ordering sandwiches, slices, quiches and treats from Rude Boy's packed cabinet. That's right, despite offering an extensive menu including plenty of options past the $20 mark, there's no table service at Rude Boy. During busy lunchtimes, that can mean a bit of a wait. Today, having already had a problem with this exact issue, we got there early to avoid the rush.

Salmon, toast, poached eggs, hollandaise, radish and pickled onion.
Salmon, toast, poached eggs, hollandaise, radish and pickled onion.



We order salmon eggs bene, which the menu says come on a charcoal bagel. Apparently this was "unsustainable" so it's been replaced with toast. "Is that a deal-breaker?" asks the waiter. It's not: the dish comes beautifully plated, the soft salmon dressed with pickled onions, radish and microgreens sprinkled over perfectly cooked eggs and five-grain toast. From the cabinet, we grab a risotto ball infused with mushrooms and blue cheese. It's a little dry, but we solve that issue by using it to mop up the egg yolks. The coffee was very strong, with bonus latte art. They do a great range of decedent slices in the cabinet too: giant chunks of white and dark rocky road, a mint green coconut slice, gooey caramel slice and chunky chocolate brownie. We can't resist and share a Snickers slice. It sure was satisfying.

SERVICE & OTHER STUFF: This is where Rude Boy lets itself down. We had to fetch our own menus and water, our dishes arrived 10 minutes apart and no one asked us if we wanted anything else. If they had, we probably would have ordered at least one more of those coffees. The music needs work too: late-90's pop hits at full force volume. It gets worse: at the time of writing, Rude Boy has zero online presence: no website, no Facebook profile, no Google Map pin. Some early reviews suggest when it first opened, the plan was to continue through with a dinner service. I'd call them and ask if that's still happening, but I can't find their phone number. Boy, that's just plain rude.