16 Williamson Ave, Ponsonby
We spent: $32 for 2 people.
A whiff of freshly baked bread and pastry goodness hits you as soon as the tall glass doors swing open. Just a stone throw away from Ponsonby's main strip, the trendy new hot-spot on the corner of Williamson Ave and Pollen St is hard to miss. Free parking is an added bonus, for Ponsonby anyway. Inside, the design is simplistic with its clean white walls and long, polished timber table. Yet, it's not without a statement feature - the green glazed brick counter. The quirky black and white prints hanging from one wall also added something extra. The downfall of an open space such as this is always the noise - if it's quiet conversation you're, after this is not the place. Gazing over the cabinet, options are widespread whether you're yearning for a sprouted lentil loaf, hot-out-of-the-oven sourdough or a gourmet Marmite and pickled egg sandwich. Bread-lovers' jaws will most likely drop - mine did. However, if it's eggs bene or waffles you're craving, this isn't the place.
A good sandwich never goes amiss. I went for one dubbed "Ploughman", filled with salami, edam, rocket, red onion, heirloom tomato, dill cream cheese and mustard ($17). It definitely satisfied my bread-loving cravings but I wouldn't go as far as saying it blew my mind. The bread was as fresh as you can get with a soft inside and crispy thin crust. The flavours of the fillings complemented each other oh so nicely. To drink, I had an espresso brewed with Supreme coffee and hazelnut milk, which hit the spot ($5). My sweet-toothed brunch buddy indulged in a raspberry jam donut ($5), which he described as moist, rich and fluffy. He sipped on a "not bad" espresso with plain milk ($4.50).
Glancing around the room it was clear this wee bakery had a targeted audience - tidily dressed professionals holding their morning meetings out of the office (fair enough) and mums with bubs and small dogs. That was the crowd mid-week, anyway. Staff were friendly and pleasant, despite the mid-morning rush. Food and coffees came reasonably quickly. I'll be back.